Music Labyrinth Episode 075
I Shall Be Released / Jack Johnson (feat. ALO) (2003)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 75 of The Music Labyrinth. If we begin to think about our episode numbers in terms of the years of the 20th Century, we are now into the period of my early teens, and I think, in many ways, it remains my musical comfort zone. But, by any standard, 1975 was a momentous year, and I feel some obligation to try to deliver a momentous show in its honour. 1975 was the year of the Watergate scandal that brought down a US President. It is also the year that the Lake Illawarra brought down the Tasman Bridge. The Rocky Horror Show first opened on Broadway, and Jeff Beck released his jazz influenced best selling album Blow By Blow (which graced my record collection in the following years). 1975 was also the year that Muhammad Ali defeated Jo Frazier in The Thrilla In Manila. So, with them fighting words ringing in our minds, lets get into round one of episode 75 of The Music Labyrinth. Our show opened this evening with Jack Johnson and ALO with their version of the Bob Dylan song I Shall Be Released. ALO are the Animal Liberation Orchestra, who formed in Saratoga, California around the end of the last millennium. In the early part of this millennium, the band members rekindled their college friendship with Jack Johnson and made on stage appearances at each other’s gigs. It was during this period that the next song, by ALO, became popular with their fans. This is Girl I Want To Lay You Down.
Girl I Want To Lay You Down / ALO (2004)
That trippy, happy, poppy little number was the band ALO with Girl I Want To Lay You Down. You probably picked up on the reference in the lyrics to peanut butter, and its obviously a different style than that which lives in my pantry, which is neither smooth nor creamy. Anyway, it sent me off looking for other songs containing references to that particular super-food. Here is but one of them.
Peanut Man / Tim Buckley (1973)
From his eighth studio album, 1973’s Sefonia, that was Tim Buckley with Peanut Man. Tim Buckley generated an impressive and diverse body of work before his death at the age of 28. He had married at the age of 18, but divorced a few months before his son was born in 1966. That little boy was Jeff Buckley, and he too produced an impressive body of work before he too died prematurely at the age of 30. This is Last Goodbye.
Last Goodbye / Jeff Buckley (1994)
From his astounding 1994 album Grace, that was Jeff Buckley with Last Goodbye. After his death in 1997, a double album of Jeff Buckley recordings was released; Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. On that album, Jeff Buckley performed a version of this song from 1974.
Back in N.Y.C. / Genesis (1974)
On The Music Labyrinth that was your fortnightly dose of Peter Gabriel, brought to you this time in the form of Genesis, from their concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, with the song Back In N.Y.C. I suspect that you, The Listener, will be entirely unsurprised to hear that I have favourites, and that Peter Gabriel, Genesis and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway all count towards that category. And so, what a perfect opportunity we are presented with now! Because another song, celebrating the city known as N.Y.C., was recorded in 1997 by another favourite of The Music Labyrinth. Here is Steve Earle.
NYC / Steve Earle (1997)
From his 1997 album El Corozon, that was Steve Earle with NYC. El Corozon is Spanish for The Heart - keep that thought in mind for just a moment. On the song we just heard, NYC, Steve Earle is backed by The Supersuckers, a band from Tucson, Arizona. In 2000, both Steve Earle and The Supersuckers contributed separately to a fundraising album called Free The West Memphis 3. The Supersuckers contribution to that album was this heart-related song, written by Australia’s Tim Rogers and originally recorded by You Am I. This is Heavy Heart.
Heavy Heart / You Am I (1998)
That was You Am I with Heavy Heart. On Halloween, 2015, the US TV concert program Austin City Limits featured an Australian performer who included a performance of Heavy Heart in the set list for that show, claiming it to be her favourite song. That artist was Courtney Barnett, and from her most recent album, this is Here’s The Thing.
