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INTRO: Uncrowned, a SC compilation

The basic aim of this tape is to present SC's most accessible songs. I've put together compilation tapes before which didn't quite work the way I wanted them to, but I'm rather pleased with how this one worked out. It has all the essential songs, the entire Jane trilogy and a few "odd" songs which serve to demonstrate the breadth of his work. There are no songs from "Escapist" here - in my view, there is nothing on that album that isn't better represented by some other song in his catalogue. I've left off his best known tune - the "I Feel Better Now" jingle - for obvious reasons. I've also figured out a slightly shorter Minidisc version of this compilation.

I'm interested in hearing any criticism or suggestions about this tape, but as it was created via my own tastes for my own tastes, don't expect me to be making changes to it. As they say, each to their own...

This track listing is sequenced for taping onto a 90 minute blank, with little more than 30 seconds to spare on each side. If your tape deck runs a little fast, you're likely to have trouble taping it. If so, I'd suggest replacing "This Feeling Will Survive" and "I Can't Face The Day" with shorter tracks (like "When It Rains Outside" or "She's Too Dumb To Care").

Disclaimer: Please remember that unathorised duplication of SC's songs is actually illegal. However, I suspect SC won't be chucking a wobbly over it if it happens to win him new fans (who then go out and buy the albums). If you're taping it for your own listening pleasure (in the car or somewhere like that), you could always write to his record company and ask for permission - I've heard that they usually grant permission for stuff like that. If you think that this tape will give you all of the Cummings songs you ever need to hear, you clearly don't know what you're missing (eg. Keep The Ball Rolling, Everybody's Always Pissing In The Swimming Pool, Some Place Where The Heart Is Nourished, If I Could Tell You, Carrying A Torch For You, I've Got A Lot Of Faith In You etc etc).

Side A

Where Are You Going "Hi, I'm Stephen Cummings, and I want to get into pop heaven when I die." "Yeah? Why on earth should we do that?"
Gymnasium You have to laugh at this one, it's so cheesy! And the lyrics are just so stupid: "I go in, I go out/I work it out". Once upon a time, this was his big hit, but thankfully, that was back at the start and he's improved since then.
Fell From A Great Height I don't need to say a lot about this, except that it's the original, album version of a great song.
You Jane The traditional "guy meets girl" scenario, from the distinctive SC perspective. Jane song #1
Who Listens To The Radio ('89)
(from Lovetown CD)
Back in the seventies he was lead singer with an Aussie band called The Sports and the original version of this was one of their biggest hits. I include this re-recorded version because it demonstrates his sense of humour: listen to the extra lyrics he's thrown into it...
A Life Is A Life Here we are, 6 tracks into this collection, and you should have some sort of idea what I mean when I say SC does pop songs. They're not jazz, they're not hard rock, they're not alternative, they're just smooth, catchy and intelligent. This song is no exception...
She Set Fire To The House Just his voice and a piano, but perhaps the most devastating song he has yet recorded.
This Feeling Will Survive Another from his very first album, showing that there was cause for hope back then: a damn catchy chorus.
Melancholy Hour The traditional "girl does something impulsive which shocks guy" scenario. Yep, it's Jane song #2, with one of his most offbeat vocal performances and some appropriately offbeat but resonant lyrics to match.
I Wish The Show Was Over Stephen talks to his Mum on the telephone - anyone who can come up with a song like this is worth a second listen.
Hell A few years after Gymnasium, he tries another dance track.

Side B

White Noise Smooth, stylish, almost meaningless, and then he made me laugh as he sang the bit at the end.
When Love Comes Back To Haunt You Of all his acoustic songs, this is perhaps my favourite. One of his best lyrics.
Some Prayers Are Answered There's a catchy chorus at the heart of it, but there really isn't a dull moment in this - the mark of a great pop song.
Whatever Love Is A throwaway track for his first compilation release. I think SC recorded his vocals last, so he could dance over the gushing harmonies, which he does rather effectively.
Three Dead Passengers
(from Keep The Ball Rolling single)
A very Australian (and gruesome) song, sung with Dave Graney.
I Can't Face The Day In one sense, it's now predictable for SC to deliver a chorus like this, with impeccable harmony vocals lifting it up, but no matter how often he does it, I think I'll always love it.
When Day Is Done I have heard this one so many times, but it's still music that makes me want to lay back and drown in it. Listen to the way his vocals skate around the chorus - in the hands of anyone else, it might sound over-ambitious.
Blue Hour So, you thought "She Set Fire..." was a fluke huh? Hmph!
Your House Is Falling The first SC song I ever heard, from my favourite Cummings album (the one which won an ARIA award). A perfect pop song.
Walk Softly But Carry A Big Stick The traditional "guy gets all neurotic and accidentally re-meets girl" scenario. The final Jane song, which also demonstrates his talent for great song titles.
Fell From A Great Height
(with Toni Childs)
Under his name, it was released as a "special" single release. Under her name, it appears on her "Very Best Of..." album.

Taken from the albums Senso (1984), This Wonderful Life (1986), Lovetown (1987), A New Kind of Blue (1988), Good Humour (1990), Unguided Tour (1992), Rollercoaster (1993) and Falling Swinger (1994)

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