Powderfinger Prep Album of Unreleased Material for 20th Anniversary of ‘Odyssey Number Five’

First, the virtual gig. Now Powderfinger will open the vault to celebrate a year of special anniversaries.

The cherished Australian rockers are compiling an album of 10 unreleased recordings, set for release later this year. It’s led by the single “Day By Day,” due to drop Sept. 18, the first new material from the band since 2009’s Golden Rule.

The five-piece rediscovered the tracks as they scoured the archives ahead of the 20th anniversary release of Odyssey Number Five, their ARIA Award-winning, chart topping fourth studio album.

“We trawled through our hard drives and went, ‘This is actually a pretty good bunch of songs here,'” Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton said Monday (Aug. 31) in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“‘Maybe we should do more than just put them out as extras. Maybe we should do something with it. See if anyone’s interested in listening’.”

The unearthed cuts span about 10 years, and “for one reason or another just didn’t make the cut at the time, or just didn’t suit the purposes of whatever we were doing,” Middleton continues.

Rumors of a reunion have circulated since the group reactivated its social accounts, and reunited in May for One Night Lonely, a virtual gig which raised more than A$505,000 for Support Act, the national charity that helps artists, roadies and music workers in crisis, and Beyond Blue, an organization that provides advice and support on mental health issues.

This year also marks a decade since the band from Brisbane were an active outfit. The classic lineup of Bernard Fanning (vocals), Ian Haug (guitars), Middleton (guitars), John Collins (bass) and Jon Coghill (drums) went their separate ways in 2010 with a final Sunsets lap of the country, which sold more than 200,000 tickets.

Produced by Nick DiDia, ON5 featured their biggest international hit, “My Happiness,” and it’s one of five successive Powderfinger albums to hit No. 1 on the national ARIA Chart. It went on to win several ARIA Awards, including highest selling album and best rock album, with The ‘Finger, as they’re affectionately known in these parts, taking out best group.

The fans spoke in 2011, when OD5 scooped Triple J’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time poll.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, a “Deluxe Edition” will be available from Sept. 4, pressed on 180-gram colored vinyl, packaged in a gatefold sleeve with photos and new liner notes written by the band.

The vinyl release has been remastered by Don Bartley from Benchmark Mastering and is spread across two records.

According to a statement, the original 11-track album has also been expanded to 21 recordings, now enriched with B-sides, alternate takes and a collection of covers, including “Love My Way” (originally by Psychedelic Furs), “Rocket Reducer No. 62” (The MC5) and “The Number Of The Beast” (Iron Maiden), plus previously-unreleased versions of “Transmission” (Joy Division) and “Let Him Dangle” (Elvis Costello).

In addition, remastered high-definition videos from the album will roll out weekly on YouTube ahead of the big release.

It’s only a matter of time before the lads are inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, having sold more than 2.5 million albums and won 18 ARIA Awards, the third highest total all-time behind Silverchair (21) and John Farnham (20).

“And if anyone is wondering,” founding guitarist Haug explains, “no, we aren’t going to be doing a ‘tour’ or any shows when it’s possible.”