Here’s The Thing / Courtney Barnett (2021)
On The Music Labyrinth, that was Courtney Barnett from her 2021 album, Things Take Time, Take Time, with Here’s The Thing. Courtney Barnett arrived at widespread national attention with her 2015 album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Just before the release of that album, Courtney Barnett appeared on the SBS program Rockwiz, and together with Prime Ministerial favourite Billy Bragg she performed this version of the Velvet Underground song, Sunday Morning.
Sunday Morning / Billy Bragg & Courtney Barnett (2014)
At this point of The Music Labyrinth we have been engaged in all things Courtney Barnett and Rockwiz, and I see no pressing reason to change any of that just yet. That last song was Sunday Morning, performed by Billy Bragg and Courtney Barnett on a 2014 episode of Rockwiz. A year earlier, Courtney Barnett teamed up with Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus to perform this version of a Died Pretty song. This is Everybody Moves.
Everybody Moves / Courtney Barnett & Dave Faulkner (2013)
From Rockwiz in 2013, that was Courtney Barnett and Dave Faulkner with Everybody Moves. Dave Faulkner’s appearance in The Music Labyrinth has left me in the happy situation of choosing a favourite Hoodoo Gurus song for our next stop. However, that was a bit tricky, because there are so many good’ns, but I settled on this classic from 1985.
Bittersweet / Hoodoo Gurus (1985)
From the 1985 album, Mars Needs Guitars, that was the Hoodoo Gurus with the lovely and melancholy Bittersweet. Now, here’s a complicated but interesting thing. - stay with me. Twenty years after Bittersweet, a tribute album to the music of the Hoodoo Gurus was released, called Stoneage Cameos, and featuring contributions from The Spazzys, Even, Dan Kelly, Spiderbait, The Living End and others. On that tribute album, the track Be My Guru is performed by the Persian Rugs, which is a band made up of Richard Grossman, Mark Kingsmill, Brad Shepherd and Dave Faulkner - the original Hoodoo Gurus lineup! Here are the Persian Rugs with Be My Guru.
Be My Guru / Persian Rugs (2005) *
From the tribute album Stoneage Cameos, that was the Persian Rugs with Be My Guru. Another contribution to the Stoneage Cameos album was the track (Lets All) Turn On, performed by The Wrights. Now, we’ve encountered The Wrights before, in episode 16 of The Music Labyrinth, but for those who were not paying attention, they are an Australian supergroup consisting of Nic Cester from Jet, Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger, Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon, Kram from Spiderbait, Chris Cheney of The Living End, Pat Bourke of Dallas Crane and Davey Lane of You Am I. Back in episode 16 we listened to The Wrights’ version of the classic, Evie, Pt. 3. Here they are with the even-more-classic Evie, Pt. 1.
Evie, Pt. 1 / The Wrights (2008) *
[* Apologies. Spotify did not contain the version of Be My Guru by the Persian Rugs. An alternative has been inserted. Also, Spotify listed The Wrights’ version of Evie, Pt. 1, but the link is not live, which suggests an issue about Spotify’s rights to the music of The Wrights]
On The Music Labyrinth, that was The Wrights with part one of the classic Australian song trilogy, Evie, written by Harry Vanda and George Young of The Easybeats, and originally recorded by their former Easybeats band mate Stevie Wright in 1973. And now we’ve arrived at The Easybeats, I get to choose another favourite. Easy!
St. Louis / The Easybeats (1969)
With their 1969 hit St. Louis, that was The Easybeats. That song, and so much of the music of The Easybeats, was written by the stellar songwriting team of Harry Vanda and George Young. In fact, so stellar is that songwriting team, that Albert Music and APRA honoured them by establishing the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition in 2009. We’ve touched upon this subject previously, in episode 58, but thats no reason not to do so again. In 2013, the winner of the gold medal in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition was this song, written by Isabella Manfredi. This is The Preatures with Is This How you Feel?
