Photo credit: Raelene Young

Kim Salmon

Tenacious singer/guitarist Kim Salmon was one of the first musicians in Australia to embrace wholeheartedly the emergent punk phenomenon of the mid- to late 1970s. He formed Perth’s first punk band, The Cheap Nasties, in August 1976. Next he formed the legendary Scientists, a band he fronted for eight years. During that time, Scientists spent three years delivering their punk/blues/noise hybrid across the UK and Europe. Salmon also found time to tour and record with the Beasts of Bourbon.

With Scientists’ eventual return to Australia in March 1987, and subsequent break-up, Salmon formed his next band, The Surrealists. Starting with Hit Me with the Surreal Feel in 1988, the Surrealist released five albums on Red Eye before releasing Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing on Half A Cow in 1997.

(thanks to Encyclopedia Of Australian Rock and Pop, courtesy of Ian McFarlane and Third Stone Press)

Kim Salmon and The Surrealists. Photo credit: Tony Mahoney

Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing

“It was very much a record about the way we put it together. It’s got the feeling of something that was recorded at someone’s house, which is a nice thing to have. It was done very ad hoc, but we didn’t let that stop us from throwing every idea at it that came our way into the equation. Stu was a big part of that – they’re mostly my ideas, but he had the musical ability that allowed him to score parts, with the occasional liberty.” – Kim Salmon

Salmon fired Tony Pola from the Surrealists in 1993, replacing him with Greg Bainbridge. Brian Henry Hooper later left as well, after the Kim Salmon and the Surrealists album, and was replaced by Stu Thomas in 1995. This new trio put out Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing in 1997, touring Australia and Europe once more, and USA for the first time. A horn section was added to the band soon after.

Recorded in Kim’s kitchen for a reputed $60, with the late Jim Dickinson (producer of Big Star, Tav Falco, Alex Chilton and Mudhoney among others) joining Mr Salmon at the controls, Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing signaled a change of direction for the Surrealists with brass featuring heavily.

From the original bio:

One time leader of the much revered swamped-out noise merchants The Scientists and former axegrinder/songwriter for the most brutal (and sometimes beautiful) Beasts Of Bourbon, Kim Salmon has also been doing his own thing since about 1985 with help from his mighty Surrealists. Having released a bunch of classic albums such as Hit Me With The Surreal Feel, Sin Factory, Just Because You Can’t See It Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There on the Red Eye label, Kim Salmon & The Surrealists jumped aboard Half A Cow in 1997 to release what many consider to be their best album to date in Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing.

Oozing back porch charm and Vegas smarm, Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing features 60+ minutes of music was recorded in Kim’s kitchen and then mixed by the great Jim Dickinson (Alex Chilton, Big Star, Ry Cooder) in Memphis.

and then the Surrealists morphed into the Business…

Kim Salmon and the Business: Record

Salmon took time off to compose and perform the music for the stage play (Raimondo Cartese’s) Features of Blown Youth, which played in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Germany. Kim also did a European solo tour in 1999.

By mid-1999, he had formed a new band, The Business, and recorded a new album, Record. The five-piece Kim Salmon and the Business comprised Salmon, Stuart Thomas (bass) and Greg Bainbridge (drums) plus the horn section of Michael Redman and Leon De Bruin.

Record was issued in October to wide acclaim. Featuring a new, sharp band look (business suits) and a new sound, the album was one of Salmon’s strongest to date, full of diverse and soulful pop, from the sassy “Disconnected” to the Bacharach-infused “Share It”.

The album yielded three singles, “Saving Me from Me” (October 1999), “Disconnected” (March 2000) and “I’ll Be Around” (July 2000). Record was Feature Album Of The Week on JJJ in the last week of the Nineties.

Salmon had taken The Business to Europe for a tour in late 1999. By then the line-up comprised Salmon, Thomas, Tarek Smallman (drums, samples; ex-Bzark), Paul Williamson (trumpet, flugel horn; ex-Brown Hornet) and Ben Grant (tenor sax, flute; ex-Brown Hornet).

The “Disconnected” single included a remix of the track by Escobar (Stuart McCarthy and Justin Frew) and Kim had them remix the final single “I’ll Be Around”. This EP also included a remix of album track “Anticipation” and a new solo song “I Was The Lord Of Darkness” which would be included in Kim’s first solo album Earnest.

(thanks to Encyclopedia Of Australian Rock and Pop, courtesy of Ian McFarlane and Third Stone Press)

Kim Salmon and Escobar

from the press release:

Gone are the long hair and tacky psychedelic threads of the Scientists.
Gone is the alcoholism of the Beasts of Bourbon.
Gone are those shirts synonymous with the Surrealists.
Gone is any low budget, low-fi sloppiness or ambiguity that might have been part of the charm of what Kim might have been doing at one time or other.
Gone is anything that will stand in the way of an audience recognising that this is the man and here is his music.
In its place there is a new look.
The look heralds a new era.
Now there is the new vision that given a free reign this man could do some serious business.
Now he means business.
The pool of talent he has drawn on to create his vision are the business.
The results he has produced are the business.
Dressed neatly in suits – they have serious work to do – his band is The Business.
His new CD entitled Record is the business.

In its place there is a new look…a new sound…and a new name.

Welcome Kim Salmon & The Business…a man and band who surely are the business. Fourteen tracks of inspired sounds…fourteen tracks that melt hearts and move mountains, Kim Salmon is back…and he’s not holding back. And with a band like The Business behind him – four of Australia’s finest – filling out the sound with drums, bass and brass, Record is one high time of infectious groove and soulful pop with polish.

