AU ABROAD

Cold Chisel - The Best of Cold Chisel: All For You (2011 Double LP)

Cold Chisel have been hailed as one of the greatest Australian bands of all time, and this proclamation isn’t bandied about willy-nilly. It is well deserved. For their mesmerising live performances and the plethora of solid, memorable rock songs that have been adopted by Aussies as their own personal anthems. Upon listening to The Best of Cold Chisel-All For You , with a track listing that was chosen by fans, it is apparent that Cold Chisel produced some damn good Aussie pub rock songs, rich with lyrical imagery (penned mostly by keyboardist Don Walker), easy to sing along to and songs tinged with melancholia.

Jimmy Barne’s trademark gravelly, bourbon marinated voice punctuates the majority of tracks, whilst guitarist Ian Moss handles a few of the old pearlers such as 'Saturday Night' & 'When the War Is Over'. Listening to these tracks conjures up memories of watching Countdown religiously on Sunday night at 6pm in the late 70’s & 80’s, so it is with sentimentality that this reviewer listens to each song. The lyrics, melody and mood of the songs never fail to capture me.

As well as featuring 18 classic Chisel tunes, there are two new songs; Title track and love song 'All For You', which was the last song the late Steve Prestwick ever recorded, a song that harks back to the Cold Chisel of old, circa their East period, and a rockabilly ditty 'HQ454 Monroe'. Disc 2 features 12 of Cold Chisel’s favourite live tracks; including Dylan’s 'Knocking on Heaven’s Door'and Ike and Tina Turner’s 'River Deep Mountain High'. Live Covers aside, it’s the trip down memory lane with original material that resonates most deeply; 'Flame Trees' is quintessentially an Australian love ballad peppered with Aussie references to the native Flame Tree in the title and pub culture. Popular 21st Birthday favourite 'Khe Sanh' about a Vietnam veteran coming to terms with being back in Oz after the war with post traumatic stress, 'Cheap Wine' (the song that every Aussie knows the words to), 'Ita' about the inimitable Ita Buttrose and are just a handful of the many songs we know and love. It’s an album with non – stop hits that each of us can listen to with Bogan/ Aussie Pride.

In many ways reviewing an album whose songs have been part of your adolescence is often harder than reviewing new songs you aren't as emotionally attached to. Words fail to capture how damn good this album is (particularly the original material), and how bloody good Cold Chisel are.

Review Score: 9/10