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Cold Chisel Expanded Reissues Arrive in Australia

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Raise your hand if you’re familiar with Cold Chisel!  If you’re not, don’t worry – you can still pass “Go” and collect your 200 bucks.  The band known as Cold Chisel comes from the home of Men at Work (of course), AC/DC, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Allen and Helen Reddy: Australia.  Although the band never gained the international fame those other artists did, they remain one of the biggest acts ever in the land down under.  Almost forty years after the band’s founding, Cold Chisel kicked off their reissue campaign on July 22, calling the two-years-in-the-making, catalogue-encompassing program “the biggest archival release in Australian music history.”

The group’s six studio albums, recorded between 1978 and 1998, are all being expanded in CD+DVD editions, housed in digipaks containing the original studio album on CD and a “Live Bootleg” DVD with never-before-seen video footage.  Each digipak also contains a 16-page booklet with new liner notes by writers including Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil), Ita Buttrose, novelist John Birmingham and David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and rare photographs.  Next up, the band’s four live albums are remastered, with Swingshift (1981) adding bonus tracks.  The 1994 rarities compilation Teenage Love and 1978 EP You’re Thirteen, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine (cribbing the title from the Richard M. Sherman/Robert B. Sherman hit for Johnny Burnette and Ringo Starr!) are also returning to CD.  All titles arrive from WEA International.

Catch up with Cold Chisel after the jump, and then peruse the track listings for each reissue!

Although the group formed in Adelaide in 1973, Cold Chisel’s big break didn’t come until 1978, when the WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) group signed them to a major-label contract. By the time of the WEA signing, there had already been personnel changes in the band originally consisting of bassist Les Kaczmarek, keyboardist Don Walker, guitarist Ian Moss, drummer Steve Prestwich and lead vocalist Jimmy Barnes.  Phil Small replaced Kaczmarek in 1975, and Barnes’ brother John Swan joined for a time on percussion and vocals.  Barnes had nearly departed in 1977 but stuck around in time to join his bandmates and producer Peter Walker for 1978’s self-titled LP.  The prolific Don Walker had composed nearly the entire album himself excepting “Juliet,” with lyrics by Barnes.  Despite being banned for the radio airplay for its risqué lyrics, “Khe Sanh” from that first album became Cold Chisel’s signature song.

The live EP You’re Thirteen, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine followed later in 1978, capturing the band’s incendiary onstage performance at Sydney’s Regent Theatre, and then the LP Breakfast at Sweetheart’s.  Producer Richard Batchens opted for a smoother, cleaner sound than Walker, and this album propelled them even closer to a mainstream breakthrough in their home country.  That breakthrough came with 1980’s East, a No. 2 album and the second biggest Australian seller of the year.  Their sound continued to grow, incorporating hard rock, balladry, rockabilly and even romantic pop.  When the 1981 live album Swingshift opened at pole position on the Australian charts, Cold Chisel’s place in Australian music was guaranteed.

The album Circus Animals followed and was greeted with further success, but the band was frustrated about its inability to break through to the lucrative American market, and the Barnes-written song “You Got Nothing I Want” put his ire on the subject into a song.  Following Circus Animals, the band began to splinter.  First, Prestwich was fired, and then Barnes quit the band.  The recording of Twentieth Century was a fraught experience, with individual band members refusing to work with one another.  Cold Chisel’s final performance in Sydney on December 12, 1983 was filmed, with the final tour’s gigs in the city forming The Last Stand, the highest-grossing concert movie of any Australian performer.  Jimmy Barnes arguably fared best of all of the band members, scoring an impressive nine No. 1 albums in his home country since his solo debut in 1984.

The band members repeatedly spurned reunion offers until 1998 when they reunited for both the album The Last Wave of Summer (another No. 1 album!) and a highly successful tour.  Further reunions didn’t occur until 2009 and 2010, but the band’s future plans are up in the air following the death earlier this year of Steve Prestwich at the age of 56, due to a brain tumor.

It’s been debated why Cold Chisel never made it in America, and one plausible explanation is simply that their music reflects the Australian experience.  While the band’s songs weren’t explicitly political, a number of their themes dealt with the realities of Australian urban life, including homelessness, abortion and the plight of the working class.  Clearly, though, the band dealt with such topics in a way that hit home for Australian audiences.

If you’re interested in exploring the catalogue of Cold Chisel, there couldn’t be a better place to start than with these expansive reissues.  The series will be available on Amazon U.S. and although the order links below are active, the discs are not yet in stock.

