09 May 2008

MM Vol 2 - 137 - John Farnham


MM Vol 2 #137

John Farnham

"Burn For You"

(1990)
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.
Genre:Vocal
art by Nekojin09
John Farnham to me, is about as exciting as toast. But toast can be quite usefull, especially if you own a toaster. I mean, John is OK, for a journeyman. Little River Band was probably his best time and if you twist my arm, he's probably done about 3 songs solo that I can remember. "You're the Voice" is probably world class, "One" is nostolgic. But the one for me is "Burn For You". The song itself is guilt ridden with ache, it was as if the song was written by some poor old wandering musician, sort of like a journeyman looking for understanding from whoever that might love him. Funny that. So anyway, I might go make some toast and smother it with peanut butter of love, then, I might just listen to the song again, for the millionth time. But John's Ok, yanno. Like I said, toast can be very handy sometimes.
hair what?
In a country of 20 million people John Farnham is the one Australian artist who stages arena sized concerts whenever he tours to satisfy the demand. He is without challenge Australia's most successful solo artist, on stage and on record. His Whispering Jack album was the first album to sell over a million copies in Australia alone. In September 1967 at the age of 18 he was signed to a recording contract and in December of that year released the novelty single " Sadie The Cleaning Lady" which became the biggest selling single in Australia at that time. As a song the record's success almost defies logic. What fans were responding to was "Johnny" Farnham's bright boy-next-door personality. He was someone teenage girls and the mothers could both like. Farnham was also a fine singer and survived "Sadie" to release a long string of pop hits between 1967 and 1973, including the local hit versions of Three Dog Night's "One," B J Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" (#1) and David Cassidy's "Rock Me Baby. He also starred in the stage musicals Dick Whittington And His Cat, Charlie Girl and Pippin. His schedule denied Farnham trying his luck internationally or developing on record. Success continued virtually on the basis of his talent and that personality alone and in the late to mid seventies his career was reduced to nightclub and cabaret performances trading on his past. Even his record company lost faith in him and dropped him.
I hair you!
In 1980, changing from Johnny to the more mature John Farnham, he set about resurrecting his career. The trigger was a dramatically rearranged impassioned performance of the Beatles' "Help" on a nationally broadcast Royal Command TV concert. He reminded everyone what a fine singer he was, and in July released Uncovered, a well received comeback album recorded under the production eye of Little River Band's Graham Goble. In September 1982 long-time Farnham fan Goble was inspired to convince the rest of LRB they should take the radical move of removing Glenn Shorrock, singer of all the band's hits, and making Farnham their lead singer. The band's American record company was in shock. So were non-Australian fans. It was a hurdle Farnham could not overcome, and at the end of 1985 he left LRB and began work on a new make or break solo album. The anthemic single "You're The Voice restored Farnham to #1 for the first time in 17 years. The carefully crafted adult contemporary October 1986 album Whispering Jack was No.1 for 18 weeks, and became the biggest selling album in Australian history. "You're The Voice" sold a million copies in Europe and reached the top ten in England. A consummate singer and performer since 1986 Farnham has been Australia's No.1 attraction, with successive big selling albums and sold out concert tours. International interest has continued to beckon but the dedicated family man is happy with his career as it is. ~ [Ed. Nimmervoll, All Music Guide]
For Little River Band visit the Definitive 1000 Songs #550
For Beatles visit the Definitive 1000 Songs #947, #894 & #587
This song has a crowbarred rating of 89.4 out of 108

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