For just over four years between 1996 and 2000, the world of Aussie music was practically defined by the Saturday morning staple Recovery.
If you grew up in the ’90s, then Recovery was practically required viewing for any Aussie music fan. Hosted by the iconic and free-spirited Dylan Lewis, the program showcased some of the greatest local and international bands of the era, often featuring them the day after performing headline shows around the country.
Featuring interviews, live performances, and more references to Monkey than usually expected, the show was a cultural landmark for Aussie music fans, and served as essential viewing for those seedy Saturday mornings.
While we’ve seen repeated calls for Recovery to make a comeback, we have however received a 20th anniversary box set, a reimagining thanks to Bad//Dreems, and the recent premiere of Dylan and Jane’s new show, Recovered.
This week though, longtime fans were treated to the premiere of a long-awaited documentary by way of Recovery: The Music & The Mayhem.
Check out part of Recovery: The Music & The Mayhem:
Premiering on the ABC on Saturday morning (with a “ruder, louder, uncut version” airing on Wednesday night), the documentary serves as essential viewing for anyone who has ever professed a fondness for Australian music.
Narrated by Dylan Lewis and featuring interviews with hosts Jane Gazzo, Leigh Whannell, and Angus “The Enforcer” Sampson, executive producer Paul Clarke, music producer Karen Leng, and members of Custard, Jebediah, Frenzal Rhomb, Something For Kate, The Living End, and Silverchair, the hour-long special felt like less of a documentary and more of a family reunion.
Add in highlights of some of the most iconic performances (including Public Enemy’s accidental on-air rehearsal and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s legendary appearance) and interviews with legendary musicians (including Lewis’ chat with Rivers “River Weezer” Cuomo), and you’ve got a program that leaves you wanting so much more the second its over.
“Working on Recovery back in the day was rad. It was crazy, loose and so fun,” explained Dylan of the documentary. “Putting together this rockumentary has been nostalgic bliss for me and I can’t wait for old fans and new ones to experience it.”
Check out Magic Dirt performing ‘Rabbit With Fangs’ on Recovery:
Of course, the only question that remains now is what does the future hold for Recovery? Sadly, with programs like The Set already serving as a performance-based live music program on the ABC, the chances of us seeing a full-blown Recovery reunion added to the roster looks slim.
However, with the Recovery doco bringing in 252,000 viewers compared to the 417,000 that the ARIAs attracted last night, it seems that nostalgia and classic Aussie music is still a big winner for fans around the country.
While there’s nothing to stop you from signing endless petitions or the show to be brought back, is there anything out there to satiate the appetite you have for the music of the era and the show’s iconic hosts?
Sure, we can hold out for a Recovery music festival (now wouldn’t that be a dream?), but we can also be sure to head on over to the Recovered YouTube channel, where Dylan Lewis and Jane Gazzo can be found chatting to some of the best Aussie musicians going around today.
Think The Bennies, Slowly Slowly, and Press Club, and chuck in reviews, memories, and everything else you can possibly imagine, and you’ve got an answer to the question “what would Recovery look like today?”
If you’re keen to check out the Recovery: The Music & The Mayhem doco, it’s available on ABC iView right now, while the Recovered YouTube channel is alive and kicking and waiting for your subscriptions now.