Classic Albums: Where Joy Kills Sorrow by Various Artists

Well, this really could be the most obscure album I’ve written about, so far? Does anyone else remember this album? Or not? Where Joy Kills Sorrow would have to be one of my most fave mid to late-90’s album ever. At the time it was hammered like no tomorrow but it seems like almost no one has written about it on the whole while web. I can’t find much about it at all so does that mean no one got it or remember it or even care about it now? So is there a point to writing about it? I don’t know but I’m going to do it anyway.

After somewhat last week of The Triffids and on Friday I had The Triffids singer-songwriter David McComb with Nick Cave so today’s post seems like the final step or something just to finish of. It’s a comp album with tracks recorded over 12 months period from March 1996-97, produced by Evil Graham Lee and stars the who’s who of Melbourne music scene of that time. Including one of, if not the last ever song recorded by David McComb called Still Alive And Well. I should start with the opening track but I should before going anymore say it’s songs here are all covers and whole heartedly I pretty much love all these songs and more so than the originals. It kick of with Mick Harvey‘s Just A Little Bit Of Rain which was written by Fred Neil and it’s a perfect way to start the album. Harvey‘s an ex-The Bad Seeds but he’s a bit of a great master of cover versions and this could be one of his very best.

I’ve found five of the fifteen tracks on youtube/soundcloud maybe I should have uploaded the rest or something but I’m not into that, if it’s there I’ll embedded them here. I always only included promo video or live clips but because these songs are almost impossible to find I’ve just have have same samples of the music you can find on the album here on the page.  Where Joy Kills Sorrow is NOT on any other streaming sites I can find but at the record label site you listen to five more songs but one is the very same track as these youtube ones. You if you do like/love these bits of what you do hear, it seems you can still buy the album too by clicking on this link but the website does look very dated so I would send an email to them before ordering it. Maybe if you still have a copy yourself, get it out now and have a listen again!

It’s music style would have to be country & western but very indie Aussie version of it. You could call it Americana if it wasn’t so very Aussie, that’s what’s basically is indie C&W is called? So this is the second Aussie comp album to make it into my Classic Album collection, it was the very first post I wrote here but I think my writing got a little better since then, I’m up to 35 of these tagged albums with today’s page. I don’t normally follow something like these or do two albums like these together with same artists but I guess they’re big difference too with a lot of other artists here so it seems fine to do and does flow, that’s nice to do now too.

 Number two track is Joel Silbersher doing Hank Williams‘ When You’re Tired Of Breaking Other Hearts, Joel is more well known for his band/s. His earliest was GOD as a teenager, then it was Hoss, has played/worked a lot with Tex Perkins, forming the underrated band called Tendrils with Charlie Owen, his very own solo album should more well known too. Greg Perkins is really Tex Perkins credited here to his real name, no wonder he changed it because Greg is not very rock n roll. He’s most well known for 80’s/90’s bands The Beasts Of Boudon and The Cruel Sea as the singer plus his later solo album too, he’s also been doing pretty cool Aussie Johnny Cash tribute shows in the last few years too. So Greg does a wonderful version Yellow Roses written by Kenny DevineSam Nichols which Ry Cooder‘s 70’s one I known the best but a few C&W stars has recorded it as far back as the 50’s.

Mostly the tracks on it are American C&W songwriters but I’ll like to think they all Aussiefied by all these singers. Renee Geyer doing Dan Hicks well known track I Scare Myself. Uncle Bill was a 90’s Melbourne bluegrass band who plays who plays with her and help Paul Kelly do Ernest Tubb‘s Thanks A Lot too, which written by Eddie Miller & Don Sessions. Then also do Aussie Spencer P. Jones classic song The World’s Got Everything In It all by themselves. At the time this song was one of the two songs I knew really well from this and I guess was a intro to some great songwriters because it make me go check them out because I still think I like/love these versions of the songs better.

