He’s a successful Australian songwriter, with great hits like Noiseworks’ Hot Chilli Woman. But there is much more to Balbi than many realise.
An inauspicious ad in a local newspaper - “WRITER WANTS WRITER TO WORK WITH” - founded a rock group that went on to become one of the most iconic bands of the late 80s in Australia.
Noiseworks had a string of hits leading up to their final album, but Hot Chilli Woman is the track that remains in the Australian psyche when we think of The Works. It can therefore come as something of a revelation that their most famous track wasn’t created by lead singer Jon Stevens, but was instead penned by founding member Steve Balbi.
A successful Australian songwriter, there is much more to Balbi than many realise, having worked with musical icons such as David Bowie, Tom Jones, Jimmy Barnes and Michael Hutchence.
The early beginnings of Noiseworks can be traced back to Balbi responding to that simple ad. Upon arriving at the meeting, another musician who also responded to the ad was there. His name was Justin Stanley, and he would become the keyboard player of Noiseworks. Whilst this initial songwriting trio didn’t work out, there was a “synergy” between Balbi and Stanley.
The duo soon were soon joined by Jon Stevens, Stuart Fraser and Kevin Nicol, with whom Steve Balbi was already playing. “We had a play and it felt really good, and then we thought it can’t hurt to see what happens, so we wrote some songs.” Their first round of songs was written with LA-based producer, Louie Sheldon, who took the tracks to Sony, landing them a record deal.Continue reading: Steve Balbi
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