Each month we handpick a collection of reissues, limited editions or just straight classic long-players that deserve a place in any record collection.
Words | Paul Jones, Amy Flower and Zoë Radas
Tame Impala, InnerSpeaker (2009)
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION 4XLP BOX SET
There was a time when the world didn’t know of the psych-rock power of Tame Impala – in the studio basically just Perth bloke Kevin Parker – but that didn‘t last long once this debut announced their presence. Sounding like so many of the best bits of the 1960s and ‘70s, yet stamped with a 21st century knowingness,
the trip begins with album opener It Is Not Meant to Be, building to dreamy side two closer Solitude Is Bliss and onwards to super late-era Beatlesque finale, I Don‘t Really Mind. This highly-collectible box set packs the album over two discs, with two bonus 12-inchers housing remixes, instrumentals, demos and a side-long live jam – plus a collage of album sketches and superb 40-page booklet.
TOP TRACK: Solitude Is Bliss
FAST FACT: InnerSpeaker was recorded almost entirely in “a big, wooden house“ about four hours south of Perth, with an absence of internet, phone reception and TVs.
2xLP 180gm VINYL REISSUE
Some debut albums serve as a statement of both intent and greatness to come. With The Positions, here luxuriating over two slabs of 180-gram vinyl, Gang of Youths certainly weren’t wasting any time announcing their presence. Dealing in the sort of extended, gradual-build jams that U2 could only wish that their earlier works were as good as, leader David Le’aupepe’s raw vocals bring to mind American contemporaries such as Kings of Leon and The National. If the jams don‘t get you the lyrics will, with the songs forming what is basically a concept album centred around the singer‘s four-year relationship with a terminally ill partner. Just try not to feel listening to the album‘s big ballad, Knuckles White Dry.
TOP TRACK: Magnolia
FAST FACT: Some tracks on The Positions were recorded in New York, with the remainder laid down in Sydney.
The Church, Priest = Aura (1992)
2xLP LIMITED WHITE/BLACK SWIRLED VINYL
After recording the previous two albums in the US, and not necessarily loving the results, for album number eight The Church headed home to the familiar rooms of Sydney’s Studios 301, the scene of their earlier works. The result? A generally chilled affair that still manages to throw in a few aural prickles, with side one opener Aura a portent of the atmospheric, often trippy joys to come, underlined by first single Ripple and its follow-up, Feel, both of which give off hints of shoegaze. Through 14 tracks – ten of which had single word titles – over 65 minutes, it‘s a sprawling, lush affair that warrants revisiting.
TOP TRACK: Ripple
FAST FACT: The album‘s peculiar title apparently stemmed from Steve Kilbey misreading a Spanish fan‘s English vocab notes, which read “priest=cura”.
Sunnyboys, Sunnyboys (1981)
LIMITED EDITION LIGHT BLUE VINYL
Arguably one of the finest power pop exponents to ever emerge from Sydney‘s pub scene, this long-player from the relatively short-lived original Sunnyboys line-up remains a pop masterpiece today. There‘s no better example of leader Jeremy Oxley‘s skill with a hook than side two opener Alone with You, originally released on an EP (produced by Aussie legend Lobby Lloyd), and rerecorded as the version here which most of us know and love. First single Happy Man underlines the pop sensibilities, while showing off the understated production found throughout the album’s 12 tracks that are, to purloin a classic saying, all
killer and no filler.
TOP TRACK: Alone with You
FAST FACT: Sunnyboys were named after a classic 1970s “orange explosion” flavoured Australian ice block that was originally shaped like a tetrahedron with
four equilateral triangle sides.
180GM REMASTERED VINYL
It‘s impossible to imagine a time when You‘re the Voice wasn‘t steeped into the Aussie hivemind, but such was the case when the 12th solo album from former Little River Band singer John Farnham hit shelves – and then became the highest-selling Oz album in ARIA history. A worthy distinction, because there’s not
a single lemon on it; every track rivals the panache of Farnham‘s international contemporaries like Robert Palmer and Phil Collins. There‘s the free-wheeling power-jam Pressure Down, the Chariots of Fire-level epic piano in Reasons, the peerless ballad Touch of Paradise (which still brings a Ken Done sunset to the mind‘s eye), and underrated, atmospheric corker Love to Shine. Farnham‘s sensitive and powerful voice brings shivers to the soul, with smashing snare-heavy beats and vibrant horn bursts that demand immediate, joyful, bodily movement.
TOP TRACK: Love to Shine
FAST FACT: Farnham‘s then-manager Glenn Wheatley mortgaged his own home to come up with the cash needed to record Whispering Jack.
This 42-song collection from our Princess of Pop guns out of the gate with sparkling debut The Loco-Motion (1987), traverses her SAW years (I Should Be So Lucky, Better the Devil You Know), and revels in cool-London Kylie (Confide in Me, Can‘t Get You Out of My Head), along with belters from 2018 LP Golden. There are also three brilliant duets: Where the Wild Roses Grow (with Nick Cave), Especially for You (with Jason Donovan), and the iconic jam Kids with Robbie Williams. Across this track list, hearing the way Minogue’s voice has improved in control and quality is due to, the artist told us in 2019, a mix of confidence, experience, and training. “It‘s maturation of my voice, and trial and error,” she said. “I mean, I had singing lessons when I was 16; I used my little bit of money I‘d made from doing The Henderson Kids to do singing lessons, and then to make a demo cassette with three songs on it, in one day. I burst into tears in the studio I was so nervous.” Bless you, Queen Kylie, and long may you reign.
TOP TRACK: Confide in Me
FAST FACT: The famed hotpants Kylie wore in the clip for Spinning Around (included in this collection – the track, not the hotpants) are not in the singer‘s regular wardrobe rotation, but in storage: “They’re in, like, 700 layers of tissue in a climate-controlled cupboard, I believe,“ she told us in 2019.