Cold Chisel, Circus Animals (1982)
I like Cold Chisel. They’re a good band that has, in some circles, suffered a bit of a bad rep as it is easily enjoyed/understood as bogan/meathead music. Some smart songwriting – particularly from Don Walker – informs the band’s best work and I always thought Ian Moss was/is a great guitarist. My attachment to Circus Animals is very new though. I was given a call earlier this year and asked if I would fly to Sydney to attend a press-conference for Cold Chisel. They wouldn’t tell me what it was for – but that it was “a big announcement” and then there was mention of all the original albums being reissued with some video content. I presumed that there would be some tour announcement also. There was. I agreed to do this – it meant flying to Sydney and back in one day, so I could get back to my normal civilian job the very next day. It was an absurd schedule really, up at 4am to catch the early flight; taxi to the hotel for a press conference and individual interviews. A quick break to meet some friends for lunch, also some record shopping (and I bought this great Jon Ronson book for the flight home). I had a coffee with my sister-in-law and talked non-stop to her about my mad day, mostly to keep myself awake really. And then I got a taxi to the airport (it poured with rain all day). I flew in and got home to bed at about 1am. A rather nutty day/day-and-a-half. But I did it because I had never been to a press-conference for a band and I knew that a Cold Chisel one in Australia would be bigger than anything any NZ band could muster ever. And I was right. It really was fascinating – you can read my account of it here. I got to interview the bass player, Phil Small and Ian Moss. They had been the two quietest in the band press-conference. Walker and Jimmy Barnes had held court. I was worried. But actually they were great (nice) people to interview. Interestingly, none of the band picked Circus Animals when asked during the press-conference about their favourite Chisel album/s. I thought that odd given it had a couple of the band’s biggest hits on it. I wondered if maybe it was because it was the beginning of the end for the band (the first time around); a difficult time making it perhaps? Anyway, I had my copy with me for whoever I interviewed (in this case Small and Moss) to sign. And they did. And they applauded me for carrying it over from NZ for the signatures (Moss also saw I had a Pierre Bensusan album that I had bought in Sydney and he wrote the name down after a discussion about acoustic guitarists; so that was kinda cool). I do like Circus Animals – but I can’t lie: I bought it specifically to take over with me and get signed by some of the band members. I wish I’d got Walker and Barnes in on the signatures too. Oh well. It’ll be my souvenir from a mad day – that turned out to be a lot of fun. And in the week before I flew over for the press-conference, and in the months since, I’ve listened to this album more than I probably ever thought I would – and more than I ever had in the past. It’s a really great set of songs.
Sample Track: Forever Now
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown