Classic Albums: Charcoal Lane by Archie Roach

So going back to the 90’s again but staying in Australia today for Saturday’s post, it’s been ten Classic Albums since the last Aussie record but the last week or so it’s been pretty Aussie bands/artists heavy here on my blog, once again as promised last month a little bit about some not so great Aussie history too.

The album Charcoal Lane was Archie Roach‘s debut solo back in 1990 when this album was released it arise the issue of the stolen generation which mainstream Australia and/or white population here didn’t know very much about. I don’t know how much is known about it with say overseas readers but I’ll try and do my best to somehow talk about this fucked-up thing the Australian gov did and almost all of the mainstream still pretend it didn’t happened at all but it did!

So that’s the first single and video clip for the album which did shock people at the time of the release in 1990, Archie was three years old when he was stolen and has said it was his uncle who asked him to write about it. So it says the intro a children’s lyric book published in 2010. At the time I remember questions like how or why did that happen? Got thrown around about the stolen children/generation because made it into the press and/or just conversions of the white Aussies who say they didn’t know because no one told them before or whatever other reason, maybe just to dumb not to know the history that’s not teach in Australian schools. I don’t know if it is change now?

Hopefully it has now changed but when I was a school Australia history start when the first fleet arrived and no aboriginal history was teached. This was late 80’s/early 90’s I was getting education by my teachers in a small town in the southwest corner of W.A. which I did end with very, very minimal reading and writing skills and it wasn’t until later anyone picked up it was dyslexic and that’s after leaving high school in year 10, I kind-of teach myself to read and write right with a bit of help from others. Anyway I’m getting off point but I guess it proves how useless schools and then governments are at providing education, well back then but has it changed now? I just have to say I hope it has but who know’s?

In 1988 was the bicentenary which was a huge deal here, just 200 years since those boats drop their anchors. It might seem like a longtime but in the world we live in to me it’s just a blink in the eye of history. After those people exiting those boat the bloody English taken all the land of the whole country the that would be named Australia in 1788. Indigenous Australians are believed to have arrived in Australia 40,000 to 60,000 years ago, and possibly as early as 70,000 years ago. To explain to whole history would taken a lot longer than I’ve got here, maybe I’ll write more about it over time here on my blog but it’s just a tidbit today. So then we skip to approximately to around the year 1905 and the Australian Federal and State governments and with church missions started forced removed from families’ children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. This BS called a gov policy only ended in 1969/1970, you know?

 Only just a few years ago in 2011 an Aussie PM at the time, I think we had four or maybe five since then but I could have miscounted? Gave US President Barack Obama an ipod of Aussie music for him to listen on his way home or sometime when he wasn’t busy? Archie Roach had half a dozen songs on that playlist, more than any other Aboriginal artists but not surprisingly Took The Children Away wasn’t on the list or any from Charcoal Lane album and not surprisingly way more white Aussies featured on it too.

Also in 2011 when Triple J did the Hottest 100 Aussie albums of all-time Charcoal Lane album was voted in at number 70 by the musicians and industry experts but the radio listener’s wasn’st as cool so it missed out on that list. Just below is a video clip of Ruby Hunter singing Down City Streets. Archie and Ruby meet each other as homeless city street teenages and become life long partner until 2010 when she passed away.

Just two year ago the album celebrate 25 years old and was reissues with huge bonus disc featuring the who who’s of Aussie music scene now with the songs and artist doing: Charcoal Lane by Paul Kelly & Courtney Barnett, Munjana by Dan Sultan & Emma Donovan, I’ve Lied by Marlon Williams & Leah FlanaganBeautiful Child by Ellie Lovegrove & Nancy Bates, Down City Streets by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks feat. Archie Roach, No No No by Radical Son & Urthboy and a newish version re-worked called The Children Came Back by Briggs, Gurrumul & Dewayne Everettsmith.

Now Archie Roach‘s Charcoal Lane counts as my 19th Aussie Classic Albums here too. I’ve written about Aussie/Aboriginal artists lately here with the newish metal/punk Dispossessed band at the end of January and late last year about 80’s Big Name, No Blankets album by Warumpi Band, who wants me to do some more posts now? So who else loves this album too? Or if you’ve not heard it before I hope you enjoy it now?

 Charcoal Lane tracklisting and times:

1. Native Born – 3:59
2. Charcoal Lane – 3:21
3. Munjana – 7:36
4. I’ve Lied – 3:18
5. Down City Streets – 4:05
6. Took The Children Away – 5:24
7. Sister Brother – 4:28
8. Beautiful Child – 4:01
9. No No No – 3:50
10.Summer Of My Life – 3:36


All my Classic Albums posts are in that link or they’re all linked below too, enjoy!

So the idea here is simply for me to write a post about each of my favourite albums that I consider total stone cold classics!

Please do leave a reply below and tell me what you think about this album and/or artist or whatever you’d like to say about it?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s