A Short Dedication To ‘Recovery’ (1996 – 2000) & How Much I Love ‘Rage’

Can’t really talk about Recovery without first discussing Rage. Just found out that the Australian music program is in fact the oldest music video program in production, having first broadcast in April 1987 in the same minimal format it still goes out as today. Starting sometime between 11pm and 1am originally each night on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) but now only Friday and Saturday, Rage has been a consistency in any Australian music lovers life, playing back-to-back music videos until the morning.

The closest thing you have to a host would be the guest programmers – normally touring artists or Australian bands – playing whatever they felt like for anywhere between two and six hours on a Friday night to a Saturday morning. Memorable sessions for me personally include DJ Shadow, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, The Dandy Warhols and Tool, but there’s a more expanded list up here you can check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rage_guest_programmers.

Xzibit playing mostly Deftones tracks was also a bit of a curveball that I sort of have remorse about staying up for, but that’s the thing about Rage, the selections were always an insight in to influences and current likes of your favourite artists, often recorded to VHS for sharing later. The slot’s moved to Saturday mornings after 10:30am for an hour and then picked up around midnight the same night for the extended session. Rage Guest Programmer segments are still amazing, I know because I watched Cut Copy this week and Elefant Traks the week before.

Back in the day local bands would send in a couple hundred bucks alongside their own video tape and wait for the reply of when their clip would be shown. I’m sure this process has changed, but one thing that remains is that Rage is still an icon and institution of the country. I take comfort in the fact that I can still flick on the TV 3am or 6am Saturday morning and Rage will be there playing studio and live clips from any era or genre, for hours on end. It’s pretty much my favourite thing.

Between 1996 and 2000, Rage was followed on a Saturday morning by Recovery (though occasionally it was a three hour Monkey marathon). Following the non-stop clip show Recovery gave us hosts, interviews and most importantly live performances. It was something to look forward, and the sessions are popping up more and more on Rage as the next generation of artists are featured as guest programmers.

Recovery was great, even though the format was constantly changing in terms of location and until it eventually getting really boring and focussing purely on electronic music. Prior to this though it caught the likes of Green Day, Blink 182, Sonic Youth, Weezer, Faith No More and The John Spencer Blues Explosion all at their best as they passed through on various tours and festivals. It was the local scene that really made the show though, and below we’ve selected some of our favourite performances from the four year recovery run. The Avalanches, TISM, Regurgitator, Grinspoon and Not From There are selected but Frenzhal Rhomb, Spiderbait, Eskimoe Joe, Gerling and The Living End are all available online to check out.