Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes rocks “Good Times” with Keith Urban

Jimmy Barnes had about one-and-a-half 80’s hits.  But he was huge in Australia.

Keith Urban was sorta known in Australia.  He has lots of American hit records.

The two continent-mates team up for  a ripping take on the INXS/Easybeats nugget “Good Times”.  Excellent story in RS Country, but listen to the track first.  Urban’s guitar playing is his best musical asset, and to hear a stripped-down version of the song tag-teamed by a shouter like Barnes and a talent like Urban makes it work. Marvelously minimal.

Barnes was determined to break into the US market and signed to Geffen Records for release there. His second album For the Working Class Man was tailored in this direction, featuring remixed songs from Bodyswerve plus five new tracks including “Working Class Man” that was written by Journey musician Jonathan Cain and would become Barnes’ signature tune. Several US musicians worked on the album including Cain, Charlie Sexton, singer Kim Carnes and British drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. full wikipedia entry

The song “Working Class Man” came out in the full-on blaze of the Springsteen Born in the USA fire in 1985 – not that they tried to hide the similarities. Earnest to the edge of car commercial parody. But it wasn’t.


jimybarnesRide The Night Away’ with Steven Van Zandt
(original version on For The Working Class Man album)

“I’ve been a fan of Springsteen since 1973 – the E Street Band is one of my favorite bands in the world, but I’d never seen them live – we’d never crossed paths and I was always working when they were touring. But when they came back to Australia this time (March 2014), I got this idea in my head that I would like to do this song with Little Steven. I went up to him and said, ‘This song you sent me 30 years ago, I wouldn’t mind recording it with you.’ He was a fan. And he loves music. So Steven came to my house.

“My son Jackie played drums, and I got Steven playing the guitar solo and singing harmonies. Virtually, it was take three, but we spent about 12 hours together, just talking. I got him to tell us stories about The Sopranos.”  — Jimmy Barnes

VIDEO – Bruce Springsteen – “Human Touch” – Live in Australia

Bruce Springsteen just wrapped up a month-long residency-of-sorts in Australia, touring from west to east, and finishing up in Brisbane on February 26 with what is being called one of his greatest shows ever: a nearly four-hour long set that swerved away from the setlist after the first song, and included a live, in-sequence take on entire 1973 album The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle.

But here’s the hidden secret: it was a few nights before, on February 23 at a place called the Hope Estate Winery, that Bruce blew the doors off “Human Touch”, a forgotten, 1990’s non-E Street song that, in the middle of a winery,  captured his – and the band’s – skills, all in high gear.  Start with what is at the end: a long, impassioned, rising, killer guitar solo.  The song, in slow-burn early, builds slowly. Mid-song, check out how he waits.  And waits.  And waits some more for the right moment to kick it in after resting on drummer Max Weinberg’s 1-2-3-4 cymbal ride.  Here’s the YouTube clip.  How the hell does he create a rock and roll gospel-like firestorm at nearly every show?  Don’t know, but the audience is blessed.

read more about the Australian shows