50 years ago, Russell Morris became the first Australian artist to score consecutive number one singles with his first two releases. ‘The Real Thing’, which is one of the classic psychedelic singles of the 1960s, and ‘Part Three Into Paper Walls’ both reached the top spot on the ARIA Chart, and what followed was one of the most remarkable stories in contemporary Australian music.
Fast forward to October 2012, when Russell Morris began a trilogy of albums, each with a theme of Australian stories. The first, Sharkmouth, is a collection of tracks about the Australia of the 1920s and 1930s. The album went on to reach #6 on the ARIA Chart, and is certified platinum.
Then came Van Diemen’s Land in 2014 which focused on significant events rather than the stories of individuals. From the prison ships that began Australia as a penal settlement, to the union strikes, the First and Second World Wars, Van Diemen’s Land covers a vast array of Australian history.
And in 2015 Russell released Red Dirt – Red Heart, with amazing musical stories with unique Australian themes which won the coveted Best Blues And Roots Album at the 2016 ARIA Awards.
In 2019, Russell Morris returns with his new album, Black And Blue Heart.
Speaking of the title track, Bernard Fanning says it is “a song for the ages”. “Russell’s been a really substantial artist for a very long time but I think that song will live on with his best,” he says.
After six decades on the road, an album can almost write itself. But it takes a rare combination of talent and circumstances to realise that vision as vividly as Russell Morris does on Black And Blue Heart.