One could easily make the case for designating the Masters Apprentices
as the best Australian rock band of the '60s. Featuring singer Jim Keays
and songwriter/rhythm guitarist Mick Bower
, the band's earliest recordings combined the gritty R&B/rock of Brits like the Pretty Things
with the minor-key melodies of the Yardbirds
. The compelling "Wars or Hands of Time" and the dreamy psychedelia of "Living in a Child's Dream" were undiscovered classics, although the latter was a Top Ten hit in Australia. Bower
left the group after suffering a nervous breakdown in late 1967, and the Masters
grew steadily less interesting, moving from flower pop and hard rock to progressive and acoustic sounds. Plagued by instability (undergoing eight personnel changes between 1966 and 1968), the group moved to England in the early '70s, achieving some cult success with progressive rock albums before breaking up in 1972.