Monday, December 18, 2017

The Festival of Circus Animals: You Got Nothin' I Want

It was about 1982 and the Cold Chisel had previously tried to crack the US with "East" - another rocking album. Legend has it that the guys went into the boardroom to be given the bad news and when they stepped back out again the entire office floor was empty. Everyone in the record company was scared shitless over how the band would take it.

They returned to Australia and it seems they decided to work within their boundaries. Jimmy continued to scream, Mossy continued his ripping lead breaks, Don wrote some more scarifying stories of suburban Australia, Phil Small amazed us with his bass, and Steve Prestwich (RIP) worked magic with a set of skins and cymbals - as well of his magical ballad. We'll deal with that as track 9.

And their return album had four messages:

  1. Fuck you, American record companies
  2. Life is a gamble and nothing is guaranteed
  3. Australian working class life is tough, but can be fun
  4. Fuck you, American record companies

Points 1 and 4 are encapsulated in this song. It's a philosophy that has served me well enough as I go through my life, when people have thought they have me beaten. They truly had decided that the American record companies could go screw themselves. And we kept our suburban Australian dinosaur band.

Thank goodness.

About the festival of circus animals
I was 15 years old when the "Circus Animals" album came out, but I only really started paying attention to it at age 17-18 as I entered the workforce. It was the fourth of about five studio (original) albums. It wasn't the only musical influence on my early adult life, but I did grow up and start working around the same sort of places as Jimmy Barnes went to school. As an 18 year old angry young man (aren't we all in some way?) this music was talking my language.

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