Still talkin’ about timeless pop
I’M TALKING BEAR WITNESS (BLOODLINES)
Fact: if Dua Lipa or Katy Perry released a song as good as I’m Talking’s Holy Word in 2018 it would rightly be hailed as a pop masterpiece.
Also a fact: when I’m Talking released Holy Word back in July 1986 it reached No. 9 but the song, like the band, remains cruelly overlooked in the history of Australian music.
I’m Talking only released one studio album, Bear Witness,
and 32 years (and now two reissues) later the songs and production still sound both of their time but also timeless.
The deep-dive disco funk grooves of Do You Wanna Be
hold up in an era where people are still trying to get the sound Nile Rodgers gave to Daft Punk.
How Can It Be was their final single, missing the charts but not the hearts — a stunning ballad that reminds you that Kate Ceberano was then barely legal but had years of under-age jazz shows under her wings (one of the bonus tracks is a cover of Cry Me a River).
Their early singles now join the album — their trademark cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,
breakthrough hit Trust Me and the brassy, Michael Jackson-influenced Lead
Zan Abeyratne, who sang
Holy Word, gets time to shine on brittle ballad It’s Over and
Disaster is that apocalyptic disco Frankie Goes To Hollywood were dealing in at the time. Stay With Me could have slipped on to any early Madonna album, Love Means Everything could be a Chic track, which goes to prove how good Ceberano’s voice was even in the early days.
As well as many b-sides and remixes sonically polished on the various formats there’s an aborted Stock Aitken Waterman remake of Do You Wanna Be where I’m Talking briefly became Mel & Kim.
VERDICT A lost gem is found again