At track number six is Warren Ellis with and father, as Woza intro him as Screaming Johnny Ellis before starting to play the song written by his dad called Mis’ry Is My Middle Name. Might just be the best track on the whole album, in that intro Woza saying “this is the reason I am what I am” Both of the Ellis sing together too, it’s still pretty much the only song ever Warren Ellis sung himself. He’s done backing vox for Cave sometimes but never lead like this, if you’ve got or can find it the limited edition bonus disc has a couple of outtakes and Ellis saying he pretty much loses his voice when he sings too much. The very last track on the bonus is the very old original recording of the same song too. Getting this album is worth it just for when John says to his son “play it you little bugger” and Woz plays one of great fiddle solo. Then after all that crazy Ellis’ the ex-The Go-BetweensRobert Forster does a beautiful and haunting version of John Prine‘s The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness.

After that beautiful number and some bigger names on this comp album come two less known artists here with Bruce Haymes and Rob Snarski, Bruce is not really known as a solo artist and mainly plays with a lot of these artists on the album but their bands or/and albums and Rod is mostly known for his work with The Blackeyed Susans. Duchess song is a Scott Walker track from his Scott 4 album from 1969 which was released under a different real name Scott Engel at that time. If You Don’t Want My Love is yet another John Prine song and the only songwriter who’s on this album twice.

Vika & Linda Bull do I’d Rather Be Sorry by Kris KristoffersonChris Abrahams and Melanie Oxley do The Way You See Me by Jimmy Day and was the only song recorded in Sydney. Then since the 90’s and this comp album Willie Nelson did his own cover in the mid-2000’s of this very little known song.

Then track thirteen is David McComb’s Still Alive And Well which the most well known version was done by Johnny Winter for album which takes the song name for it’s title but was written by Rick Derringer. Both those verison have that 70’s/80’s silly guitar rock god thingy but David’s is so much more, redefining it and making it so much more serious track but that’s because he did died a couple of year after it anyway it’s most likely my fave track on Where Joy Kills Sorrow album too.

When I Dream was written by Sandy Mason and performed here by Matt Walker & Ashley Davies. Finishing off the album is Dave Graney and Clare Moore does This Is Forever, which was written by Tex Perkins so he’s the only artist here that both sings a track and has his song performed by someone else too. This the second track I knew at the time of buying the album, both are two of the Aussie songwriters.

When I got Where Joy Kills Sorrow comp album back in the 90’s it was with the bonus disc of crazy extras, kind-of interviews, outtakes all mixed up together. It intro me to some great songwriters I didn’t know at the time but I did almost know all the singers at the time but it also pushed me to get to know them all a little more too. I think almost all of them with pop-up again here on my blog, if they haven’t yet. Warren Ellis and the Dirty Three, Chris Abrahams and The Necks have both already been included in these posts and David McComb and The Triffids got one last week too plus Robert Forster last album and my first time live show of him. Oh, as well few of the same artists/bands was on the Tales of the Aussie Underground albums too. With the 15 tracks it does all adds up to almost 57 minutes. In its liner notes Lee write this is the first volume and goes on to say he wants to do Volume 2 but off course that never happen. 2017, this year marks twenty years since it’s release but god knows if anyone cares, do you?

Please do leave a reply if you know and love Where Joy Kills Sorrow album?

Where Joy Kills Sorrow track listing of artist, song and times:

1. Mick Harvey –  Just A Little Bit Of Rain 3:33
2. Joel Silbersher – When You’re Tired Of Breaking Other Hearts 3:36
3. Renee Geyer with Uncle Bill – I Scare Myself 4:27
4. Greg Perkins – Yellow Roses 3:54
5. Uncle Bill – The World’s Got Everything In It 2:57
6. Warren and John Ellis – Mis’ry Is My Middle Name 3:19
7. Robert Forster – The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness 4:45
8. Paul Kelly with Uncle Bill – Thanks A Lot 2:38
9. Bruce Haymes – Duchess 3:39
10. Rob Snarski with Matt Walker – If You Don’t Want My Love 3:37
11. Vika and Linda Bull – I’d Rather Be Sorry 3:20
12. Chris Abrahams and Melanie Oxley – The Way You See Me 3:44
13. David McComb – Still Alive And Well 2:43
14. Matt Walker and Ashley Davies – When I Dream 6:27
15. Dave Graney and Clare Moore – This Is Forever
Bonus Disc
1. TV Ad and Outtakes 1:01
2. David McComb – David McComb and Intros 0:44
3. Robert Forster – Robert Forster and Mis’ry 4:07
4. Rob Snarski – Rob Snarski and Laughs 1:25
5. Phil Kakulas – Phil Kakulas and Chat 1:07
6. Renee Geyer – Renee Geyer and Bad Cans 1:00
7. Gerry Hale – Gerry Hale and Roll It 1:13
8. Dave Graney – Dave Graney and Ending 2:10
9. Vika & Linda Bull – Vika And Linda Bull and Claps 2:33
10. Warren and John Ellis – Mis’ry New Version 2:48
11. John Ellis – Mis’ry Old Version 2:32


