Born Sandy Devotional

Born Sandy Devotional is an album by The Triffids, released in March 1986.[1] All the songs on the album were written by David McComb. The album was recorded at Mark Angelo Studios in London in August 1985 with Gil Norton co-producing with the band,[1] and mixed at Amazon Studios in Liverpool in September 1985.[2] The cover photo shows Mandurah, Western Australia – now a large urban centre – as it appeared in 1961.

Born Sandy Devotional
Theids rel 2.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1986
RecordedMark Angelo Studios, London
August 1985
Length35:51 (original)
72:36 (2006 reissue)
ProducerGil Norton / The Triffids
The Triffids chronology
Love in Bright Landscapes
Born Sandy Devotional
In The Pines
Singles from Born Sandy Devotional
  1. "Wide Open Road"
    Released: February 1986

When we finished Born Sandy Devotional I knew it was the best thing we’d ever done, there was no question about it. The writing was much more autobiographical than anything I’d done before, I felt quite close to the subject matter. I found myself almost following the idea of fidelity as a complete all-consuming faith, to give you some sort of direction or something.

And 'Born Sandy Devotional'? It was the name of a song which didn’t make it onto the record which is about someone called Sandy ... I like titles like those, they’re just a law unto themselves and they have a feeling unto themselves.

Born Sandy Devotional is the culmination of our efforts trying to capture our more considered lyrical approach with a physical intensity ... well not really, but that will have to do. David McComb -[3]

Born Sandy Devotional reached No. 37 on the Australian Album Charts[4] and No. 18 on the Swedish Album Charts in 1986.[5]

On 12 June 2006, Domino Records released a remastered edition including eight bonus tracks and the video for "Wide Open Road". The bonus tracks were selected by Graham Lee. The album was remastered from the original analogue recordings in Melbourne in February 2006. A limited edition was also released by Domino Records containing a 40-page booklet with copies of the hand written lyrics for the 10 songs taken from David McComb's original notebooks (which differ slightly from the actual words sung) and notes and photographs about the making of the album.

The remastered edition of Born Sandy Devotional reached No. 39 on the Belgium Album Charts in July 2006.[6]

On 11 August 2007, SBS in Australia aired a one-hour documentary on the Triffids and Born Sandy Devotional as the 1980s' representative of their Great Australian Albums series. In October 2010 it was listed at No. 5 in the book 100 Best Australian Albums.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [8]
The Guardian     [9]
Mojo     [10]
Q     [11]
Sounds     [12]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [13]

"All the other rock is howling around, picking the sand out of its eyes, and The Triffids, on this hurricane form, make it look like a swarm of legless lizards. They've evidently taken their time, but unleash their true masterpiece when their nearest rivals clog their own arteries with pomp and frigid pretentiousness. Leaving a note on the fridge, The Triffids cap their climax with a lyrical wall and a mercurial lacing of melody.

Tapping out their oaths in rich words and cured kisses of harmony, they stampede back with the best, most brilliantly brusque LP of the year so far. They make the human verb rain thunder and it's almost a miracle."

Sounds - John Wilde[12]

"After years of getting there, The Triffids have at last delivered what they've long promised: Born Sandy Devotional is a masterpiece....

Music, after all, expresses that which lies beyond words; and this is music of an order to be taken seriously... Born Sandy Devotional boldly reoccupies the territory rock has abandoned in its retreat into self obsession, and so throws down the challenge to the rest of the field. Have you the imagination to accept?"

NME - Mat Snow

"At last somebody's released Born Sandy Devotional, which was finished nearly a year ago but has been bouncing around between dithering record companies ever since. God knows why because it's a classic, 10 songs of love and life in a hostile sub-tropical landscape. David McComb wrote the lot and it's a substantial achievement. His lyrics display real writer's insight, and mould imperceptibly to his unhurried melodies....

In The Seabirds, he explores a drowning love affair in a song so vivid it resembles a short story with pictures. I'll have worn my copy out soon. What more can I tell you?"

