As Martha and the Vandellas once put, “They’re dancing in the street in Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore and DC now…can’t forget the Motor City…Across the ocean blue, me and you.”
The music of Motown traveled around the globe, landing on the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia, where four high school students—brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney, Phil Burton and Toby Allen—were more interested in soul, gospel and harmony groups than their country’s usual obsession with “guitars, grunt and good old rock and roll.” Forming a singing group that began as a tribute to their love of a cappella doo-wop, the foursome was directed to the music of the legendary label by a music teacher.
That was 24 years ago. Today, Human Nature are Australia’s leading pop vocal group, having released nine albums (many containing their own, self-penned original material), five of which went to #1 in their native continent, selling millions of records world-wide and garnering 24 platinum awards, 18 Top 40 hits and five Top 10 hits. The group has opened for Celine Dion and Michael Jackson in Europe and Australia. Their chart-topping Motown tribute, Reach Out, went five-times-platinum, attracting the attention of famed songwriter Smokey Robinson, who recorded “Get Ready” with them and presented them in an exclusive booking at Las Vegas’ Imperial Palace, where they have played five and six nights a week to sold-out crowds for the past two and a half years.