Cold Chisel, Cold Chisel: Deluxe Edition (WEA, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP and bonus tracks

  1. Juliet
  2. Khe Sanh
  3. Home and Broken Hearted
  4. One Long Day
  5. Northbound
  6. Rosaline
  7. Daskarzine
  8. Just How Many Times
  9. Teenage Love Affair
  10. Drinkin’ in Port Lincoln
  11. H-Hour Hotel
  12. On the Road

Disc 2: DVD – Video Bootleg Vol. 1 (1976-1978)

  1. Khe Sanh (Live on “ABC Rockturnal”)
  2. Georgia on My Mind (Live on “ABC Rockturnal”)
  3. Daskarzine (Live on “ABC Rockturnal”)
  4. One Long Day (Live)
  5. Home and Broken Hearted (Live, 1976)

Disc 1, Tracks 1-8 released as WEA LP 600038 (AUS), 1978
Disc 1, Tracks 9-10 released on Teenage Love (Alex 5008 (AUS), 1994)
Disc 1, Tracks 11-12 released as reissue bonus tracks (EastWest 8573804492 (AUS), 1999)

Cold Chisel, You’re Thirteen, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine (originally released as Elektra EP 12001 (AUS), 1978 – reissued WEA, 2011)

  1. One Long Day (Live)
  2. Home and Broken Hearted (Live)
  3. Merry-Go-Round (Live)
  4. Mona and the Preacher (Live)
  5. Wild Thing (Live)

Cold Chisel, Breakfast at Sweethearts: Deluxe Edition (WEA, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as WEA LP 600042 (AUS), 1979)

  1. Conversations
  2. Merry-Go-Round
  3. Dresden
  4. Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye)
  5. Plaza
  6. Shipping Steel
  7. I’m Gonna Roll Ya
  8. Showtime
  9. Breakfast at Sweethearts
  10. The Door

Disc 2: DVD – Video Bootleg Vol. 2 (1978)

  1. Conversations (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  2. One Long Day (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  3. Khe Sanh (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  4. Daskarzine (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  5. Georgia on My Mind (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  6. Breakfast at Sweethearts (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  7. The Door (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  8. Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye) (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  9. Dresden (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  10. Shipping Steel (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)
  11. I’m Gonna Roll Ya (Live ABC Studio 221 – 1978)

Cold Chisel, East: Deluxe Edition (WEA, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as WEA LP 600064 (AUS), 1980)

  1. Standing on the Outside
  2. Never Before
  3. Choirgirl
  4. Rising Sun
  5. My Baby
  6. Tomorrow
  7. Cheap Wine
  8. Best Kept Lies
  9. Ita
  10. Star Hotel
  11. Four Walls
  12. My Turn to Cry

Disc 2: DVD – Video Bootleg Vol. 3 (1980)

  1. Cheap Wine (Live at Manly Vale Hotel -1980)
  2. Rising Sun (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  3. Best Kept Lies (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  4. Shipping Steel (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  5. Choirgirl (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  6. Star Hotel (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  7. Merry-Go-Round (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  8. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  9. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) (Live at Manly Vale Hotel – 1980)
  10. My Turn to Cry (Live at Countdown Music Awards – 1980)

Cold Chisel, Swingshift: Remixed (originally released as WEA LP 800003 (AUS), 1981 – reissued WEA, 2011)

Disc 1

  1. Conversations (Live)
  2. Shipping Steel (Live)
  3. Breakfast at Sweethearts (Live)
  4. Rising Sun (Live)
  5. Choir Girl (Live)
  6. Khe Sanh (Live)
  7. My Turn to Cry (Live)
  8. Four Walls (Live)
  9. One Long Day (Live)

Disc 2

  1. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Live)
  2. My Baby (Live)
  3. Star Hotel (Live)
  4. Don’t Let Go (Live)
  5. Long As I Can See the Night (Live)
  6. The Party’s Over (Live)
  7. Cheap Wine (Live)
  8. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) (Live)

Cold Chisel, Circus Animals: Deluxe Edition (WEA, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as WEA LP 600113 (AUS), 1982)

  1. You Got Nothing I Want
  2. Bow River
  3. Forever Now
  4. Taipan
  5. Houndog
  6. Wild Colonial Boy
  7. No Good for You
  8. Numbers Fall
  9. When the War is Over
  10. Letter to Alan

Disc 2: DVD – Video Bootleg, Vol. 4 (1982)

  1. Taipan (Live: An Evening with the Circus Animals 1982)
  2. No Good for You (Live at the Playroom 1982)
  3. Wild Colonial Boy (Live at the Playroom 1982)
  4. Letter to Alan (Live: Rockpalast, Germany 1982)
  5. Houndog (Live: Rockpalast, Germany 1982)

Cold Chisel, Twentieth Century: Deluxe Edition (WEA, 2011)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as WEA LP 250390-1 (AUS), 1983)

  1. Build This Love
  2. Twentieth Century
  3. Ghost Town
  4. Saturday Night
  5. Painted Doll
  6. No Sense
  7. Flame Trees
  8. Only One
  9. Hold Me Tight
  10. Sing to Me
  11. The Game
  12. Janelle
  13. Temptation

Disc 2: DVD – Video Bootleg Vol. 5 (1983)

  1. Build This Love (Soundcheck) (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)
  2. Saturday Night (Soundcheck) (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)
  3. Saturday Night (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)
  4. Twentieth Century (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)
  5. Flame Trees (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)
  6. Backstage at ‘Last Stand’ (Live Sydney Entertainment Centre 1983)

Cold Chisel, The Barking Spiders Live: 1983 (originally released as WEA LP 251525-1 (AUS), 1984)

