Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dave Dobbyn Cuts Another Slice Of Heaven

Throughout the history of pop music in Australia, the quality of local artists has been supplemented amply by a regular influx of class acts from New Zealand. Think Dragon, Split Enz, Sharon O'Neill, Noiseworks, Koo De Tah, Jenny Morris, La De Das, Ray Columbus & The Invaders, and you're still only scratching the surface of Kiwi talent.

New Zealander Dave Dobbyn had already enjoyed considerable success at home during the late 70s with The Dudes, then DD Smash whose debut album went straight to #1 on the N.Z. charts upon its release. DD Smash enjoyed several major N.Z. hits but their only foray into the Australian charts came with 1984's 'Whaling' (#70).

Dobbyn's biggest commercial success would come in 1987 in the form of the theme song from the animated motion picture version of 'Footrot Flats: A Dog's Tale". 'Slice Of Heaven' spent a mammoth eight weeks at #1 in N.Z. and four atop the OZ charts. It's hard to know whether 'Slice Of Heaven' increased the popularity of the film or vice versa. The song was credited to Dave Dobbyn with Herbs.

Dobbyn released another single from the soundtrack 'You Ought Be In Love', an exquisite ballad that sadly was to a degree washed away in the wake of 'Slice Of Heaven's success. Dobbyn released his first solo album shortly after entitled 'Loyal'. The title track was another example of Dobbyn's burgeoning talent as a ballad writer. The first single released though was 'Love You Like I Should', a rocking little electric-acoustic number, and one of my personal favourites to come out of 1988. The backing vocals on the track were by one Margaret Urlich, who scored several top 50 hits including 'Escaping' (1990).

Dobbyn has released another six solo albums since, from 1993's 'Lament For The Numb' (credited to Dave Dobbyn & The Stone People) to 2005's 'Available Light'. In between he contributed to Eddie Rayner's Enzso projects, and recorded a live concert album with fellow Kiwi's Tim Finn and Bic Runga. He also released a retrospective best of entitled 'Overnight Success', which as his website points out only took 25 years worth of hard work.

As testament to the high regard in which Dave Dobbyn's work is held by his peers, in 2001 APRA (Australasian Performing Rights Association) invited its members to vote on New Zealand's alltime top 100 songs. Dave Dobbyn eight times in the top 50 as performer and/or writer. Interestingly his 1988 ballad 'Loyal' rated #3, higher than his mega #1 Australasian hit 'Slice Of Heaven' (#7). In the same year 2001 Dobbyn was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Zealand Recording Industry.

Check out the world of Dave Dobbyn at his official website:

1 comment:

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