(Australian 1967 - Present)
John Farnham is a rare and exceptional artist; a full-time 'star' who has earned and retained the respect and admiration of his peers and public — without the inevitable resort to scandal or eccentricity.
The inevitably difficult follow-up came in March 1968, in the form of a two-way bet — another novelty "Underneath The Arches", backed with a superb classy pop song — Greenwhich & Barry's "Friday Kind Of Monday". The record performed well in the top ten, paving the way for two more respectful hits from the pen of Australian Hans Poulsen — "Jamie" and "Rose Coloured Glasses".
During 1968 John won the first of 5 consecutive Logie Awards for Best Teenage Personality; while a year later he landed the first of 5 consecutive 'King of Pop' crowns. There simply wasn't another male pop personality in the land to compete or compare with the positive and professional Mr Farnham.
Christmas '68 saw the first chart miss with the seasonal "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause"; a disappointment well compensated in August 1969, with the number one placing of Harry Nilsson's "One", an American hit for Three Dog Night.
Four months later John beat B.J. Thomas to the punch with an ultra-commercial rendition of the theme from 'Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid' — "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head". Another number one, remaining on the charts for 18 weeks. John Farnham never descended into the parochial cliques nor engaged in the publicised bickering which so obsessed many of his contemporaries. Somehow he remained aloof, taking his career very seriously in spite of those few who ridiculed his wide-eyed innocent approach to a rather dirty game.
"Comic Conversations" brought him back to the top ten late in 1970 and in 1971, after recording a duet album with Queen of Pop 'Allison Durbin', he journeyed to London to begin preparations for his stage debut in the Australian production of Charlie Girl, alongside Derek Nimmo and Dame Anna Neagle.
Before the year was out he had landed his second Go Set Pop Poll victory, and hits 8, 9, 10 with "Acapulco Sun", "Baby Without You" (with Allison) and "Walking The Floor On My Hands". 1972 was another corker year. March saw John crowned King Of Moomba in Melbourne and, by the end of the year, he had picked up the Most Outstanding Performance of a Composition award (with Brian Cadd's "Don't You Know It's Magic") at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo. Once the number 4 hit of "Rock Me Baby" (which trounced well the David Cassidy version) was off the charts, the Tokyo winner was rush released to become hit 11.
In April 1973, John hit top ten with "Everything's Out Of Season" and instigated wild street chaos when he wedded Jillian Billman in the Melbourne suburb of Glenroy. Five months later he was back at number 12 with "I Can't Dance To Your Music". One final hit in January 1974 — "Shake A Hand" — marked the end of John's pop chart career — although another equally successful one was lurking around the corner (aka Whispering Jack)
Without an overdose of TV quiz shows and clubland performances, John Farnham continues untouched a premier Australian personality. The diversity he has exhibited via such television outings as Bobby and Survival maintained his subtle prominence and ensured his continued popularity. Given another decade, J.P Farnham will still commands respect and admiration from most Australians. (Liner notes by Glenn A. Baker, Australian Editor, Billboard, January 1980).
And the photo used on the CD release is taken from his later years with LRB, while the photo on the LP is more true to what John looked like during the 70's.
01 Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head (2:29)
02 Comic Conversation (3:19)
03 Rock Me Baby (3:21)
04 Don't You Know It's Magic (4:00)
05 Everything Is Out of Season (3:12)
06 I Can't Dance to Your Music (3:00)
07 I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus (1:42)
08 Things to Do (3:20)
09 One (2:50)
10 Jamie (2:29)
11 Rose Coloured Glasses (2:50)
12 Sadie, the Cleaning Lady (3:18)
13 Underneath the Arches (2:01)
14 Friday Kind of Monday (2:45)
15 Walking the Floor on My Hands (2:30)
16 Acapulco Sun (2:38)
17 One Minute Every Hour (3:03)
Best Of Johnny Farnham Link (348Mb)
* Thanks to Chris Spencer for providing me with this back scan of the LP release (see right). Download it separately.