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Saturday, February 18, 2012

RUSSELL MORRIS - THE REAL THING


A few weeks back I posted Australia's Somebody's Image and their version of "Hush". Shortly after the teenage group recorded that track, singer Russell Morris was encoraged by the excellent OZ band The Groop to strike out on his own. Legend has it that producer Ian Meldrum heard composer Johnny Young perform the song (meant for another singer) and strong armed him by refusing to leave until the singer allowed the producer to cut a demo of the song, as he saw it as the perfect vehicle to launch Morris' career.

His bullying tactics proved correct, and the single became the biggest hit in Australia in 1969, and made the local charts in Chicago and New York as well.

The song itself is simple, yet catchy; however, the production (said to be the most expensive single cut in Australia up to that point) is what makes it truly outstanding. The American release (wisely, in my opinion as the final 3 minutes are quite freaky) cuts it in two, although it was the full 6:36 version that rose to the top in Australia.

Instrumental backing is provided by The Groop, and those lovely harmonies are none other than The Chiffons.

One of the most haunting records I've ever heard.

from 1969...

RUSSELL MORRIS - THE REAL THING

Part Two


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well! You shouldn't have warned us just sat back and waited for the reactions. Having said that I'm glad I get you in the evening that would be a bit much first thing.

Cheers Dave

Funky16Corners said...

I'm glad you posted Pt2. Great record!

Desmond said...

This was in my older brother's collection when I was a kid. I agree with you about the length, a short version is better and less indulgent.

The producer you mentioned was just recently in a bad accident falling off a ladder, doing all sorts of major damage, was in a coma for some weeks and is in the slow process of recovery. He may never recover but that remains to be seen.

L_TRoc said...

Here's hoping producer Ian'Molly" meldrum makes a recovery. This single was my introduction to psyche as an Adelaide youngster - been chasing the thrill ever since. For a thrill type in "Molly Meldrum Iggy Pop Countdown" into google.
Thanks for your regular elightenment.

jeff in sydney said...

On a 4 month record buying trip in the US in 1984, I came across this 45 in Melbourne, Florida, a nice mint promo, which I picked up of course. As an Aussie, we never even knew if things like this got released elsewhere, so besides being a great song, there was the novelty of it being a US pressing.

The dealer who sold it to me remarked that it had charted locally, which seemed pertinent, considering that Russell Morris hsiled from Melbourne, Australia.