Surprise, surprise … here it is. When it was number 1 on the Radio Ga Ga Top 30 Australian Countdown, I wrote:
“It’s got everything, hasn’t it. One of the very best songwriters in Australia at that time (Johnny Young – his third song in my top 11), one of Australia’s finest bands of the time (The Groop, featuring the voice of Brian Cadd), one of Australia’s pre-eminent record producers (still known as Ian Meldrum in those days) and of course, the exceptional musical skills and singing voice of Russell Morris.
It couldn’t possibly fail, could it. But it pushed the boundaries of sensible record production at the time, allowing a little over three minutes of ad lib at the end, culminating in a choris by Hitler Youth, calling out “Sieg Heil” as the last words of the song. a song that lasted 6 minutes and 20 seconds when records were only meant to go for a maximum of 3 minutes.
It is a masterpiece of the highest order. I continually quiz my children – who, of today’s artists, will write the next Stairway to Heaven, the next Bohemian Rhapsody or the next The Real Thing? That’s where it ranks in my estimation.
And, finally a couple of pieces of trivia about this record – it is the only known record on which Ian “Molly” Meldrum is heard singing (in verse two) and the female voice who sings the high note at the end of the song is Maureen Elkner who re-visited the charts six or seven years later with a song that missed the Top 30 by some distance – Rak Off Normie.
Outstanding, brilliant, one of a kind.”
That’s all for this countdown … back in September for another Radio Ga Ga Top 30 Countdown. In the meantime, keep in touch via the web site (http://www.radiogaga.org.au), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/radiogaga3wbc) or Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/neilbutler3wbc).
That’s all she wrote.