From the opening track, the instrumental What’s All This Business, in all its sassy, scratchy glory, its obvious that there’s new forces at work in Salmon’s music. A fresh approach and a rediscovered sense of musical freedom are his tools…and in Record Kim Salmon & The Business offer a unique opportunity to participate in a transaction that will certainly double your investment in ways that cannot be measured monetarily.

The new Kim Salmon & The Business album Record was released on 25th October 1999.


“I Won’t Tell”. Directed by Caroline Kennedy. Produced by No Name films.

ABC TV morning show Recovery, Oct 1997

“Behave Yourself” Studio 22, ABC TV, 1999

Buy Music

Kim Salmon and the Surrealists: Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing

Kim Salmon and the Business: Record

Kim Salmon and the Surrealists: You’re Such A Freak EP

Kim Salmon and the Business: The Record Singles


Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing  (hac63)
released on cd by Half A Cow  10th April, 1997

I Won’t Tell
The Zipper
You’re Such A Freak
The Connoisseur
Insurance Man
Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing
You’ve Got Layers
The Lot
Horizontal Zipper
I Am A Voyeur
Guilt Free
Space 1999
Put Your Trust In Me
Caught In The Zipper

Vocals, Guitar, Zither – Kim Salmon
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Trumpet – Stu Thomas*
Cello – Phaedre Press*
Double Bass – Andrew Entsch
Drums, Percussion – Greg Bainbridge
Backing Vocals [Fishbowl Spacegirl Vocals] – Caroline Kennedy
Additional Guitar – Penny Ikinger
Mandolin – Mark (Marko) C. Halstead*
Organ [Hammond B3] – Jim Dickinson
Synthesizer – Patrick Mangan
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Michael Redman (2)
Trombone – Michael Cousins (3)
Viola – Jen Anderson
Violin – Kate Connor, Robin Casinader

Arranged By [String & Horn Arrangements] – Kim Salmon, Stu Thomas*

Producers – Jim Dickinson & Kim Salmon

Edited By – Jim Nicholades* (tracks: 1-4, 1-11, 1-17), Kim Salmon (tracks: 1-4, 1-11, 1-17)
Engineer [Mixing] – Kevin Houston (tracks: 1-2 to 1-17)

Layout – Milko Frame
Lyrics By – Kim Salmon (tracks: 1-1 to 1-17)

Mixed By – Jim Dickinson (tracks: 1-2 to 1-17), Michael Den Elzen (tracks: 1-1)
Music By – Brian Hooper (tracks: 1-1), Greg Bainbridge (tracks: 1-1 to 1-11, 1-13 to 1-15, 1-17), Kim Salmon (tracks: 1-1 to 1-17), Stu Thomas* (tracks: 1-1 to 1-11, 1-13 to 1-15, 1-17)

Photography By [Band Photo] – Michele Vlasimsky
Photography By [Polaroids] – Kim Salmon

Album Artwork – Kim Salmon
Sleeve Design – Megan Salmon

You’re Such A Freak EP  (hac68)
released on cd by Half A Cow November 1997

You’re Such A Freak
I’m Evil
Hey Momma, Hey Little Sister
A Good Parasite Won’t Kill It’s Host

For a short time, this release was available as a ‘Freak Pack’ which included a 7″ of “Put You’re Trust In Me” backed with the exclusive “Crying Game” and a cassette called “The Hamburg Tapes” which had five songs recorded live by Kim in November 1995.

Record  (hac86)
released on cd by Half A Cow, October 1999

  1. What’s All This Business?
  2. Saving Me From Me
  3. Disconnected
  4. Share It
  5. Don’t Fake It
  6. Anticipation
  7. Nothing Can Go
  8. I’ll Be Around
  9. Give Me Some Notes Mike
  10. Emperor’s New Clothes
  11. New Kind Of Angle
  12. Behave Yourself
  13. IOU
  14. Caesar’s Lament

Saving Me From Me  (hac85)
released on cd by Half A Cow, Sept 1999

  1. Saving Me From Me
  2. Caesar’s Lament
  3. Love Me

Love Me is a cover of the Dudley Moore tune from the movie Bedazzled.

Disconnected  (hac88)
released on cd by Half A Cow, March 2000

  1. Disconnected
  2. Disco Neck Ted
  3. Dubconnected

Tracks 2 and 3 are remixes by Mr Chill, Gary B and Justin Frew.

Kim Salmon – I’ll Be Around : Escobar Remix EP
released on cd by Half A Cow, July 1995

  1. I’ll Be Around
  2. Anticipation
  3. I Was The Lord Of Darkness
  4. I’ll Be Around (LP version)

from the bio: Track 4 from Record. All other songs previously unreleased. Like the previous single Disconnected, track 1 it has been re-mixed by Stu and Justin of Southend/Antenna fame (calling themselves Escobar.) The re-mix will be the first track, followed by a re-mix of another album track Anticipation, a new acoustic track which hints at Kim’s next direction The Lord Of Darkness and to finish the EP off is the album version of I’ll Be Around which was co-written by Dave Graney and Mark Arm from Mudhoney.

The Record Singles
digital release, Sept 2018

  1. Saving Me From Me
  2. Disconnected
  3. I’ll Be Around (Escobar Remix)
  4. Love Me
  5. I Was The Lord Of Darkness
  6. Anticipation (Escobar Remix)
  7. Disco Neck Ted
  8. I’ll Be Around (Album version)
  9. Caesar’s Lament
  10. Dubconnected

All ten tracks from the three singles taken from Kim Salmon and the Business: Record (hac86

‘Freak Pack’
released by Half A Cow, 1997

“You’re Such A Freak” cd (hac68) bundled with the “Hamburg Tapes” cassette (horn10) and the “Put Your Trust In Me” 7 inch (moo10). 50-100 packs.

The Zipper
promo single from Ya Gotta Let Me Do My Thing 1997