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Aussie Rockers Talk AboutTheir Top Tunes

APRA (Australasian Performing Rights Association) is the non-profit organisation which administers the rights of the world’s composers, songwriters and publishers in Australia and New Zealand, along with representing over 37,000 Australian writers and publishers.


The annual APRA Awards will be held this year in Melbourne on May 24th with the culmination during the evening of the prestigious Song Of The Year announcement. The Song Of The Year is voted by over 14,000 APRA members and is, effectively, the most voted for by peers award in Australia.  Recent awards recipients have been Kasey Chambers for Not Pretty Enough and Bernard Fanning’s The Passenger.  FasterLouder.com.au lets you discover what some of Australia’s cream of the crop say about their three personal all-time favourite Australian tunes.


NIC CESTER – JET
2004 APRA Nominee for Song Of The Year – Are You Gonna Be My Girl?


Not The Girl You Think You AreCrowded House
It’s dreamy & haunting. I remember thinking if I ever wrote a song that good I’d be happy. I’m still trying.

Friday On My MindEasybeats
It’s an exciting sounding song that you want to here over and over again.


Let There Be RockAC/DC
It makes you want to be in a band or happy to be in one.


PATRICK MATHEWS – THE VINES
Winner Of 2003 APRA Breakthrough Award


(Note, I suppose these are a composite of all Vines favourites)
Berlin ChairYou Am I
This one is good for sheer passion in a short space of time.

Unguarded MomentThe Church
This is good for feeling a bit sorry for yourself.

Harpoon - Jebediah
This one is good for singing along to, at the end especially. But you don’t know the words first time.


What are the qualities that make a ‘Song of the Year’?
I don’t know how they come up with them. It seems to help if you’re a singer-songwriter.


KRAM – SPIDERBAIT


Jailbreak - AC/DC
I felt like jumping on my dragstar and going to find some trouble…

Highway To Hell - AC/DC
I just wanted to say ‘oi!’ a lot!

Long Way To The Top - AC/DC
I wanted to start a rock’n’roll band and wear tight pants.


If you could record a cover version of any Australian song what would it be and why??
It would have to be Up There Cazaly because its the Bohemian Rhapsody of footy songs….


 


CHRIS CHENEY – THE LIVING END


Girls On The AvenueRichard Clapton
This always reminds me of our first trips to Sydney staying in the cross. I was too young when it came out to remember but i think it’s a classic world class song. I think it sounds like what it must have been like in the late 70’s early 80’s music scene.


Back In BlackAC/DC
I remember hearing this in Bathurst at the mount panorama motorbike races when I was about 9 or 10 I guess. To me it sounded like heavy bikers music and I still think that actually. It is just one of the finest sounding songs in rock’n’roll history I believe.


Just Like Fire WouldThe Saints
Don’t know when I heard it first but its one of those songs that I remember hearing when growing up. For some reason it has a very Australian sound which I love. There is a sparseness to the song which I think gives it an Australian flavour.


If you could record a cover version of any Australian song, what would it be and why??
We’ve had a chuckle at the idea of doing Come Said The Boy by Mondo Rock. I think its one we all agree is just a killer song and we remember it being a hit when growing up.


BERNARD FANNING – POWDERFINGER
Winner of APRA Song Of The Year twice with My Happiness and The Passenger
Nominated 2004 APRA Awards for Most Performed Australian Work


JailbreakAC/DC
I saw the clip on countdown when I was about six or seven.  My older brother was into AC/DC so I didn’t need much encouragement. There’s some genius acting from the band members in the clip as well.

TemptationCrowded House
Neil Finn sums up a whole lifetime of Catholic guilt in a three minute song.

Minor ByrdYou Am I
Just a totally awesome riff and beat.  We toured with them earlier on and they were just SUPERB live, but the album recording of this song grooves like a bastard as well.


ALEX LLOYD
Winner of APRA Song Of The Year 2002 with Amazing


The Real ThingRussel Morris
Loved the production – go Molly!


Throw Your Arms Around MeHunters & Collectors
Was about the time I got my first real kiss!

