If any record was going to break Paul Kelly in the U.S., it would have been Under The Sun. While there were some great songs on Gossip, it wasn’t quite as consistent as Under The Sun, which also boasted better production, to boot.
And better songs, too: I’ve already mentioned the insanely great “To Her Door,” but there was also the rollicking drum-fueled “Dumb Things,” the title track, which ended up with rave-up fueled by the “My Generation” chord changes, and the impossibly lovely “Desdemona.”
Of course, there’s never going to be a point in my life where I’m not instantly attracted to a song that features an organ chiming over a 12-string guitar, and the thin wild mercury sound of “Desdemona” — that organ was joined by a piano — was a pretty rare thing in the late 1980s.
Even better was the gloriously melodic chorus:
Well I lost my Desdemona
With my own hands I did destroy her
Yes I lost my Desdemona
I fell for lies, I fell for lies
In the end, guitarist Steve Connolly ratchets up some noisy guitar while a Kelly and a heavenly host sing
And it’s all just ridiculously pretty, with just enough feedbacky guitar to keep it from being too pretty.
After Under The Sun, Kelly followed it up with 1989’s Scott Litt produced So Much Water, So Close to Home and 1991’s Comedy, neither of which were as great as what had proceeded them, though “Cities of Texas” from the former and “From Little Things Big Things Grow” from the latter are absolutely worth seeking out.
After that, Kelly embarked on a solo career — he put an album out just a few months ago — the vast majority of which has been off of my radar, though I’ll betcha that there are good songs on every single one of them.
The Certain Songs Database
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