Machiavelli and the Four Seasons

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Machiavelli and the Four Seasons
Studio album by TISM
Released 1 May 1995
Recorded Metropolis Studios
December 1992-September 1993
Platinum Studios
September 1994
Genre Alternative rock, alternative dance
Length 48:12
Label Shock Records/genre b.goode
FMR (3 December 2001 re-issue)
Producer TISM
TISM chronology
Australia The Lucky Cunt
Machiavelli and the Four Seasons
Jung Talent Time
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

Machiavelli and the Four Seasons is a 1995 album by the Australian rock group TISM (This Is Serious Mum). It is TISM's most famous release and the one with which they received the most critical success and fame. The album was certified Gold by the ARIA Awards and won the ARIA Award for Best Independent Release.[2] The award was accepted in person by Les Murray, the subject of the song "What Nationality is Les Murray?"', who read a seemingly insulting acceptance speech in his native Hungarian.[3] Three of its songs reached Triple J's Hottest 100, two of them in the top 10. This was also TISM's highest charting album, reaching number 8 in the Aria Charts.

The album featured TISM's switch from Alternative rock to synth-driven techno and dance music, which still retained the loud guitars and vocal melodies of their earlier music. The two singles Greg! The Stop Sign!! and (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River are two of TISM's most well known tracks.

The cover of the album is not TISM unmasked: it is a cover of The Hollywood Argyles.[4] The title is a composite phrase of doo wop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and thinker Niccolò Machiavelli.

The unusual title stems from a conceit found throughout the cover, although not in the tracks themselves, that this is actually an album by a group called "Machiavelli and the Four Seasons". The liner notes include an essay on the band's music, written with gushing praise. Track titles are also given, entirely revolving around the words "I", "Love", "You" and "Baby". A hidden track at the end of the actual album, entitled "Phillip Glass's Arse", is a melodic, a cappella harmonised song that gives a representation of what Machiavelli and the Four Seasons might actually sound like.

The actual tracks contain many fan favourites from TISM's catalogue and continue in the typical lyrical vein of parodying and insulting most elements of popular culture. Most well known are the singles "Greg! The Stop Sign!!" (featuring a famous Beach Boys style falsetto chorus) and the live favourite "(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River," which deconstructs celebrity hero worship, encapsulated in the verse:

I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk;
Injected some of Hendrix' junk;
I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane;
Mama Cass's sandwich? I ate the same!

References are also made to significant works of literature and politics, including Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" ("All Homeboys Are Dickheads"), Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias" ("Aussiemandias") and Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ("How Do I Love Thee?"). "Lose Your Delusion II" is a play on the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion II ("Lose Your Delusion I" appeared on Australia The Lucky Cunt), while "Play Mistral for Me" is a reference to 1971 film Play Misty for Me, Clint Eastwood's directorial debut. The album also contains the slightly controversial track "!Uoy Sevol Natas", an inversion of "Satan Loves You!". A parody of the belief that many classic rock songs contain backwards-masked Satanic messages.


Singles from the album were "(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River" (8 weeks in ARIA Singles Chart, peak #23[5]) and "Greg! The Stop Sign!!".

"All Homeboys Are Dickheads" was pressed up and prepared for sale, but for reasons unknown, prior to shipping, TISM ordered that the single be deleted. Copies of the single did make their way into the hands of TISM fans. It was also released as a promo with Machines Against the Rage.


Early demos of the album were made from 1991 to 1992. One of these demos, "Aussiemandias", appeared on the iTunes version of "The Beasts of Suburban". They started work on the album in December 1992 and concluded work in September 1993, but they weren't satisfied with what they recorded and chucked out the tapes, however two tracks, "Jung Talent Time" and "Aussiemandias", ended up on the final album.

In January 1994, they started recording new demos, but they were wiped out in April of that year by a computer virus. They entered Platinum Studios in September 1994 and exited 5 days later. The results of that session were mixed in December 1994. This is what ended up on the album.

The track "Play Mistral for Me" had existed since 1990; an early demo recording from that year, entitled "You're Only as Good as Your Fans", was included on the bonus disc of unreleased bedroom demos packaged with their 2002 album Best Off.

Track listing[edit]

The official track list for the TISM release of Machiavelli and the Four Seasons.

