Graeham Goble - ‘Let It Rain’
When Graeham Goble says that the centre-piece of his new album ‘Let It Rain’, the ‘Initiation Suite’, is the most important piece of music he’s ever written we should believe him.
This is the man who, back in 1971, before most of us had ever heard of him, amongst other things said that he wanted international success with a group which would spend half of its time in Australia and half in America. Much of what he envisaged then ended up happening. It took hard work of course – a lot of hard work and determination – but back then, and maybe still, Goble seemed to have a sense of what was ahead of him. The band who realised Graeham’s prediction was Little River Band, not formed until 1975.
Graeham himself went on to write several “important” pieces of music.
The Goble composed ‘Reminiscing’ and ‘Lady’ are the two most played Australian songs on American radio, ‘Reminiscing’ having been played more than four million times, ‘Lady’ three million. Two other songs, ‘Take It Easy On Me’ and ‘The Other Guy’ both boast over a million plays.
John Lennon made love to Graeham’s ‘Reminiscing’, Frank Sinatra named it as one of the greatest songs ever written.
Therefore, we really should pay attention when Graeham Goble pin-points the ‘Initiation Suite’ as the most important piece of music he’s ever written.
The ambitious sixteen and a half minute suite came to life when Graeham’s own life was at the crossroads. The attempt to reunite Little River Band had come and gone. Graeham’s endeavour to carry on by recording his songs with others had also come to nothing. He realised that the future of his music now depended entirely on himself. Also, at the same time, his marriage broke down. And yet, in the middle of all that, Graeham was so inspired by his spiritual journey he spent months writing and creating his ‘Initiation Suite (Let It Rain)’.
Unlike traditional suites which revolve around and rely on a repeating motif, Graeham’s work is an astonishing ongoing flow of mini-songs. During the six months Graeham worked on the piece, he would sit and listen to what he’d written so far and wait for inspiration to take him to what should follow.
Graeham Goble’s first solo album, ‘The Days Ahead’, released in 2006, collected songs with which to face the new chapter in his distinguished career, the songs and sounds we might expect from this fine songwriter with a history of harmony vocals.
‘Let It Rain’ puts all that behind him and with this latest album, he embarks on a brave and exciting adventure, the whole album a “suite” of its own, where we meet “The Boy Inside’, and get our first real insight into this complicated, talented, dedicated human being. ‘Crossfire’ is as good a rock song as we’ve ever heard from the man who caught the ears of the world with “It’s A Long Way There’. ‘Heart & Soul’ immediately adds itself to the long and famous list of heartfelt great love songs we’ve heard from Graeham Goble.
And then there’s the ‘Initiation Suite (Let It Rain)’.
Ultimately Graham Goble’s album ‘Let It Rain’ is the journey of a lifetime. Listening to it takes us on an exceptional journey of our own.
Graeham Goble - ‘The Days Ahead’
ORiGiN proudly announces the release of the solo album from renowned songwriter Graeham Goble.
Graeham Goble has been writing and recording music – rich, textured, harmonic, evocative music - for more than thirty five years. Music that has not only sold in the tens of millions but which has garnered him awards for some of the highest achievements in the creation of twentieth century popular song. Of 300,000 global BMI songwriters and composers, the organisation has pointed out, “few have reached his performance plateau.” He has penned and recorded songs - hailed by John Lennon and Frank Sinatra – that have been honoured with the extraordinarily rare Four and Three ‘Million-Air’ citations, acknowledging that many broadcasts on American radio alone. As the vocal arranger and high harmony singer in what Eagle Glenn Frey once described as “The best singing band in the world”, he mastered deftly constructed songs, rich in emotion and enduring in appeal. Such a mastery does not depart as circumstances change. In the twenty first century, Graeham is working in sound with a greater fervour than ever before. And with a greater command. “I’ve realised that I can make better records on my own” he states frankly. “I spend all my time in my studio, I’m always working. I’m finding chords I’ve never played before; I’m letting my fingers find things I didn’t know were there. ”
In the midst of their hugely successful AOR radio hits of romantic leaning, it may not have always been evident that Little River Band arose in 1975 as a true musician’s band, embraced by progressive album-rock stations who were enchanted by the dazzlingly dexterous eight and a half minute treatment of Graeham’s It’s A Long Way There. Listen and you’ll hear the spirit of those heady days of ambitious music-making revisited in these sessions, in which he surrounded himself with an assembly of peerless players that included early Little River Band participants George McArdle and Roger McLachlan (the band’s key lead guitarist David Briggs mastered this disc), as well as members of such legendary Oz Rock entities as the Aztecs, Australian Crawl, Mondo Rock, Southern Sons, Bachelor Girl and the John Farnham Band. Then there’s a slew of greatly admired entities including Slava Grigoryan, Joe Chindamo, Doug de Vries and Alejandro Vega. Little wonder that Graeham describes the opening track as “a masterpiece of playing.”