Melody Maker - Adam Sweeting[3]

Track listingEdit

Original editionEdit

All songs written by David McComb.[14]

  1. "The Seabirds" - 3:20
  2. "Estuary Bed" - 4:49
  3. "Chicken Killer" - 3:51
  4. "Tarrilup Bridge" - 3:21
  5. "Lonely Stretch" - 5:02
  6. "Wide Open Road" - 4:08
  7. "Life of Crime" - 4:24
  8. "Personal Things" - 2:57
  9. "Stolen Property" - 6:47
  10. "Tender Is the Night (The Long Fidelity)" - 3:53

Remastered editionEdit

  1. "The 107" - 3:28 : Recorded on an early four track cassette Portastudio in November 1984 and mixed at Greg Wadley's Spill Studios in January 2006. "The 107" and "When a Man Turns Bad" run into each other on the original recording, probably accidentally, and have been deliberately left this way on the remastered edition.
  2. "When a Man Turns Bad" - 4:35
  3. "Of the Plaza" - 2:40 : Was originally recorded as a solo vocal version on a 1984 cassette labelled New Songs. According to the album liner notes it appeared once in an early list of possible songs for Born Sandy Devotional.
  4. "White Shawl" - 1:08 : Was also found on the same cassette as the previous track.
  5. "Convent Walls" - 4:04 : A song that appeared in early track lists for Born Sandy Devotional but was eventually relegated to B side status. Recorded in Albert Studios in Sydney, 1985 with Margaret Labi guesting on backing vocals.
  6. "Time of Weakness" - 3:12 : This song, according to the album liner notes, was a part of Born Sandy Devotional until a very late stage, where it got bumped for the track, "Personal Things", as there was an issue with the running time or length of the LP. This version of the song was recorded live by Mitch Jones on 23 November 1985 at the Graphic Arts Club in Sydney and mixed by Rob Muir in Perth.
  7. "Born Sandy Devotional" - 5:07 : This version has been reworked, as it only ever appeared as a truncated version on the album, In The Pines.
  8. "Wish to See No More" - 1:59 : This is another song that was listed for inclusion on Born Sandy Devotional and also for In the Pines but was not included on either.
  9. "Tender Is the Night (The Long Fidelity) Alt. vers." - 3:40 : Was recorded on the same cassette as the first two songs, "The 107" and "When a Man Turns Bad", with McComb and Birt singing this as a duet.
  1. "Wide Open Road" - video track


The TriffidsEdit

Credited to:[1]

Additional musiciansEdit

  • Sally Collins - backing vocals
  • Fay Brown - backing vocals
  • Adam Peters - cello, keyboards, piano
  • Chris Abrahams - piano, vibraphone
  • Lesley Wynne - viola


  1. ^ a b c Holmgren, Magnus; Skjefte, Morten; Warnqvist, Stefan; Simonetti, Vince. "The Triffids". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 28 July 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. ^ Discogs album credits - Born Sandy Devotional
  3. ^ a b Melody Maker (2 August 1986) Archived 27 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  5. ^ Australian charts
  6. ^ Chart Listing - Born Sandy Devotional
  7. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  8. ^ Neate, Wilson. "Born Sandy Devotional – The Triffids". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  9. ^ Simpson, Dave (9 June 2006). "The Triffids, Born Sandy Devotional". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  10. ^ "The Triffids: Born Sandy Devotional". Mojo: 120. [E]pic swarthiness, shambling sweetness and tense folk-blues.
  11. ^ "The Triffids: Born Sandy Devotional". Q: 127. Hugely underrated, head Triffid David MacComb was equally capable writing the diet-pilled trucker cyclone 'Lonely Stretch' or the wistful 'Wide Open Road', a eulogy for a relationship that's run its course.
  12. ^ a b Wilde, Jonh (21 June 1986). "Sandy Sure". Sounds. Archived from the original on 27 October 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  13. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  14. ^ Australasian Performing Rights Association Archived 24 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit