Classic Albums: Messenger by Jimmy Little

So here’s the next in my long list of fave albums of all-time. Today I’ve got for you more Aussie music, some might not know yet again? It’s most likely his most well known album here in Australian for the simple fact he’s covering eleven great Aussie songwriters’ tracks. Jimmy Little is no longer with us, passing away in 2012 at the age of 75. He was an Indigenous Australian and starting his career way back in the 1950’s singing his own songs plus covers. He’s filed under Aboriginal Country & Western and what now is called an Easy-listening Crooner. Plus acting in TV, Movies and also teacher from the Yorta Yorta people too.

When in the late 90’s this album became what is, was his biggest hit and highest seller album. In 1999 even Aria awards gave him Best Adult Contemporary Album plus about bloody time he inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. This idea was by Brendan Gallagher from the Aussie band Karma County. To do a collection of contemporary songs reinterpreted through Jimmy’s smooth vocal style. Some of these tracks was originally big hits oversea so if your listening there you might known them. I say that hoping almost all Aussies would known these songs but they should know but who knows? I can say myself, I do know and love them so much and for a longtime now Little’s versions are epic listening but you must know by now I love a great cover? Jimmy Little has now beaten some of those songwriters into my list!

OK, here’s the songwriting credits, those in the know can skip this bit. Opening song was the title track from The Cruel Sea’s debut album. Tex Perkins even saying in his autobio book Little’s cover is far better than their original which Jimmy made it into a real song and not just sounding like a guy singing on top of a song that was a better instrumental song. Steve Kilbey’s epic The Church track, next is Ed Kuepper’s masterpiece, then is one of Paul Kelly’s greatest, The Reels’ classic by Dave Mason, one of Neil Finn’s Crowned House biggest hits. The Go-Betweens’ Grant McLennan I’m homesick in London genius songwriting BTW lead into the next song: Grant wrote it on Nick Cave acoustic guitar which he joked late it was the only song in it and he stole it or something. George Rurrambu and Neil Murray’s epic anthem better known as Warumpi Band. Sunnyboy’s Jeremy Oxley greatest song and ending the album with maybe less well known but masterclass songwriting of Mark Snarski of both Chad’s Tree and The Jackson Code but that song was original by the latter. All are total Aussie classic tracks and even more so since this Jimmy Little album too.

In 2013 this album was released as apart of a three disc boxset called Songman, including the following album, live at the Sydney Opera in 2001 plus all the outtakes of the Messenger sessions. Just to prove how great this album is, missing the final cut back then was AC/DC, King Curly, The Triffids, another The Church track and the longer version of Ed Kuepper’s song.

Messenger track listing and times:

1. Down Below – 4:26
2. Under The Milky Way – 4:57
3. The Way I Made You Feel – 4:50
4. Randwick Bells – 3:25
5. Quasimodo’s Dream – 5:26
6. Into Temptation – 4:49
7. Cattle and Cane – 4:23
8. (Are You) The One I’ve Been Waiting For? – 4:08
9. Black Fella/White Fella – 4:25
10. Alone With You – 4:22
11. Bring Yourself Home To Me – 3:43


So here’s all my Classic Albums posts and this post is number 99 overall and third entry of 2018. Today, I’m also going to say I’m going to try and do one record every Friday from now on. They’re just my fave albums and the basic idea is write a little about each. BTW I’m not anywhere close to finishing this little project too, you know?

Please leave a reply about this post or any of them or all of them, if you like?

Cheers 🙂


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