James Reyne OAM
James Reyne OAM - Musician, Sometime Actor
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Welcome to the Darling of All Possible Discos – Yes, you are back on the floor of the Dayglo Disco ™. Divine! Let me give you a moment to readjust. Yes, all that testosterone and pheromones and estrogen. Its pretty overwhelming if you’re not used to it. Like you’ve been outside for a month picking grapes perhaps. Or solo bird watching on the Orkneys all winter … Or trapped in a submarine for a year. Hmm. You know what they say, if you can’t get lucky at the Dayglo, you ain’t never gonna get lucky. And the noise. The doof doof. The woof woof. The goof goof. CAN YOU HEAR ME? Oh good.
So tonight, you lucky punters, our guest DJ has flown all the way from Milburn (?) ... Melbunn ... oh, Melbourne. From Melbourne -- Virtual First Class on our very own Two Paddocks Virtual Airways. “We keep you well pissed all the way at 39,000 feet, Canapes extra.” Here he is – probably the most charismatic of all Aussy musos, and certainly the only half way good looking one (boy, have some ugly bands come out of that good country!) OW, who threw that FourX bottle? I’m bleeding you bastard! No, it’s a great pleasure to welcome to this vulgarly gilded VirtualStage™, the dashing and exuberantly talented...MR JAMES REYNE!
We all became JamesReyne™ fans in those early days when he lead that iconic and entirely unforgettable band Austalian Crawl. Who could forget Reckless, The Boys Light Up, Oh No Not You Again, and those excellent albums Sirocco and Sons of Beachs. But upstairs, in the TP™ office we kinda prefer JamesReynes™ solo stuff, which we strongly recommend. Some you know already Fall of Rome, Hammerhead, but do you know Mr International, Sammy & Doofus & Our Man in NY the sublime Cry Baby Killer and The Postman. And his take on Elvis - All Shook Up – when or Good Luck Charm. No? Well get on iTunes™ now before security eject you summarily. A great back catalogue.
Enough from me, bring him on boys, an old mucker of The Prop from way back when, a great performer, a handsome bastard, an annoyingly good actor (do more, son!) and an all round good bugger...Ladies and Gentlemen – a big Dayglo™ hand for the wonderful ... MR JAMESREYNE™!
In no particular order with no particular place to go, and bearing in mind any choices in any top ten list could change from day to day, herewith my favourite ten songs ...
Top 10 Tunes
One for My Baby (and One More for the Road) - Frank SinatraJust great, great singing. To me, possibly one of the best vocal performances ever. When does he breathe? Keeping in mind this would have been one of a couple of takes (if that); no over-dubbing, no "drop-ins", nothing to fix in the mix. A beautiful tune and a lyric by the peerless pop poet, Johnny Mercer. Urbane, melancholic, metropolitan magic.
Cowboy's Dream No. 19 - Dan Hicks And The Hot LicksI could have chosen nearly any song from the album this is on. “The Last Train To Hicksville” is one of the most complete records I’ve heard. Every song is a sort of fulfilled little prize. You hear this tune and you immediately get where the rest are coming from. Spade Cooley meets cowboy folk swing meets skipping, Charlatan jazz.
Frank’s Wild Years - Tom WaitsA clear eye and a sharp ear. All treasure and trivia. Beatnik word-sling, all Halloween orange and chimney-red. Never could stand that dog.
God’s Song - Randy NewmanAgain, I could have chosen ANY number of Randy Newman songs. Just this side of maudlin, movingly sarcastic and mordantly tender. Here god gives his acerbic reason why he loves (or doesn’t) mankind.
Texas Jail Cell - Jon WayneDavid Allan Coe’s got nothin’ on this guy and his band. Funny. Shambolic. Now…where have I heard this before?!!
Design for Living - Michael Flanders and Donald SwannWritten in 1956, this song is probably more relevant and humorous than ever. Chiseled words, laconic wit and not a wasted comma.
Listen to the Lion - Van MorrisonI know the winemaker S. Neill likes to sing harmony to Van Morrison songs, and as long as his part is in the key of “E” he’s not too shabby at all. However, I defy anyone to catch or scratch the matchless Van on this true growling incantation of Caledonia soul.
Spanish Moon - Little FeatI could have put down Dixie Chicken or Long Distance Love or Roll Em Easy or Sailin’ Shoes or … Simply one of the greatest bands ever when lead by Lowell George. This one doesn’t often get a mention but brings every shuffling, funky, kicked by the wind piece to the table.
Miss Judy’s Farm - The FacesRod Stewart and the best band he was ever in at their finest.
Ghostwriter - Garland JeffriesBittersweet tales. The under-appreciated Garland Jeffries has written many fabulous, often New York-based tunes, tying race and a sense of time and place into great accessible songs. Check out “I May Not Be Your Kind”, “Cool Down Boy” or “New York Skyline”.
Give it Up, if you will, for the Great MR JAMESREYNE™! [aside] Thanks old son, and please remember the goody bag. Mrs Gregan has crocheted you a couple of beanies. Very nice too - tartan. And you’ll find a box of The Prop’s Greatest Hits... As ever, still empty.