GREG PAGE (released 1998)
I Only Dream of You
Only When You Fall
Close to Loving Me
With Open Arms
Give Me Some Time
The Lonely Messenger
Album Notes: (Written By Glenn A. Baker)
Clean lines, crisp melodies, ringing choruses, intriguing textures, warm vocals, fine playing. Songs drawn unselfconsciously from life and its foibles.
Greg Page's debut solo album, Greg Page.
The work of a natural song craftsman with an ability to translate incidents, Impressions and cogent memories into appealing, engaging songs. " I consider myself a fairly emotional writer" he observes. " I hardly ever sit down for the purpose of songwriting; I only write if I'm inspired by a mood or a feeling. That is particularly true of all the songs on this album."
There is, Greg has found, a considerable difference in writing songs for adults rather than children; in dealing with the often-opaque emotions of relationships. " You can't do personal songs for kids, they've not lived through enough to understand them."
The recording of Greg Page provided an opportunity to expose other sides of an already proven talent to entertain. "I've written songs for so long. In fact the opening track, I Only Dream Of You, which Is close to being my favourite, was written back in 1986 when I was 14!" he explains. "And I've always wanted to hear them done properly, with great people playing on them and a producer helping to shape them with strong ideas. That's why this has been very statisfying for me."
Interested in benefiting from "somebody else's Influence" in bringing his songs to fruition, Greg sought out some legendary figures in Australian music that he had long admired. Joe Camilleri, at his Woodstock Studio in Melbourne, produced two key tracks- Only When You Fall and the lush first single, Walking Around, which would not have been out of place on a Crowded House album. "He's so incredibly musical" Greg marvels. "He knows sounds, he knows musicians and he's so easy to work with. Plus he gets the best bottom end!"
The remainder of the album was recorded at Greg's home studio in Sydney under Mike Gubb, a New Zealand born keyboard master of voluminous credits, including the Dynamic Hepnotics, Ernmanuel Brothers Band, and two years with Mental As Anything. "Mike helped me knock my songs into shape. He wrote invaluable bridges and middle eights for a number of them. His experience was an invaluable sounding board for me."
Apart from Joe Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons. Black Sorrows) and Mike Gubb, the album features such Oz rock mainstays as Martin Plaza ( Mental As Anything, Beatfish), Paul Hester (Crowded House), Chris Bailey (The Angels), Tim Gaze ( Taman Shud, Arial, Rose Tattoo), James Black (Mondo Rock, Men At Work), James Gillard (Mondo Rock. Fargone Beauties), Tony Floyd (Things Of Stone & Wood), Sam See (Sherbert, Flying Circus, Stockley See & Mason, Goanna). Alex Hewetson (Swoop), Hamish Stuart (Ayers Rock, Margaret Urlich Band, the Reapers), Nick Smith (The Black Sorrows) and Stuart Davis (Cafe at the Gates of Salvation). Admired and innovative musicians who have been an integral part of the development of Australian contemporary music, in some cases since the end of the sixties.
"I was struck by the fact that no matter who they were or what they had done, Greg relates, 'all the players were incredibly down-to-earth people who wanted to do everything they could to help me make a great album. They were so totally professional in their approach and they brought the songs to life in the way that I had heard them in my head. In fact it was sometimes uncanny. When I wrote the last song on the album, The Lonely Messenger, I could almost hear a voice singing it with me. Then when Martin Plaza was at the mic in the studio I realised that his was exactly the voice I had imagined."
A number of the songs on Greg Page reflect the life of a relatively young performer spending vast tracts of time away from home and clinging to the people he loves as a refuge from the alienation of the road, They express distances and longings, the strains on the relationships and the pure joy of them. Some are entirely personal and others merely observations. Truth Untold, for Instance, was inspired by the movie, Short Cuts, which dealt with interconnecting lives and "trying to comprehend the anger, frustration and confusion which arises from lies that are eventually uncovered.
The melodic Walking Around is a bit closer to home. Though it is broadly about temptation, its genesis was Greg's memories of studying for the Higher School Certificate and taking walks to work off study stress. The powerful God's Angels grew out of the loss of family members and friends, both infant and adult. "It is not meant to have a totally religious meaning" Greg offers "but the fact is, it has a relevance to our earthly being because every one of us will have to make a journey to another place, no matter what our beliefs."
For all its creator's previous recording experience, and achievements, Greg Page is but the beginning of a career which promises to yield works of true worth. Already he has 8 songs on hand for its successor. "I love writing songs" he insists. "I do it to please myself and am very gratified when it pleases others as well. This has been a fantastic experience."
Written by Glenn A. Baker, 1998