Thursday, May 20, 2021

Songs That "Rubble" Taught Us: Russell Morris "The Real Thing" Antipodean Freakout


RUSSELL MORRIS-The Real Thing Part 1/The Real Thing Part 2 US Diamond D-263 1969

Today's subject is an off the wall Antipodean freakout that was first brought to my attention on the 1992 Rubble CD collection "Rubble 11". As with lots of tracks on the "Rubble" series I wrongly assumed it was British!

"The Real Thing" was first issued in Australia in March of 1969 with "Parts One and Two" on the A-side as Columbia DO-8710 where it reached #1 on the national charts (it was issued in Britain in a similar fashion in September 1969 as Decca F 22964). For it's American release in June "Parts One And Two" were separated into two individual tracks one on each side, and it's flip "It's Only A Matter Of Time" was discarded. For the artist, 21 year old Australian Russell Morris, it was his debut release. 

For the uninitiated "The Real Thing" is a mind-blowing experience drenched in phlanging/phasing. Starting off with some mellow phlanged acoustic guitar it only take a mere before the number begins it's journey into the Way Out. It's hard to catalog all of the bizarre things going on in this record from buzzing/fuzzed out/backwards guitar licks that weave in an out, the frantic piano trills (that remind me of The Stones "We Love You") to the oscillating psychedelic effects on the drums weaving a hypnotic groove. Towards the end an eerie chorus of children can be heard singing in another language after air raid sirens (I've always maintained that they're singing in German) and I could swear it ends with them shouting "Sieg Heil!" just as the sound of an explosion comes in bringing the record to a fade out. Perhaps a bit TOO trippy?!?!

"The Real Thing" has been comped in a variety of places, namely Bam Caruso's  "Rubble Volume 18: Rainbow Thyme Winders" and "We Can Fly Volume Four". 

 Hear "The Real Thing":

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