If you live
in Adelaide, you can buy Jim's album from Big Star CDs & Records,
in Rundle Street, City.
You can also buy the album from the Folk Trax outlet at the SA
Folk Centre, located on the corner of George Street and South Road,
(Songwriters, Composers, and Lyricists Assoc.)
Dream is available online through FolkTrax
(in the USA).
album full of bonus songs! We don't know of any other performer who has
done this previously, so we asked Jim why he was being so generous. Here
is what he writes:
"Initially, I was going
to include two or three bonus songs at the end of American
Dream, but I decided they would interfere with the overall mood and
flow of the album proper. Then I decided to put these songs onto a CDR
which I would give away at gigs. Then I thought, why
restrict the bonus CD to only three songs, why not put a full albums worth
of songs on the CDR? After all, burning a CD with three songs was just as
much work as burning one with nine or ten songs - so a full album it was
going to be."
we asked Jim for some insight into the story behind
the songs. Here are his comments...
Future Is Theirs (acoustic version (Click to Hear the
As already mentioned, I wrote this song way back in 1975, when I was
living and working in London, England. This version of the song is how I
originally used to perform it, as an acoustic folk protest type of song.
After recording the rap/hip hop version for American Dream, I
decided to record the acoustic version as well since most people are more
inclined to sing this style of song than the rap version.
to Heartache (Click
to Hear the Song)
An out-take from American
Dream. This was my very first attempt at home recording. On the
strength of this effort, I decided I would record American Dream at
home, entirely on my own. But first, the story behind the song...
While at a local shopping centre having a meal with a client, I noticed a
woman eating on her own. What struck me in particular about the woman was
her body language. She kept her eyes cast down, and focused on her food.
She didnít look at the other people around her, and indeed, seemed to be
trying to make herself as inconspicuous as possible. She was not
unattractive, but I got the feeling that she wasnít simply alone, but
that she was also lonely as well.
Of course, it's quite possible - indeed likely - that the woman was having
a quick meal break like I and my client were at the time, and none of the
above was how I perceived it to be. But hey, I'm a songwriter, and of such
ephemeral events are songs created. As the saying goes: Never let the truth
get in the way of a good story. This song arrived out of the blue,
like they tend to do the following day.
Up Appearances (Click
to Hear the Song)
Another out-take from American
Dream. I was standing at
the kitchen sink one day reflecting on the sad state of my affairs at that
particular point in my life, and feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Although
I was going through a bout of unemployment at the time, I was 'keeping up
appearances' by pretending it wasn't having any real effect on me. But it
was, and this song is one of several I wrote during that period (Don't
Sell Us Pipe Dreams is another).
By the way, the word 'bloody' is often referred to as 'the great
Australian adjective', and its use in that capacity has been documented in
Australia since the 1850's. As you can imagine, it has a multitude of
meanings and uses depending on how and when it is used.
of The Beholder (Click
An instrumental piece inspired by
a collection of copyright free sound samples that came with the June 2004
issue of Computer
Music. The work started out as an experiment in ambient music
composition. The June issue had a bunch of ambient sound samples, most no
more than ten seconds long. I took a few of these samples and strung them
together in a sequence that appealed to me. I then multi-tracked my own
improvisations over the top of the loops to create this instrumental.
Another instrumental piece, this
time inspired by the arpeggiator function on my CASIO MZ2000 keyboard.
Every 'instrument' you hear is sampled from the keyboard itself. It's
amazing to hear the quality of sounds you can get from these modern
electronic marvels, and just as amazing to explore the variety of
instruments modern keyboards let you 'play'. I have only begun to scratch
the surface of possibilities here.
to Hear the Song)
A demo version of one of my
attempts at writing a song in the pop style. I will have a finished
version of this on my next album, Dance Like No-one is Watching.
to Hear the Song)
A live version of a song that I
intend to record a studio version of, and which in turn may also appear on
Dance Like No-one is Watching. This was recorded at one of my early
gigs, but the exact date is lost in the mists of time.
Ballad of Billy Winter (Click
to Hear the Song)
Another live version of a song
that appeared on my first album, Sometimes I Wake Up Naked. Again,
this was recorded at a SCALA
gig on Saturday, February 15, 2003.
Future Is Theirs (Sergio's Theme (Click
I really liked some of the musical elements underlining the acoustic
version of this song. So much so, that I decided to add a few extras
things, and turn it into an instrumental.
Sergio's Theme? The late, great, Italian film director, Sergio Leone was,
and remains, one of my favourite directors of all time. It was Sergio
Leone who put Clint Eastwood in one his first 'spaghetti' westerns, A
Fistful of Dollars, and turned Eastwood into a star. He followed these
up with two other westerns, also starring Eastwood, A Few Dollars
More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
But Sergio Leone's two great masterpieces were another western, Once
Upon a Time in The West, and the epic gangster movie, Once Upon a
Time in America.
Some early versions of the bonus disk simply call this tune, The Future
is Theirs (instrumental version). Yet other CDR labels carry the
inscription, The Future is Theirs (Ennio's Theme). However, my
final(?) name for the piece is now The Future is Theirs (Sergio's
Theme). Ennio's Theme was going to be my dedication to Ennio
Morricone, Sergio Leone's great musical collaborator, but I didn't want
anyone to think I was comparing my humble instrumental to any of Ennio
Morricone's magnificent film scores.
Never heard any of Ennio Morricone's music! Impossible. The Internet
Music Database lists over 500 compositions and film scores by
Ennio Morricone. Unless you never go to the movies, watch video's or DVDs,
or watch television you will almost certainly have heard something by
Morricone over the past 40 years.
Go straight to CD Baby and order the CD...
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