Is This How You Feel? / The Preatures (2013)
On The Music Labyrinth, that was The Preatures with Is This How You Feel?, the gold medal winning song of the 2013 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition. A more recent winner of that same award is Matt Corby, who co-wrote the 2019 winning song. But Matt Corby had been at the top of his game for a while. In the same year that Isabella Manfredi took out the gold gong in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition, Matt Corby won the ARIA Award for Song Of The Year with this song.
Resolution / Matt Corby (2013)
That was Matt Corby with his 2013 Aria Award winning song Resolution. 2013 was a busy and productive year for Matt Corby. In that same year, he and Missy Higgins collaborated on this contribution to a tribute album celebrating the music of Hunters & Collectors. That album is called Crucible: The Songs of Hunters & Collectors, and this is Matt Corby and Missy Higgins with This Morning.
This Morning / Matt Corby & Missy Higgins (2013)
We just listened to a cover version of the Hunters & Collectors song This Morning, performed on this occasion by Matt Corby and Missy Higgins. I’m just having the best time tonight, because once again we have arrived at a wonderful band and I have the option of choosing a favourite song. Again - a bit tricky with Hunters & Collectors, but it didn’t take me too long to make this selection.
Say Goodbye / Hunters & Collectors (1986)
That was Hunters & Collectors from 1986 with Say Goodbye. Famously, the frontman for the band was Mark Seymour and, just-as-famously, his brother Nick Seymour is a founding member of Crowded House. So, again!, another wonderful band and another opportunity for me to dip into the goody bag of hits. This is such a beautiful song. Here is Crowded House with Into Temptation.
Into Temptation / Crowded House (1988)
That was Crowded House with Into Temptation, which comes from their second album Temple Of Low Men. The cover art on that album was created by Nick Seymour and won the 1989 ARIA Award for Best Cover Art. Another musician who was recognised by ARIA for the cover art on her own album, was Ngaiire Joseph who was nominated for the Best Cover Art Award for her 2021 album, 3. From that album, this is Ngaiire with Shiver.
Shiver / Ngaiire (2019)
From her 2021 album 3, that was Ngaiire with her song Shiver, which was released as a single a couple of years ahead of the release of the album. There was some bravery on Ngaiire’s part in releasing a single called Shiver, because one of the great icons of Australian music history is the song Shivers, written in 1975 by the 16 year old Rowland S Howard, and recorded in 1979 by The Boys Next Door, who subsequently grew up to be The Birthday Party. Here is that song.
Shivers / The Boys Next Door (1979)
From 1979 that was The Boys Next Door with Shivers. That song appeared in the soundtrack of the 1986 Richard Lowenstein movie Dogs In Space. And so too did this song.
Dog Food / Iggy Pop (1980)
That was Iggy Pop from 1980 with his celebration of dog food, called Dog Food. Which got me thinking about other songs which might also reference dog food. There are quite a few, but this is my favourite of them.
Loser / Beck (1993)
That was Beck, with Loser, his 1983 self-critique of his rapping style, which propelled him from homeless, under-employed street and public transport musician to the hottest musical property in Los Angeles. I’ve dabbled in self-critique in the past, but never with that level of success! In the 1994 Triple J Hottest 100, Loser came in at number 45. Two spots above it on the countdown that year was this Christine Anu song
Monkey & The Turtle / Christine Anu (1994)
From 1994, and included on her 1995 album Stylin’ Up, that was Christine Anu with Monkey & The Turtle. And that song has brought us to the point where we find a track to bridge us over from this episode to the next. Thanks very much for your company on this episode. You know that I have enjoyed myself, because I’ve told you plenty of times. I hope you have too, and I hope that you will come back in a fortnight when we’ll continue our journey without destination. Our last song, Monkey & The Turtle was co-written by Christine Anu and the wonderful stalwart of Australian independent music, David Bridie, who has achieved success in a number of bands and also as a solo performer. Let’s end this episode on a note of optimism. From his 2008 album Succumb, this is David Bridie with This Year Is Better Than Last Year. Thanks for listening!
This Year Is Better Than Last Year / David Bridie (2008)