Bruce Woodley once joked that a Seekers exposé would be headed: “Seekers Clean Up Hotel Room.” Melbourne’s fab four – who sat alongside The Beatles and the Stones at the top of the charts in the ’60s – were wholesome family entertainment.
They’re also national treasures.
There’s an obvious nostalgic element to this rarities collection, beautifully assembled by Seekers historian Graham Simpson. “The story’s in the past, with nothing to recall,” Woodley sings in Red Rubber Ball, which he wrote with Paul Simon. But these songs still resonate. Indeed, in a world gone crazy, the innocence of The Seekers is comforting, with a message the world still needs: “And I think it’s gonna be all right/ Yeah, the worst is over now.” And the purity of Judith Durham’s voice elevates the folk-gospel songs into magical territory.
As well as live gems from shows in Canada and New Zealand, the CD unearths a couple of jingles The Seekers sang for 3AK and Pacesetter Travel (which will have listeners wistfully longing for the days when you could “fly away to this happening world”). I eagerly await Volume 3.
“One more town, journey’s almost through,” Woodley sings in Rattler. But The Seekers story will never be over. Their work is eternal.
Hidden Treasures Vol. 2: The Rarities Collection by The Seekers is out now via Decca.
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