Music Labyrinth Episode 026
Under The Milky Way / The Church
Hello, Good Evening, and welcome to episode 26 of The Music Labyrinth. Twenty six, of course, is the number of full miles in a marathon and, while we are hopeful of being here for the long haul, in Music Labyrinth terms, episode 26 does not appear to be within site of the finish line. Don’t forget that if you wish to catch up on any past episodes or contribute to any future ones, the best way to do that is to hop over to www.nonshedders.net and click the link to The Music Labyrinth. Now, in a process that should hardly surprise you, the Experienced Listener, we commenced this episode where we ended the previous, with Under The Milky Way, from The Church’s 1988 album, Starfish. That song has become something of an Australian classic, but it also charted highly in the US, what was then the UK, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands. There have been cover versions and TV and film uses, but what strikes me most about this song (and what we will use to justify onward progress through the labyrinth) is that notion of standing under that light trail that is so familiar to all of us and gazing up in awe. And so, while I picture myself standing and gazing up in awe, I know that, without fail, I will try to locate one particular constellation.
Southern Cross / Crosby, Stills & Nash
From the 1982 album Daylight Again, that was Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash - although that’s not quite true. David Crosby was late to the sessions that resulted in that album, and he does not appear on the track we just heard. Instead, the lovely harmonies in the song were built around the voices of Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Timothy B Schmidt and Art Gunfunkel. So, lets go again: From the 1982 album Daylight Again, that was Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, Schmidt and Garfunkel. You heard it first here on The Music Labyrinth. I wonder if any of the people who contributed to that track took the advice on this next singer, and got the tattoo?
Southern Cross Tattoo / Kate Miller-Heidke
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where a few moments ago we listened to the delightful Kate Miller-Heidke and her wry observations of the cliches of contemporary Australian culture in her song Southern Cross Tattoo. That track was unreleased until it appeared on disc 2 of her album The Best of Kate Miller-Heidke: Act One. I couldn’t help but notice that the track immediately following Southern Cross Tattoo on that album is a cover version of something that we REALLY should play right now, especially as this is the week immediately following Christmas. So, have a box of tissues handy, because if this does not bring a tear to your eye, you need to ensure that your existence is not part of an elaborate artificial intelligence project. Here is Tim Minchin’s White Wine In The Sun.
White Wine In The Sun / Tim Minchin
Just as an aside - the website www.timminchin.com indicates that every dollar made from purchases of White Wine In The Sun up until 31 January will go to Autism Spectrum Australia. Alternatively, you can go to the webpage of that organisation and make a direct donation. Go on! In 2019 Tim Minchin co-wrote and starred in the TV mini-series Upright. He also wrote the music for the series, including this song subsequently recorded and released by Missy Higgins.
Carry You / Missy Higgins
Here we are still within The Music Labyrinth where we just listened to Missy Higgins’ lovely version of Carry You, written by Tim Minchin for the TV series Upright. Missy Higgins has proven herself a gifted and successful writer of original songs, but she is not shy about ripping out a cover version, including a cover of this song written by Randy Newman and first released in 1967 by Alan Price.
Simon Smith and The Amazing Dancing Bear / Alan Price
As mentioned earlier, Simon Smith and The Amazing Dancing Bear was written by the very prolific and even more clever Randy Newman. He has enjoyed a long career of hits in his own right, and many of his songs have been successfully covered by established artists, including this one from 1986.
You Can Leave Your Hat On / Joe Cocker
From 1986 that was Joe Cocker’s version of the Randy Newman song, You Can Leave Your Hat On. The song featured, of course, in the movie 9 1/2 Weeks, and it appears on Cocker’s 10th album, called - Cocker. Also on that album, Joe Cocker covers this song from 1971 by Marvin Gaye.
Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) / Marvin Gaye
This is The Music Labyrinth and, if you spent the short break wondering why your head already contained a version of our next song, I can help. The song we heard just before the break was Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye, and it comes from his groundbreaking 1971 album What’s Going On. The last minute or so of Inner City Blues consists of a refrain to the album’s title tune, which is why you are already most of the way to our next tune. But we’re not listening to Marvin Gaye’s original. Instead, I located this quite lovely cover of the song by Amos Lee.
What’s Going On / Amos Lee
That was Amos Lee’s version of Marvin Gaye’s legendary song, What’s Going On. In 2013 Amos Lee contributed to a complication album of the music of John Denver called The Music Is You: A Tribute To John Denver. Now, call me cautious, but I’m not prepared to guide us into the John Denver part of the Labyrinth for fear that we may get stuck and drive ourselves into a permanent state of delirium. However, I did notice that another contributor to that compilation album was a young American soul singer who is building a solid reputation in the music caper. Here is Allen Stone with Perfect World.
Perfect World / Allen Stone
From his 2015 album Radius, that was Allen Stone with Perfect World. I can’t tell you a whole lot about Allen Stone, but I notice that he was born and raised near Spokane, Washington, and Spokane takes me immediately to our next song. Before we hear that tune, let me say thank you for joining me in The Music Labyrinth, and if you have been around for the half a year that the show has existed, thanks for your loyalty and support. We’ll be here again next week, which is next year as well! To take us over that boundary, lets listen to one of my favourite tunes in which the subject sells his coat when he hits Spokane. This is Ray LaMontagne and Jolene.
Jolene / Ray LaMontagne