Four Seasons In One DayCrowded House
Makes me feel like I’m at home when I’m in the UK)


 


 


 


PAUL MAC
Winner of APRA Most Performed Dance Work 2002


Dogs Are The Best PeopleThe Fauves
I soo cacked myself when I first heard this song. Loved the mood, the humour and the sentiment. I can still quote the lyrics. It feels effortless and adorable. One of the best Oz bands ever I reckon.


Under The Milky WayThe Church
I know, they are from NZ -aren’t they?? Anyway, fuck it, I love this song. Played it over and over when it first came out. It’s been done to death by dodgy singers in search of a good song, but it’s breezy, soft, angelic downerness stands the test of time. Loved the production too. Subtle synth sunshowers creep out at the right time. Total classic, if not a bit overused!


Hells BellsAC/DC
Classic album opening track. Grandiose, foreboding start, classic guitar riff… all good. Funky, heavy, impeccable. Still gives me a rush of blood to the head.


AMIEL
2004 APRA Nominee – ‘Most Performed Dance Work’ and ‘Most Performed Australian Work’


Sleep ImperfectionAugie March
The first time I think I heard this one was probably in passing but I liked it immediately. It has such a delicate and timeless quality that I couldn’t pick where it was from at first and on repeat listenings it is still as fresh as ever. I think it’s one of those songs where the production and genre become secondary to the beauty of the song itself and it cannot be pigeonholed.


Heavy HeartYou Am I
This is also a very timeless song. The lyrics are honest and raw and so endearing for their shameless melancholy and directness. Nonetheless the poetry and repeated themes in the song are beautifully crafted and not the slightest bit sloppy, even though they sound like they have remained as they were when first uttered. Each line seems to stand up on it’s own and I
suppose that is one of the ultimate goals in the composition of lyrics- to have the words be their own being- not just rhythmic filler or repetition for the sake of familiarity.


Throw Your Arms Around MeHunters & Collectors
This song was obviously a little before my time so I don’t think I really listened to it until years after it came out. I had heard it on radio before but had never made the connection to Hunters. After seeing it on TV one night it planted itself in my psyche as a truly stunning composition. It feels like totally raw emotion… a true abandonment to ones feelings. Moving and wistful and sad all at once with a tune that is sing along and painfully sweet.


If you could record a cover version of any Australian song what would it be and why
Probably it would be Rising Up by Powderfinger. I have always enjoyed singing it. It really appeals to my lyrical and melodic sensibility. I like the restraint of the verses that build tension and expectation and then rise into the chorus- maintaining it’s melancholy but being uplifting at the same time.


What are the qualities that make a ‘Song of the Year’?
Honestly I think it is impossible to judge the ‘best’ of any artistic product. It has so many intangible ways of affecting different people differently. I suppose the quality I favour most, as mentioned above, is honest, instinctive writing. Writing that sounds like the writer had something they simply had to say or an atmosphere they were literally driven to express. I think the emotions of a composer can be totally infused into the essence of a song. Although
every listener might interpret it differently, I think people will generally be moved by music that has been created with the intensity, dedication, honesty and passion. To me a song is only believable if it was first believed by its creator.


The second element which I think is extremely important if a song is to have broad or popular appeal, is that it be simple enough to transcend some of the typical boundaries of society… e.g. genre, fashion, race, gender, religion, even language. The beauty of popular music is that the ideas are simple is that all different types of people can appreciate and relate to it. There are some things which we all experience. It seems that the songs that touch people the most tend to be about the simplest, most naive and primal emotions… love, passion, rejection, loneliness etc. The common threads which connect us all.


What’s your prediction for this year’s APRA Song of the Year?
Oh god, I don’t know! Maybe Are you going to be My Girl by Jet. We’ll have to wait and see!

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Comment Added
Anton

Anton said on the 14th May, 2004

Love this kind of articles. And thank god Something For Kate weren't asked, because inevitably Paul Dempsey would select three really good songs and I'd be forced to sit here wondering how he likes such good music and yet writes such mediocre songs.