Liberation Mark Titanic Blurb
The information provided by Liberation Records on Mark Seymour’s career and the “Titanic” album.
Author: Liberation Records.
Date: September 2004.
Original URL: http://www.liberation.com.au/acoustic.cfm?id=45
“Daylight & the Dark drew my attention to the fact that I wrote most of the music Hunters and Collectors played, which was something I’d tried for a long time to ignore. The best of the band’s work has become part of my repertoire.”
Strange but true – it took the success of Mark Seymour’s first Liberation Blue acoustic album, Daylight & the Dark, to alert him to the gravity of his own legacy. His latest solo album, Westgate, earned stunning reviews only months ago, but he’s also learned that Hunters & Collectors’ songs are not his to ignore.
Titanic is loaded to the lifeboats with some of that great Australian band’s best- loved songs, retooled in a potent acoustic form that pays due respect to a unique live energy, while bringing tighter focus to music and lyrics alike.
“Ah yes… the follow up,” Mark muses. “We were much more broadminded I think. We took greater liberties. The One and Only You is a particular case in point. In its Hunters incarnation it was a ponderous beat struggling for effect. I think we’ve rectified that and created something better.”
This year’s scope ranges from Talking To a Stranger, the groundbreaking classic of ’82, to a revelatory selection from the band’s swansong album of ’97. “I deliberately focussed on Juggernaut because we were doing some pretty good work in the closing stages which many people failed to notice,” Mark says.
Then again, two of his favourite new interpretations originally hailed from the Hunters’ breakthrough album of ’86, Human Frailty: “Everything’s On Fire is the stand out. A huge improvement on the original in my opinion.”
As for Say Goodbye, a song that’s drawn as much sweat as any in the Australian pub rock canon, “It’s a real success,” says Mark. “The acoustic treatment has worked well here. It’ll be a real head-turner live, I’m sure. The boys who are now grey and bent will be bellowing that line again, if they’ve got any sense.”
Doubtless – and like the singer, they may have an even stronger grip on its irony and nuances; and a more considered appreciation of the passionate lyricism of She’s Not Fooling Around, Hear No Evil, When You Fall and others.
They may also hear a slightly heavier weight to the title track, Titanic (“it’s allegorical”), and to the incredibly poignant traditional ballad that closes the album, Parting Glass. “I love it. It’s a big live thing,” Mark says. “It’s about death, which is a theme I seem to be developing an interest in of late.”
Meanwhile – strange but true – Mark Seymour has never sounded more alive.