I’m Talking were like a New York band stuck in mid-’80s Melbourne, creating cosmopolitan art-pop in the glory days of pub rock. Forming in 1983, they evolved from experimental funk outfit Essendon Airport, led by left-of-centre pop genius Robert Goodge. He wanted a band with two lead singers, like his heroes Chic, and I’m Talking introduced the world to Kate Ceberano and Zan Abeyratne. It made for a potent pop act, though Ceberano later confessed they were “bitter rivals.”
Bear Witness, produced in New York by Scritti Politti drummer Fred Maher, was released in 1986, but I’m Talking broke up the following year, in July – the same month Countdown ended.
This remastered version gathers the band’s six singles: Trust Me, Lead The Way, Do You Wanna Be, Holy Word, How Can It Be and their cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. More than three decades later, the songs still sound sophisticated, and Bear Witness ranks alongside Stephen Cummings’ Senso as the era’s finest example of dance-pop.
Bear Witness (Expanded Reissue Edition) is out now via Bloodlines/Mushroom.