Human Frailty Pty Ltd
The Closest Living Thing
Information: Mark Seymour solo acoustic album released in Scandinavia and Canada, a 'best of' from the Australian releases Daytime and the Dark and Titanic.
Released In: [Scandinavia] [Canada].
Release Date: Scandinavia: 28 May 2008. Canada: 30 June 2009.
Australian Chart Position: (not released in Australia).
Availability: Moderately common. Available new (in Scandinavia and Canada) in CD form.
Highly recommended track.
Version: Promising Records Scandinavian CD album.
Album length: 49 minutes, 47 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: N/A.
02. Holy Grail
03. Say Goodbye
08. Blind Eye
09. Back in the Hole
10. The Slab
11. Hear No Evil
13. True Believers
The songs of Hunters & Collectors in acoustic versions
"I drew my attention a few years ago to the fact that I wrote most of the music Hunters and Collectors played, which was something I'd tried for a long time to ignore. The best of the band's work has become part of my repertoire".
Strange but true - it took the success of Mark Seymour's first acoustic album, Daytime & the Dark, to alert him to the gravity of his own legacy. His latest solo album with new material, Westgate, earned stunning reviews last year, but he's also learned that Hunters & Collectors' songs are not his to ignore.
The brand new album, The closest living thing, is loaded to the lifeboats with some of that great Australian band's best loved songs, retooled in a potent acoustic form that pays due respect to a unique live energy, while bringing tighter focus to music and lyrics alike.
It ranges from Talking To a Stranger, the groundbreaking classic of '82, to a revelatory selection from the band's swansong album of '98. Then again, one of his favourite new interpretations originally hailed from the Hunters' breakthrough album of '86, Human Frailty: "Everything's On Fire is the stand out. A huge improvement on the original in my opinion."
As for Say Goodbye, a song that's drawn as much sweat as any in the Australian pub rock canon, "It's a real success," says Mark. "The acoustic treatment has worked well here. It'll be a real headturner live, I'm sure. The boys who are now grey and bent will be bellowing that line again, if they've got any sense."
Doubtless - and like the singer, they may have an even stronger grip on its irony and nuances; and a more considered appreciation of the passionate lyricism of Holy grail, Hear No Evil, Do you see what I see? and others.
Meanwhile - strange but true - Mark Seymour has never sounded more alive.
MARK SEYMOUR "The closest living thing - The songs of Hunters & Collectors in brand new acoustic versions"
Record label: Promising Records - a division of Lovande Projekt
1980 H&C born in Melbourne as a brash nouveau-rock experiment with
brass and found percussion.
Also available in Scandinavia through Lovande Projekt:
More titles available through import, Itunes or at www.markseymour.com.au
Do You See What I See? Original version appears on the Hunters & Collectors album "What's A Few Men?/Fate" (1987/1988)
Holy Grail. Original version appears on "Cut" (1992).
Say Goodbye. Original version appears on "Human Frailty" (1986).
When the River Runs Dry. Original version appears on "Ghost Nation" (1989).
Titanic. Original version appears on Juggernaut (1998).
Throw Your Arms Around Me. Original version appears on "The Way to Go Out" (1985).
Talking to a Stranger. Original version appears on "Hunters & Collectors" (1982).
Blind Eye. Original version appears on "Ghost Nation" (1989).
Back in the Hole. Original version appears on "Demon Flower" (1994).
The Slab. Original version appears on "The Jaws of Life" (1984).
Hear No Evil. Original version appears on "Cut" (1992).
Whats A Few Men? Original version appears on "What's A Few Men?/Fate" (1987/1988)
True Believers. Original version appears on Juggernaut (1998).
Everythings On Fire. Original version appears on "Human Frailty" (1986).
All songs produced & engineered by Cameron McKenzie.
Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 11, 12 were originally released in Australia and New Zealand on the Liberation Acoustic series album "Daytime and the Dark" (2005). Tracks 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 are from the Liberation album "Titanic" (2007).
Words: Mark Seymour.
Mark Seymour - Vocals & guitars
This collection is compiled by Niclas Green & Mark Seymour
Acoustic music has saved me. In 1996 I stepped onto a small stage in North Melbourne with nothing more in mind than to have a blow while Hunters and Collectors had a rest. I was bored, jaded and in that numb state that songwriters have to drag themselves through sometimes, when the songs become trapped in the head from too much routine and tedium. I felt as though I had nothing more to say and that somehow if I could give the 'live thing' a serious shake up, the imagination might benefit too!
I'd been quietly nurturing the idea of presenting my voice in a way that left nothing to the imagination. Could I really sing, or was it as I sometimes felt, an angst-ridden squawk all tarted up with buckets of electronic effects buried inside a wall of drums, brass and bass?
The room was called the "Public Bar". Interesting place. Back packers go there. For a local pub it has a strangely European feeling. I had at that time about an hour of material and though I'm not sure I was that convincing, (somebody yelled out a request for Peter Frampton), it was the most adrenalin filled hour I'd lived through in years. I was hooked.
The rawness of the acoustic experience has fuelled my writing ever since. As the years have passed, the songs have grown and evolved in new and unexpected ways. To be blunt, like many singer songwriters of my generation, the willingness of commercial radio stations to play our 'new stuff' has all but dried up which has forced us to really take a good hard look at why we're still in the game. And the answer I came up with is the same as it always was. Live performance is my lifeblood. It's what I do. But it is also the crucible of great music.
I discovered once again that age old truism of rock n' roll. If it goes down like a lead balloon in front of a crowd, ditch it. But the truth about great songs goes deeper than that. If a song doesn't work acoustically it doesn't work. The emotion is false. It won't speak. It won't ring true. Good songs endure. People want to hear them, and if they're really good, then the people will want to hear them again and again. So, in an industry that is getting tougher and more cynical by the minute I have found a reason to hang in there. Acoustic performance has enabled me to keep doing the thing I love most and brought new vitality and vigour to songs both old and new.
LPCD-44. This collection (P) & (C) 2008 Mark Seymour under exclusive licence for Scandinavia and Finland to Promising Records - a division of Lovande Project Projekt Stockholm, www.lovandeprojekt.se