Remembering: Dr G Yunupingu + Classic Albums: Gurrumul by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

This article is about an Aboriginal Australian person who has recently died. Those who practise avoidance of naming the dead are advised that this article may include the full name, voice, images of this person.

So I’ve bring back Classic Albums post/tag for Gurrumul by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu but as noted just above, I did try to leave it out of the title and do try mainly with refer to the album which was named after him but it’s impossible to do this and I’m embedding the album itself too so that’s why the disclaimer at the top. I don’t how they do it but avoiding the use of a deceased person’s first name is part of grieving practice amongst many Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

I don’t want to be disrespecting him because I love him so much, his music touch me and at the time of his passing I couldn’t even bring myself write anything. This was some very sad news a week ago now but I even only just listening to his music yesterday and putting my little tribute to him up on my blog together now because it’s so very heart breaking. Passing away at Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory on 25 July 2017 at only aged 46. After battling long illness, he had suffered from liver and kidney diseases for many years. Since his death he’s referred to as Dr G Yunupingu.

It’s was also requested not to use images of him but they did use this image at the time of that request so I’ll using it as the featured image today.

At the time of his death he was the most successful and highest selling solo Aboriginal Australian artist of all-time but it didn’t really make any big headlines in the mainstream media last week or so here in Australia. I think really a lot Aussies still didn’t know who he was even with the huge record sells. Maybe overseas it was a bigger news because that’s where the records sold the most anyway but I don’t know? I don’t live overseas.

Anyway his debut self-titled album simply called Gurrumul in 2008  has the be a total classic album then and now. It would have to be one of the greatest albums from the late 2000’s full-stop. I love this album so much I can’t even put into words how great it is. With three albums following it before his passing including a live album recorded at the Sydney Opera House. His last was in 2015 was The Gospel Album which was his re-imagining of the spiritual songs that came to northeast Arnhemland via Christian missionaries. Also he played in the bands Yothu Yindi and Saltwater Band.

He was born blind and amazingly he’s a left-hander but he plays a right-handed guitar holding it basically upside down. His albums was sung in a mixture of both Yolŋu and English but mainly in his own tongue. Yolŋu is the languages of indigenous people of northeast Arnhem Land in the northern Australia, in the white man’s terms covers it also is very northern Northern Territory but also goes into north-east Western Australia and some of the top of Queensland too.

If you’ve never heard this album? I think you should just listen to it and hopefully you’ll hear why I love it so much and I can stop rabbiting on about in a totally pointless way. It’s just so beautiful and amazing I bet you will fall in love with it too now! Or do you already know and love this album? Please let me know what you do thing about it below, OK?

Gurrumul album track listing and times:

1. Wiyathul – 5:55
2. Djärimirri – 3:57
3. Bäpa – 2:37
4. Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind) – 5:54
5. Marrandil – 6:28
6. Marwurumburr – 3:17
7. Galiku – 8:23
8. Baywara – 6:25
9. Gäthu Mäwula – 4:30
10. Galupa – 5:02
11. Wirrpangu – 4:58
12. Wukun – 4:14

So sorry for using this image of him but it’s only the album cover artwork.

So here’s all my Classic Albums posts or each are all linked below!

I’ve not done any of these blog posts for a while now so would anyone out there like me to bring them back now? Basically the idea is write a little about each of my fave albums but I don’t know why really I titled/tagged them all as classic albums? Please feel free to leave a reply about any of them or all of them all, Thank you!



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