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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Norton, Paul - 1990 Under A Southern Sky
Norton, Paul - 1990 Under A Southern Sky

ARTIST: Norton, Paul
ALBUM: Under A Southern Sky
LABEL: Mushroom
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Paul Norton - vocals, guitars, bass * Mark Greig - guitars * Rob Dean - guitars * Bob Noble - keyboards * Charlie Morgan - drums * Various other musicians

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

Bit of a local identity in Victoria Australia is Paul Norton, who in 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 Muggleton, 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 midwest 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.

The Songs
As for the songs, well you can take your pick really. 'Stuck On You' could indeed stick on any Henry Lee 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 look no further. However, finding the album is a different story altogether.

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