A sad reflection on the taste of Aussie music buyers (and labels) is that Rob Clarkson’s afore-reviewed album disappeared from the shelves and catalogues far too quickly.
Thankfully Candle Records cobbled together this “best of”.
You see Rob broke up with himself in 1996 and thusforth played in bands of various names and quality. This double-album brings together the standout tracks from his album and 3 EPs, including the very unattainable “Hellbent in Hobart” (if anyone has a copy they’d like to share, please contact me). So here we find his biggest ‘hit’ Beautiful Girls and Beautiful Girls, plus many other gems.
In a perfect world the Tasmanian tourist folks would have embraced his Hobart City of Love as a jingle.
The second CD here are 9 tracks recorded live at the Punters Club in 1996, and this is where the true gold lies. Finally I ended up with recordings of tunes that I’d learnt the words to from so many live sightings. The standouts include the very wise Don’t Sleep with Your Best Friends, and the gay anthem candidate I Only Sleep with Boys Now).
These two tracks showcase his ballsy-ness as a songwriter and his wit. The recordings themselves perfectly capture the energy and intimacy of standing 10 feet away from him at venues as he strummed, sung and sniped his way through yet another evening.
The album finishes with the veritable golden fleece a track Rob couldn’t escape over the years, the ridiculously catchy Fiona and her Yellow Car. Pure brilliance.
Donning my critic hat (and my purchase advisor visor), I must say this collection is a little disjointed and there are a few tracks that don’t quite cut it. If you could still get hold of his earlier album you should buy that. But this is a fantastic substitute worthy of your hard earned.
File under: A winning selection