Sunday, 15 May 2011

Russell Morris - Mr. America

 The Girl That I Love/Slow Joey/Rachael/Mr. America

Originally a member of Melbourne's Somebody's Image between 1966-68, guitarist and vocalist Russell Morris struck out on his own in 1969. Morris' career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush." He then achieved a No. 1 hit in 1969 with the Johnny Young song "The Real Thing" which was pruduced by the guru of Aussie Rock 'Ian Molly Meldrum'. "Real Thing" remained at No. 1 for weeks and was the largest selling Australian single in 1969. The song itself was a seven-minute epic moving from a gentle beginning through full-on psychedelia with sound effects and phasing (ending with a 'Zeig Heil' and a nuclear explosion!). His follow-up "The Girl That I Love"/"Part Three Into Paper Walls", also topped the charts in which it spent a total of twenty-one weeks. He set off for the U.K. to promote his singles (unsuccessfully) and recorded "Rachel", which made No. 25 in Australia, whilst there. He enjoyed several subsequent hits, including three Top Ten ones with "Mr. America", "Sweet, Sweet Love" and "Wings Of An Eagle". His debut album "Bloodstone"in 1971 also did well, narrowly missing the Top Ten. He later lived and toured in the U.S.A. On his return to Australia he went on to front several Melbourne bands   Russell Morris Band (1978-84), Russell Morris and The Rubes (1980-81), Russell Morris and The Lonely Boys (1986-89) and Russell Morris and The World (1990)  His solo releases during the seventies were "Russell Morris" 1975 and "Turn It On" 1976 Russell Morris Band "Foot In The Door" 1979 which charted at #38 His only release during the eighties was "Almost Frantic" #28 once again recording as a solo artist now 11 years since his last release he releases "A Thousand Suns" just making the charts at #71 11 years on "Off The Shelf". In 2007  "Fundamentalist"  is released an album of acoustic versions of his past hits and favourites. Also in 2007 he releases "Jump Start Diary" then in 2013 Russell release "Sharkmouth" and is probably the biggest surprise of the year by making it to #6 on the national Charts. Sharkmouth is a distinctly Australian blues album it is a gritty album about legendary Australian stories of sly grog and gambling dens and characters such as Squizzy Taylor, Phar Lap, Les Darcy and even the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 


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