The luxury of crafting music in your own studio is that you can pursue all the sounds in your head. Graeham subscribes to an exacting construction approach once famously embraced by Steely Dan, though his desire is to draw from the players themselves that which can become the foundations of the songs. “When what they feel connects with where I want the song to go, that’s what I’m looking for, always,” he insists.
Surrounded by the best, he took every advantage of it, trying different players on different parts until the sound in the system matched those sounds in his head. If that meant re-cutting the bass seven times or putting down ten takes of a drum track to get one that fitted, then so be it. Each song took up an estimated 120 tracks on his Pro Tools system and it was not uncommon for him to spend four days mixing the one song.
But perhaps the most exacting aspect of the sessions – which produced 32 songs over seven years – was the vocal sculpting. After decades of working with singers of renown – Glenn Shorrock and John Farnham principal among them – Graeham took on a lead vocal role. “I’m finally where I need to be” he reasons, “and I need to sing the songs I write. ” With some leads it was a matter of refining and refining until he felt he’d nailed it, but as the process evolved so too did his confidence and his ambitions in the area. “Most of the harmonies are four part rather than the three part ones in Little River Band, ” he explains. “I think I’ve taken what I do somewhere further again and I really do think its like nothing else that’s out there.”
Yet even with his new vocal confidence, Graeham recognised the power of old and familiar connections. Glenn Shorrock’s distinctive tones highlight Someone’s Taken Our History, a pointed piece where real anger - on the part of them both - emerges from beneath a lush and layered exterior. Here it is the experience of a shared loss that binds them as much as anything else.
The recordings that Graeham made over the years with and as Allison Gros, Mississippi, Little River Band, Birtles & Goble, LRB, Broken Voices, The Graham Goble Encounter and Birtles Shorrock Goble have all been marked by a dedication to his craft and an often acute attention to detail. That exacting odyssey continues with this set of striking tracks taken from his studio endeavours of the new century. While some remind us of what has gone before others forge a path, sharply and emphatically, to that which lies in The Days Ahead .
Glenn A. Baker
IN MUSIC THE SONG IS EVERYTHING!
Graeham Goble is famous for many things, but he’s especially famous for his songs. The third and latest “Graeham Goble” album ‘The Days Ahead’ is a milestone in a long and distinguished career, with songs so personal and special and for the first time Graeham steps to the microphone to sing lead vocals and (of course) the trademark harmonies himself.
Graeham Goble is Australia’s most successful songwriter internationally. His songs have been recognised around the world and received awards not achieved by any other Australian songwriter. Two of his songs, Reminiscing and Lady, are the most played Australian songs on US Radio.
- Reminiscing has had 4.5 million airplays in the United States
- Lady has reached 3 million plays
- Take It Easy On Me (1 million plays)
- The Other Guy (1 million plays)
- The Night Owls (900,000 plays)
His songs have been played over 12 million times on US radio.
Graeham Goble was the architect of Little River Band’s sound that made them one of the great Australian groups of all time and charmed America to the extent of 25 million record sales, 13 American top forty hits (6 of them top 10) and five consecutive top fifty American albums. Graeham wrote songs for LRB to sing, worked out the vocal arrangements and sang that all-important high harmony.
Throughout LRB’s reign of success from 1975 to 1991 Graeham refused to rest on his laurels, forever searching for ways to improve his own and the group's performance, on stage and on record.
Graeham also found time to produce and write songs for ‘Uncovered’ the actual (pre-‘Whispering Jack’) comeback album for Australia’s most popular recording artist, John Farnham. Graeham’s ‘Please Don’t Ask Me’ is an Australian Standard and a staple in John Farnham’s repertoire.
It’s because of his songs that Graeham Goble was “discovered” in the Adelaide group Allison Gros, and found success almost immediately, with Mississippi, and then, as we all know, world-wide with Little River Band. There was life and songs before LRB and life and songs since LRB. Graeham’s journey, before and since, reveals not just a songwriter of great talent, but a musician with vision, and unquenchable thirst for excellence.
A singer or a band can be remembered for a look or a sound. A good song lives forever. Unquestionably, Graeham Goble is one of the world's best.