Richard Clapton’s finest work ‘Goodbye Tiger’ was an album he didn’t want to make. Richard was living in Berlin when it was suggested he return to Australia to make a new album. It took some talking into.
“I was in Berlin, I didn’t wish to return (to Australia) and I didn’t want to do that album (Goodbye Tiger) but I was talked into coming back,” Richard Clapton tells Noise11.com. “For the first time ever I made a condition that if I came back the album was going to be a work of art. It wasn’t going to be just radio friendly singles. Because I insisted ‘Deep Water’ would remain intact the way I wrote it, six and a half minutes, and radio loved it because you could go for a piss. It was the only record they had. That and ‘Stairway To Heaven’ probably”.
‘Goodbye Tiger’ contained one of Richard’s best-known songs, ‘Down In The Lucky Country’. It’s considered a patriotic song but Richard’s intent was the complete opposite. “I think the word for it would be ‘sardonic’. It is a sardonic look at Australia,” he says. “I, like most of my generation, was at logger heads with my parents. The Australian generation of the 1950s was really conservative, really right-winged. That was under Prime Minister Robert Menzies. Australia was a very racist country back in those days and not a nice country, quite frankly. It was very anti-Asian. Menzies kept going on about the White Australia Policy, the Yellow Peril and all that sort of crap. Our parents were bought up on that atmosphere and tried to foist that on us, my generation. I’m 70 now so that is the generation I’m talking about. ‘Down In The Lucky Country’ is bittersweet with this dark under belly. If you look at it one way it is a song about praise for Australia, this really is the lucky country. The sardonic part comes into when I go “yeah we are doing alright making money”. Its like, ‘screw the other guy. I’m alright Jack’. Then the middle, the bridge part of the song “people building up impossible walls and they call it home sweet home. They buy up false security and force it on their son”. It rings true to me. That was the main contender for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. People on the Olympics committee thought it was the most patriotic Australian song ever written. In a way it is”.
Richard Clapton is about to release his 16th album ‘Music Is Love (1966-1970). It is a homage to the music that influenced him. Richard Clapton’s ‘Music Is Love (1966-1970)’ will be released thus Friday, 9 April 2021.
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