# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Paul Kelly - The A-Z Recordings

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 11 / 10 / 2011

Paul Kelly - The A-Z  Recordings
Label: Dramatico Entertainment
Format: CD Box


Enthralling eight CD collection of stripped down live recordings recorded between 2004 and 2010 from Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly

One of life’s mysteries is why Paul Kelly is huge in his native Australia but still only has a cult following in the U.K. and Europe. The singer/songwriter has released nearly 20 studio albums throughout a career that has taken in both solo and group recordings and although Kelly’s work, for the most part, could vaguely be grouped into the folk/country/pop genres he’s never been an artist afraid to test new waters or to take risks; Kelly can hardly be accused of standing still. Maybe Kelly’s work is too demanding for non-Australian audiences. Lyrically he can be cutting and he’s certainly not afraid to tell it like it is even if it means alienating potential audiences. It’s strange as Kelly almost always wraps his lyrics in melodies that would draw you in even if you weren’t so keen on the story that was unfolding as he sings. ‘The A-Z Recordings’ is a massive 8 CD box set that includes songs that were recorded live between 2004 and 2010. Kelly took 100 songs from all periods of his career and over four consecutive nights would perform 25 of these songs alphabetically. Last month Kelly took this concept to London’s Bush Hall to launch the collection in the U.K. Kelly wanted to “present the songs undressed” to recapture the sound and feeling he got when he first wrote them and before some of them were performed with a band. Kelly probably won’t appreciate the comparison but across the intimate versions of these songs there are more than a handful of times when the description that Kelly is an Australian Bob Dylan are not far off the mark. A Dylan whose voice would have greater appeal than the real thing granted, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s hard to see Kelly gaining any new followers from this collection. Any artist who releases an eight CD box set must surely be aiming for the already converted rather than targeting new buyers, but this collection is going to make a good few British Kelly devotees dig deep; to hear these songs in a setting that hasn’t been heard before is just too much to resist. The collection starts with ‘Adelaide’ and covers all bases until it ends, 8 CDs and 100 songs later with ‘Zoe’. It’s a fascinating insight into Kelly’s world for anyone, especially so for those who are unfamiliar with his work, which is exactly the audience that will pass by on this box set. Finding that the notes he was making while preparing for this project were taking a life of their own, Kelly assembled them and published an accompanying book that was issued last year called ‘How To Make Gravy’ or as Kelly himself puts it a “mongrel memoir”. Glenn A. Baker, the renowned Australian music writer, thinks that Kelly has been denied international success because of his “Australian-ness” which may well be true up to a point, but there seems to be a general problem with Australian artists breaking out beyond their shores. Artists like Perry Keyes, Jenny Queen and Sam Shinazzi are a few Australians who are slowly but surely building up a following in their homeland yet after three or so albums still have not broken the U.K. or Europe. It’s a mystery why talent as strong as this doesn’t get worldwide recognition. Still, Kelly can be happy that he can actually release an eight CD box set and be certain that he’ll have enough fans to make it worthwhile and also to fill the halls when he performs the project live. Even with Kelly’s considerable talent for setting his story songs to impressive melodies it’s unlikely that even the most ardent Kelly fan will listen to this complete collection in one sitting. The best advice is to take it as Kelly would perform these songs; take a different CD over four consecutive nights, lose yourself in his storytelling and wonder why the hell he isn’t admired worldwide.

Track Listing:-
1 Adelaide
2 After the Show
3 Anastasia Changes Her Mind
4 Be Careful What You Pray For
5 Beautiful Promise
6 Before Too Long
7 Beggar On The Street Of Love
8 Behind the Bowler's Arm
9 Big Fine Girl
10 Blues for Skip
11 Bradman
12 The Cake and the Candle
13 Careless
14 Change Your Mind
15 Charlie Owen's Slide Guitar
16 Cities of Texas
17 Coma
18 Cradle Of Love
19 Deeper Water
20 Desdemona
21 Difficult Woman
22 Don't Explain
23 Don't Harm The Messenger
24 Don't Stand So Close To The Window
25 Don't Start Me Talking
26 Down to My Soul
27 Dumb Things
28 Emotional
29 Every Fucking City
30 Everybody Wants to Touch Me
31 Everything's Turning to White
32 The Foggy Fields Of France
33 Foggy Highway
34 Forty Miles To Saturday Night
35 Forty-Eight Angels
36 From Little Things Big Things Grow
37 From St Kilda To Kings Cross
38 Gathering Storm
39 God Told Me To
40 The Gift That Keeps On Giving
41 Glory Be To God
42 Going About My Father's Business
43 How To Make Gravy
44 I Can't Believe We Were Married
45 I Close My Eyes and Think Of You
46 I Don't Know Anything Anymore
47 I Keep On Coming Back For More
48 I'd Rather Go Blind
49 If I Could Start Today Again
50 I Wasted Time

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