All my Classic Albums posts are linked below, off course it’s a work in progress:

Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

Gala Mill by The Drones

Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen

Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones

The White House by The Dead C

Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten

Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica

Kaira by Toumani Diabaté

Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants

Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males

Aerial by Kate Bush

The Future by Leonard Cohen

Rock For Light by Bad Brains

Last Splash by The Breeders

Sex by The Necks

Emergency Ward by Nina Simone

Paradise by My Disco

Batman by Prince

Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek

What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt

Love Of Life by Swans

Big Name, No Blankets by Warumpi Band

Blue Valentine by Tom Waits

In The Pines by The Triffids

Where Joy Kills Sorrow by Various Artists

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your own comments below about each album because I would love to hear what everyone think and has to say about them? Cheers!



  1. 3 and a half years later, a friend directed me to this article.
    WJKS is one of my favourites too.
    Great songs throughout, but my number one is “The Way You See Me”.
    Also recently discovered that Feed Neil wrote “A Little Bit of Rain”. He also wrote and recorded the song that Nilsson made a hit of “Everybody’s Talking At Me” and “The Dolphins” done by many including Tim Buckley.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh cool and thanks leaving me a comment telling me! i discovered some great songwriters on this album because of these covers!
      Cheers again Tony 🙂


  2. Hello!
    2 replies to a post from a post over 3 years old in a short space of time…
    Rummaging through compilation CDs during lockdown, I re-found this great compilation. Probably bought for the Robert Forster rendition of Speed of the Sound of Loneliness and as a memento from Australia on my 2003 business trip, its a wonderful compilation. Its been great to revisit and Mick Harvey kills it with his version of Just a Little Bit of Rain which makes makes it worth the entry price alone. Can’t remember if I bought it in Sydney or Melbourne but the 2 CD version I have was $30 from Collectors Cnr so maybe you’ll know…
    Nice to read about it on your blog and share a bit of the love!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a little obsessed with this album and was glad, although surprised, to see there was still some interest in this album.
    I’ve had it in the car stereo at various stages in various cars for over 20 years. Now my kids know it. It came into its own just two days ago when driving the kids out to the breakwall for some fresh air after a traumatic weekend where we had to put down our beloved cat. Just a little bit of rain seemed to sum up the feeling. The original version is pretty hard to beat but Mick Harvey gives it a good crack.
    On a similar note, check out the soundtrack to the movie Praise for some Screamin’ Johnny Ellis, Dirty Three, Crow and some Flamenco tracks of which I know little of their origin.
    Thanks for writing up this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like it’s time for another comment on this album 🙂 This is one of my very favourites from back in the day, but in these days of convenient streaming gets overlooked too much by me these days. I was most recently reminded of it after I stumbled upon Truckload of Sky: The Lost Songs of David McComb, which is another album largely driven by Evil Graham Lee. That one is on streaming services and also highly recommended. Graham’s liner notes on WJKS suggest that this should be considered as Vol. 1, so I occasionally go searching to see if Vol. 2 has been done yet, but alas….

    I can’t pick a favourite track and there are no weak ones. You can tell it has been put together with love by a collection of Australia’s best and I just love the “vibe” on this. Thank you for your insight and taking the time to post about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Andrew, thanks for commenting on this old post of even older album. So glad I’m not the only one who remember it and you’re not the only one commenting on it too! I just blogged my own 200 greatest Aussie albums of all-time and included this one, linked that post here: if you wanna check out what else I picked?
      Oh yeah, Truckload of Sky is another great one from Evil Graham Lee and that one does have vol. 1 in the album title but he implies Where Joy Kills Sorrow was suppose to get a sequel! Oh yeah, it’s very hard picking the best track on that album, I don’t know if I did say something at the time of typing that post because been a while since looking at it but i was listening again to the album recently and every one is wicked great cool song/cover!
      Cheers Andrew 🙂


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