Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Paul Norton - Under A Southern Sky (1990) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1980 - 1994)
Paul Norton released his debut single "Stuck On You" in 1989 - it reached Top 10 nationally and received massive airplay all around Australia. Follow-up single 'Under A Southern Sky' also received Top 20 status. A talented solo performer and former band member of The Runners, Paul puts on a rocking performance in this post!

The other former Runner to release a solo album was former bass player Paul McNaughton, who launched his solo career under the name Paul Norton (having played a while with Wendy & The Rocketts). Norton experienced a far greater reception to his music than had Edwards. Norton’s debut single ‘Stuck On You’ struck #3 on the Australian charts in May ‘89. Two more top 40 singles followed with ‘I Got You’ (#34) and ‘Southern Sky’ (#32), both from Norton’s debut album ‘Under A Southern Sky (1990). A second album ‘Let It Fly’ was released in 1992 but yielded only a minor hit single with ‘When We Were Young’ (#80). Norton has gone to work in country music, and as musical director with the Australian Shakespeare Company, and still tours regularly. He runs his own website as well, with details of his career and current work.
Paul Norton Band (featuring Wendy Stapleton)
Album Review
Bit of a local identity in Victoria Australia is Paul Norton, who in Jan 1990 released this diverse slice of rock. Better known as the husband of Wendy Stapleton (Wendy And The Rockets fame), Paul has assembled some of the personnel from those sessions,namely Paul Muggfeton, Judie Tzuke, and Bob Noble, as well as wife Wendy.

Paul's vocal style has a lot in common with that other Aussie legend James Reyne (Australian Crawl) as well, the music is vaguely similar, whilst retaining a mid-west edge a la Henry Lee Summer, John Cougar Mellancamp or even Jimmy Barnes for that matter. The acoustic guitar is predominant throughout, with the songs basing their structure around it. For the most part, the production is quite full, but not overblown, allowing the acoustic nature to be embellished by subtle keyboards and restrained electric guitar.

1990 Single
As for the songs, well you can take your pick really, 'Stuck On You' could indeed stick on any Henry tee Summer album, while the epic 'Southern Sky' has some 'feel good', patriotic Aussie lyrics to it. 'God Is On My Side' has an undulating quality throughout, and wouldn't be out of place on a Dragon album, say from the 'Bondi Road' era. I quite liked the Stray Cats oriented 'Shake That Devil', very rockabilly, but good enough that Paul can get away with it on an album like this. The racy 'I Got You' pulses along nicely, supplemented with the right dose of keyboards. 'Means A Lot Of Work' is a stripped back affair, a sort of lazy and cruisy sounding track a la Australian Crawl or even early Dire Straits circa 'Communique'. The Mellancamp and Summer influences make their presence felt on the midwest sounding 'Hurricane', while there's a certain element of fun by the sounds of things going on with '96 Tears' as well as 'I Got The Wheels', harking back to classic Rolling Stones type rock.

In summary, I have to say, you don't see this album too often, and as it's a local Australian release, the chances of finding it outside of Australia is slim indeed. If you're into the above named artists, and like your rock with a bit of variety and swagger, then you need took no further. However, finding the album is a different story altogether. Found my CD copy at the market buried in amongst some pretty lame and unknown titles. Ah, the hunt can be worth it sometimes!  (Extract from
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my rare CD - sourced after many, many years of searching. No, not the market this time and certainly not eBay where prices are $50 plus. This time, a garage sale in my own street, almost on my own doorstep.  Don't ya just love it.
Full album artwork along with 2 bonus tracks - the B-side track "Don't Say A Word"  (Stuck On You) and the acoustic version of Southern Sky, taken from the CD release of the same track. Enjoy.
Track Listing
01. Billy Billy
02. Stuck On You
03. Southern Sky
04. God on my Side
05. It's the End
06. Shake That Devil
07. I Got You
08. Means a Lot of Work
09. Hurricane
10. 96 Tears
11. I Got The Wheels
12. Don't Say A Word (Bonus B-Side)
13. Southern Sky (Bonus Acoustic Version)

Band Members:
Paul Norton - vocals, guitars, bass
Bob Noble - keyboards
Mark Greig - guitars
Rob Dean - guitars
Charlie Morgan - drums

Paul Norton FLAC link (355Mb)

Paul Norton MP3 Link (112Mb)

1 comment:

  1. Cheers AR... all this time, you could have called round at one of your neighbours and asked for it! ;)