Midnight Oil

The Great Australian Songbook III (30-21)

Following on from the previous thread, as the title suggests, here’s tracks 30-29.

30. YOTHU YINDI – Treaty (1991)

Did this song start a national conversation, or just get people dancing? Actually, scarily, it managed to get politicians dancing, spurring some very awkward shuffling by certain members of the ALP after Paul Keating’s famous “victory for the true believers” in 1993. I’m sure there’s incriminating evidence of Ros Kelly and Gareth “Gareth” Evans out there somewhere. But buried under the Filthy Lucre dance remix is a great song sung in both English and Yolgnu/Matha, written by Mandawuy Yunupingu with help from Paul Kelly and Peter Garrett. It was the first song by a predominantly Aboriginal band to chart in Australia (reaching number 11), and peaked at number six on the Billboard dance charts in the US. In 2009, the song was added to the National Film and Sound Archive.

29. DADDY COOL – Eagle Rock (1971)

I’m nowhere near as crazy about this song as those who routinely put it in the top 10 of these kinds of lists (APRA had it right up there at number two, behind Friday On My Mind), but I’m not about to deny its charms either, from Ross Wilson’s opening exclamation “NOW LISTEN!”… Read more..

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The Great Australian Songbook

Here’s something I can’t resist.

And truly, it’s a great idea. Take a bow, Murray Thorn, for conceiving and putting together The Great Australian Songbook: a 40-track feast of this country’s most emblematic tunes, spread across two CDs housed in a slipcase featuring lyrics, photographs and images of period memorabilia.

Then there’s the songs. Have a look at the list on the link above. I have no argument with many of them. You won’t hear me quibbling about the inclusion of the likes of Midnight Oil, the Church – well, most of the first disc actually. The second disc I can mostly live without. But of course I’m really just envious. I wish I’d done this first.

So I’ll do it second. In this here blog. Over the course of the next week, I’m going to give you my own personal top 40, with a short blurb on each. Some may even be in Thorn’s list too, because, well, he’s right, and I just can’t overlook them. Others will already have been acknowledged in APRA’s 2001 list.

But, put simply, there are too many other songs I’d like to see in here which aren’t. And too many tracks which I’d be quite gratified never to hear again.… Read more..

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