173. Rob Clarkson – “Shirts and Skins”

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.

Album Cover Rob Clarkson Shirts & Skins andThankfully 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

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4 responses to “173. Rob Clarkson – “Shirts and Skins”

  1. His tune about the Corona haunted me for years during the early 90s. I drove more like Alain Prost than Nelson Piquet…

  2. Alberto Blueflash

    I heard Hobart City Of Love when I was a Tasmanian Tourist Folk myself in 1991/2. Never knew who it was by but it’s stuck in my head ever since. Now I know I can finally get myself a copy to console myself for being a middle-aged sad git who once went round the world. Thanks!!!

  3. I bought this album when it was first released on the hearing of Beautiful Girls It was in the cd player regularly and still is a favorite. His follow up Zone one is also worth your hard earned dollar.
    It’s ashame that such great Real talent is ignored for reality show wannabees

  4. Hey I have Hellbent in Hobart on cassette

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