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AOTW Paul Kelly and the Messengers GOSSIP (A&M SP 5157)

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by LPJim, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. LPJim

    LPJim Well-Known Member Moderator Thread Starter

    A1 Last Train To HeavenHarmonica – Chris Wilson (6)Steel Guitar [Pedal] – Graeme Lee* 4:50
    A2 Before The Old Man DiedSaxophone – Chris CoyneSaxophone [Solo] – Joe CamilleriTrombone – Wayne FreerWritten-By – Langman* 2:33
    A3 Leaps And Bounds 3:24
    A4 Incident On South DowlingHarmonica – Chris Wilson (6) 3:13
    A5 Don't Harm The MessengerSteel Guitar [Pedal] – Graeme Lee*Vocals [Talking] – Grant McLennan 3:48
    A6 Somebody'S Forgetting Somebody (Somebody's Letting Somebody Down)Harmonica – Chris Wilson (6)Steel Guitar [Pedal] – Graeme Lee* 3:39
    A7 The Execution 4:57
    B1 Darling It HurtsWritten-By – Connolly* 3:18
    B2 Before Too LongHarmony Vocals – Astrid Munday 3:22
    B3 Look So Fine, Feel So LowBass – Michael ArmigerSaxophone – Chris CoyneTrombone – Wayne FreerWritten-By – Frawley* 3:19
    B4 Stories Of MeSaxophone – Dianne Spence 2:47
    B5 Tighten Up 3:01
    B6 Down On My SpeedwaySaxophone – Chris Coyne 3:22
    B7 White Train 2:42
    B8 Randwick BellsSaxophone [Solo] – Chris Coyne 3:22

    Released 1987
    Issued on CD in Australia & New Zealand by Mushroom Records in 1987 and reissued in 2011

    Note: the band is known as the Coloured Girls in native Australia, named after a line in Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side.' The name was changed to the Messengers in the U.S. to avoid racial connotations.

  2. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Paul Kelly is known for capturing the human condition in his lyrics and embodying in his songs the essence of life in his home country.

    Almost anybody who was aged between ten and fifty and lived in Australia in the 1980s would still be able to sing along to his songs, 'Before Too Long' and 'To Her Door', even though neither were Top 10 hits. They are the type of song that are now woven into the fabric of the country. While not exactly anthemic in structure, they are the kinds of song that almost cause everyone to stand to attention and sing them when they are played in public.

    Paul Kelly was, for a while, to the Australian public, what I imagine Bruce Springsteen was to the American public, (although his music is nothing like Springsteen's). The lack of obvious commerciality in his recordings was possibly one of the traits that Australians found appealing. (Almost a non-trait).

    Another draw-card of Kelly's material was the fact that he spoke to and of the working-class man / woman. Take, for example, a set of lyrics from one of his best-loved songs, 'To Her Door':-
    "They got married early.
    Never had much money.
    Then when he got laid off,
    He really hit the skids.
    He started up his drinking.
    Then they started fighting.
    He took it pretty badly.
    She took both the kids".

    Kelly's songs have been covered by a range of artists, including Australian indigenous artist, Jimmy Little, on his brilliant album, 'Messenger', ('Randwick Bells').

    I imagine that Paul Kelly's music speaks so strongly of a certain place that people from other parts of the world are unlikely to 'get' it, (even though he covers universal themes, as in the lyrics above). His recordings probably aren't in a style that was going to grab people by the ears, if they are conditioned to hearing their music framed in particular settings.

    But if you were in Australia in the 1980s, you would certainly know his music!
    LPJim likes this.

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