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Moss, Ian - 1989 Matchbook

ARTIST: Moss, Ian
ALBUM: Matchbook
LABEL: Mushroom
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Ian Moss - lead and backing vocals, guitars * Neil Stubenhaus, Ian Belton - bass * Don Walker - keyboards * Danny D'Costa - keyboards, backing vocals * Lenny Castro - percussion * Steve Prestwich, John Robinson - drums * Phil Roy, Mark Punch, Mark Williams - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tuckers Daughter * 02 Telephone Booth * 03 Out Of The Fire * 04 Mr Rain * 05 Matchbook * 06 Such A Beautiful Thing * 07 I've Got You * 08 Pretty Face * 09 Tangletown * 10 I'll Remember You


Ian Moss is better known as the go-to guitarist for Aussie rockers Cold Chisel. After paying dues and a raft of honours and success with Chisel during the late 70's and 80's, that band called time, with lead singer Jimmy Barnes going solo, drummer Steve Prestwich joining fellow Aussies LRB, while Moss and keyboardist Don Walker went off the radar for a number of years. Unperturbed, Moss eventually signed to Aussie label Mushroom for the release of his 1989 debut solo album 'Matchbook', the album produced up in Los Angeles with Chris Lord-Alge at the production helm during 1988.

The Songs
The leading single 'Tuckers Daughter' was released ahead of time (January 1989) to generate interest, which it did to great fanfare. Played constantly on radio and on TV, the song was an easy-sell to most Australian music fans and as expected went to #1 in the Aussie charts. In fact, the first four songs on the record were released as singles. 'Telephone Booth' was equally as catchy with its simplistic hook and intrusive chorus. 'Out Of The Fire' sees Moss capture a light bluesy vibe within what is essentially a pop-based structure. I also enjoyed the hooky 'Mr Rain', which has an R&B/funk base with a dose of bluesy guitar licks for good measure. 'Matchbook' is even more organic by nature, the slinky guitar works a treat so too Moss's vocal which keeps things Aussie bound, even if the faint synth is a by-product of an L.A studio. 'Such A Beautiful Thing' is a song about smalltown Australia, where home is considered a beautiful thing. 'Pretty Face' is a very mournful song which eeks out every emotion from Ian's voice and guitar. 'Tangletown' was a little bit throwaway to my ears. I'm certain Moss would think so years later too, the brass parps and cheesy lyrics don't help, though the guitar solo is a bit of a stinger. The finale 'I'll Remember You' touches on Moss' love affair with R&B and soul. I guess you could call it white man's soul, so the comparison to Hall And Oates therefore becomes an obvious one.

In Summary
If you were alive and kicking on the red continent during 1989 then it would've been hard to miss Ian Moss on the tube or on the air. 'Matchbook' spent three weeks atop the Australian Album charts, and was the platform for Mossie to pick up an Aria Award (the Australian equivalent of a Canadian Juno Award) the following year. He returned in 1991 with 'Worlds Away' and dabbled thereafter with a number of projects. I saw him play an acoustic set a few months back, and he looked and sounded great. Obviously there's the Cold Chisel reunion also happening, so all is well in the world of Ian Moss it would appear.

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#1 | dangerzone on July 05 2013 04:12:18
Along with 'Young Years' by Dragon, 'Tuckers Daughter' had to be the best of 1989!

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