The Rockmelons forged funk, soul, and hip-hop into a musical mix that helped change the traditional Australian rock scene during the late '80s and early '90s.
Founder Ray Medhurst recruited brothers Jonathon "Jonno" Jones and Byron Jones (both ex-No Heavy Lifting), and with keyboardist Vinnie Dale and three vocalists -- Peter Blakeley, John Kenny and Sandi Chick -- the fledgling band would perform at their own dance parties in warehouses around Sydney. Guest performers often swelled the band to ten or more members on stage at any one time. The Rockmelons' debut single, "Time Out (for Serious Fun)," featured Sandi Chick on lead vocals and was issued through the independent label Phantom (through Festival) in 1985. Their second single, "Sweat It Out," was the first single released through the True Tone label and featured Peter Blakeley on lead vocals, before he left to pursue a solo career. John Kenny took lead vocals on their next single, a cover of Al Green's "Rhymes," while "New Groove" featured new vocalist Wendy Matthews -- both singles reached the Australian Top 40. The Rockmelons debut album, Tales of the City, was released in May 1988 and peaked at number six. The band shared the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Award for Best Debut Album in 1988 with 1927's ... Ish.
The Rockmelons re-emerged in 1991 with new vocalist Deni Hines and scored a hit with a cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which peaked at number five in January 1992. Their next single, "That Word (L.O.V.E.)," peaked at number four in June, while their second album, Form 1 Planet, peaked at number two. Deni Hines went on to a successful solo career. ~ Brendan Swift