  1. Merry-Go-Round (Live)
  2. You’ve Got Nothing I Want (Live)
  3. No Sense (Live)
  4. Hold Me Tight (Live)
  5. Tomorrow (Live)
  6. Forever Now (Live)
  7. Standing on the Outside (Live)
  8. Bow River (Live)
  9. It’s Only Make Believe (Live)
  10. Twentieth Century (Live)
  11. Taipan (Live)
  12. Georgia (Live)

Cold Chisel, Teenage Love (Alex 5008, 1994 – reissued 2011)

  1. Hands Out Of My Pocket
  2. Nothing But You
  3. When The Sun Goes Down
  4. Suicide Sal
  5. It Ain’t Wrong
  6. Teenage Love Affair
  7. Monica
  8. Mona And The Preacher
  9. Drinkin In Port Lincoln
  10. Payday In A Pub
  11. Metho Blues
  12. Yesterdays
  13. Notion For You
  14. F-111
  15. A Little Bit of Daylight
  16. The Party’s Over

Cold Chisel, The Last Wave of Summer (Mushroom Records MUSH33165.2, 1998 – reissued WEA, 2011)

  1. Mr. Crown Prosecutor
  2. The Things I Love In You
  3. Baby’s On Fire
  4. This Time Round
  5. Bal – A – Versailles
  6. Yakuza Girls
  7. Once Around The Sun
  8. Somewhere In the Silence
  9. By My Side
  10. Water Into Wine
  11. Never Stop Loving You
  12. Red Sand
  13. Angel in My Room
  14. Pretty Little Thing
  15. Someone Caught My Eye
  16. Water Into Wine
  17. He Can’t Believe It’s Over
  18. Way Down
  19. This Big Old Car
  20. So Hard
  21. The Last Wave of Summer

Cold Chisel, The Last Stand (East West 90710, 1999 – reissued WEA, 2011)

  1. Standing on the Outside (Live)
  2. Cheap Wine (Live)
  3. Khe Sanh (Live)
  4. Janelle (Live)
  5. Only One (Live)
  6. Twentieth Century (Live)
  7. Tomorrow (Live)
  8. Rising Sun (Live)
  9. Choirgirl (Live)
  10. You Got Nothing I Want (Live)
  11. Bow River (Live)
  12. Flame Trees (Live)
  13. Star Hotel (Live)
  14. Wild Thing (Live)
  15. Saturday Night (Live)
  16. River Deep, Mountain High (Live)
  17. Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye) (Live)
  18. Don’t Let Go (Live)
  19. Let’s Go Get Stoned (Live)

Cold Chisel, Ringside (WEA 25646 1003 2, 2003 – reissued WEA, 2011)

CD 1

  1. Home And Broken Hearted
  2. The Things I Love In You
  3. Cheap Wine
  4. Rosaline
  5. Breakfast At Sweethearts
  6. My Baby
  7. Houndog
  8. Plaza
  9. Fallen Angel
  10. Shipping Steel
  11. The Last Wave Of Summer
  12. Pretty Little Thing
  13. Merry-Go-Round
  14. Forever Now
  15. Khe Sanh

CD 2

  1. Cry Me A River
  2. Four Walls
  3. Lovelight
  4. When The War Is Over
  5. All I Wanna Do (Steve vocal)
  6. Big River
  7. Painted Doll
  8. Saturday Night
  9. You Got Nothing I Want
  10. Rising Sun
  11. Flame Trees
  12. Bow River
  13. Water Into Wine
  14. F-111
  15. Sunshine
  16. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)
  17. All I Wanna Do (Jimmy vocal) (previously unreleased bonus track)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 10, 2011 at 10:21

5 Responses

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  1. It’s a pretty good time for Aussie rock. Icehouse is currently in the midst of a major catalogue reissue campaign, The Church is also in the midst of a similar campaign on Second Motion Records here in the US, and even INXS is getting their back catalogue remastered (although the initial box set this year was underwhelming, there is apparently a box set and a deluxe edition of “Kick” in the works). Now someone needs to kick start a major Midnight Oil campaign…


    August 10, 2011 at 16:19

  2. Always happy to see people singing the praises of Cold Chisel. Of course, folks in Australia LOVE these guys!

    MusicTAP (@MusicTAP)

    August 11, 2011 at 13:44

  3. I was going to buy most of them but read reports on-line that these new reissues are ear shreddingly awful i.e. super loud to the point of being unlistenable. Would anybody who has heard them care to comment?

    Bevan James

    August 11, 2011 at 23:36

  4. These re-issues CDs don’t contain the bonus tracks from the previous re-masters from 1999. The box set which I have sounds fine to me and each CD has at least 3 bonus tracks from sessions originated from the original album sessions.

    The DVD stuff looks great but I’d prefer to see a separate DVD of these performances one day soon.


    August 14, 2011 at 05:18

  5. In regards to the “band’s future plans are up in the air”, an Australia/NZ tour has been announced for November and I believe more shows have been added recently, more detail here

    Maballes Aiken

    August 15, 2011 at 21:11

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