Thursday, August 09, 2007
Brian Cadd and Russell Morris
Russell Morris is one of Australia's most enduring singers. A major pop star in the late '60s, he went on to become one of the country's first singer/songwriters. Both ends of his career feature predominantly in the soundtrack to the movie The Dish.
Morris' career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush." Morris was convinced to leave Somebody's Image for a solo career. His manager/producer, local music identity Ian Meldrum, spent unprecedented hours and money to create a seven-minute production extravaganza around a song called "The Real Thing." Once the result was released to shocked radio programmers who had never been asked to play such a long Australian single before, it was up to Morris' personality, singing, and performing talents to make the record work. It reached Australia's number one spot in June 1969. Without any promotional support from Morris, "The Real Thing" reached number one in Chicago, Houston, and New York.
The second single -- "Part Three Into Paper Walls" ("The Real Thing" revisited) and "The Girl That I Love" (a pop ballad more indicative of what was to come) -- became a double-sided number one hit, the first time an Australian artist had scored consecutive number ones with their first two singles. Morris, in the meantime, had traveled to the U.K. to help promote the release of "The Real Thing."
Morris had now decided to concentrate on his own songwriting and with the cream of Australian musicians, spent almost a year painstakingly recording and re-recording what became the Bloodstone album. It was one of the first Australian albums of its kind, the first from an Australian singer/songwriter, and a whole world away from the extravagant "The Real Thing." The hit single from Bloodstone was the resonant, romantic "Sweet Sweet Love." The following year, in 1972, Morris delivered the equally beautiful "Wings of an Eagle."
In 1973, Morris moved to London to record an album only to discover there was no record contract waiting for him. He relocated to New York and set to work on an album there, including new versions of both "Sweet Sweet Love" and "Wings of an Eagle" and the single "Let's Do It." A second American album appeared in 1976. It was two more years before Morris was granted his green card, enabling him to tour America. But by then, any chance of an American career had bolted. Instead, Morris returned to a very different Australia than the one he had left behind five years earlier.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Brian moved to Melbourne just as the Beatles phenomenon hit Australia. He joined The Group in 1966 and wrote all of their many hit singles and albums.
Upon their demise, he formed Axiom, Australia's first "supergroup" with Glenn Shorrock who was later the lead singer of The Little River Band. He once again penned all of Axiom's hits before the band broke up in England in 1969.
Returning to Australia he joined Fable Records as head of A&R and chief producer. Fable launched a rock label called Bootleg Records in 1972 and Brian ran the label as well as being its first artist.
The next few years saw many gold and platinum records as a solo artist and an array of prestigious awards for film scores, title songs and TV themes. In addition he produced several acts and wrote and produced some of Australia's most successful advertising music.
For the last 15 years he has worked in the U.S., Europe and Australia as an artist and producer as well as writing material for Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr, The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Tyler, Yvonne Elliman, Charlie Daniells, Glen Campbell, Dobie Gray, Johnnie Halliday, Sylvie Vartan, Gene Pitney, Cilla Black and many more.
Songs he has written either for himself as an artist or for other Australian performers include: "Don't You Know It's Magic" for John Farnham, the theme from the movie "Alvin Purple", "Ginger Man", "Let Go", "Little Ray of Sunshine", "Arkansas Grass", "Show Me The Way", songs for the "Morning of the Earth" album, the closing theme for "Heartbreak Kid", "Marshall's Portable Music Machine" and commercials for many advertising clients including Fosters, Qantas and Tooheys.
*NOTE 1: Brian Cadd said his biggest regret was giving John Farnham the song "Don't You Know It's Magic" instead of letting his mate Russell Morris record it.
*NOTE 2.The Russell Morris song "On the Wings of an Eagle" is about an aboriginal spirit, and he paid his respects to the indigenous community.