No. Title Listed title Length
1. "(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River"   I Love You Baby 2:24
2. "All Homeboys Are Dickheads"   You And Me, Baby Love 3:08
3. "Garbage"   Baby, I Love You 3:31
4. "Lose Your Delusion II"   Love, Baby-You 3:35
5. "!UOY Sevol Natas"   Its You I Love, Baby 3:36
6. "What Nationality Is Les Murray?"   In Love With You, Baby 4:36
7. "Greg! The Stop Sign!!"   Baby, Baby, Baby 3:28
8. "Play Mistral For Me"   Love, Love, Love 3:44
9. "How Do I Love Thee?"   Baby Love 5:17
10. "Jung Talent Time"   I.L.Y.B 4:40
11. "Aussiemandias"     4:16
12. "Give Up For Australia" (Runs 2:30. Includes a hidden track after a minute of silence.)   5:53
13. "Russia" (Was only included on promotional copies released in 1994, had to be removed for legal reasons.)   5:11

GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! For Australia! - A Bonus Disc[edit]

GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! For Australia! - A Bonus Disc
TISM gold DVD.jpg
Compilation album by TISM
Released 1996
Recorded Metropolis Studios
September 1993
Platinum Studios
September, December 1994
Genre Alternative rock
Length 42:09
Label Shock Records/genre b.goode
Producer TISM
TISM chronology
Australia The Lucky Cunt
Machiavelli and the Four Seasons
(bonus disc) (1996)
Jung Talent Time

To celebrate Machiavelli going "gold", it was re-released with a bonus disc.[6] The disc featured the B-sides from the River Phoenix and Greg singles, the entire Garbage single, two tracks from the Jung Talent Time remix EP, 4 then-unreleased diatribes and a studio version of the diatribe from Boys in the Hoods.

No. Title Original release Length
1. "Jung Talent Time #1"   Jung Talent Time 3:48
2. "Abscess Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"   (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River 2:46
3. "Dicktatorship"   (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River 2:01
4. "Strictly Loungeroom"   Greg! The Stop Sign!! 4:07
5. "There’s More Men in Children than Wisdom Knows"   Greg! The Stop Sign!! 3:14
6. "Garbage"   Garbage 3:42
7. "Junk"   Garbage 4:42
8. "Strictly Refuse"   Garbage 4:33
9. "Rubbish"   Garbage 4:18
10. "Jung Talent Time #4"   Jung Talent Time 4:11
11. "Fuck 'Em Fuck 'Em - The Lot of 'Em"     0:35
12. "If You Ever Hear His Name, Harden Not Your Arteries"     1:20
13. "Does Fame Bring Forth Madness?"     0:37
14. ""Don't Believe the Hype" is Hype"   Boys in the Hoods 1:30
15. "Bash This Up Your Ginger"     0:45

Machines Against the Rage[edit]

Machines Against the Rage
TISM machines rage.jpg
Live album by TISM
Released 16 December 1996
Recorded Collingwood Town Hall 20–21 October 1995
Genre Rock
Length 49:39
Label genre b.goode / Shock Records
Producer TISM
TISM chronology
Jung Talent Time
Machines Against the Rage

Machines Against the Rage is a live CD which was available with the limited edition 1996 re-issues of Machiavelli and the Four Seasons. The title is a re-wording of the protest rock group Rage Against the Machine who were nearing the height of their popularity at the time of this release. It is claimed on the very CD itself that it is a "shameless hollow publicity stunt".

Machines Against the Rage was initially released in promo form as cardboard sleeve with the unofficially released single for All Homeboys Are Dickheads. The recording was made on 21 October 1995 at the Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne.

Track listing[edit]

As Machines Against the Rage was released with Machiavelli and the Four Seasons, two track lists occur in the same vein as the original release.

No. Title Listed title Length
1. "All Homeboys Are Dickheads"   The Shit Thing 3:31
2. "Death Death Death"   The Shit Thing 3:16
3. "I'm Interested In Apathy"   The Shit Thing 3:01
4. "Get Thee To A Nunnery"   The Shit Thing 2:43
5. "Lilee Caught Dilley Bowled Milli Vanilli"   The Shit Thing 2:56
6. "Martin Scorsese Is Really Quite a Jovial Fellow"   The Shit Thing 3:03
7. "The History of Western Civilisation"   The Shit Thing 3:00
8. "Saturday Night Palsy"   The Shit Thing 3:20
9. "Aussiemandias"   The Shit Thing, The 4:27
10. "Root"   (The) Shit Thing 2:43
11. "I'll 'Ave Ya"     2:19
12. "Defecate On My Face"     4:52
13. "Give Up For Australia"     2:35
14. "I Drive A Truck"     2:16
15. "Mistah Eliot - He Wanker"     5:37

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonathan Lewis. "Allmusic review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  2. ^ TISM - The History of This Is Serious Mum (2000). Archived on 2000-12-06 by the Internet Archive.
  3. ^ Gold! Gold!! Gold!!! (1998) [video]. Warner Vision Australia.- The actual words spoken are "When the revolution happens, the music industry will be the first to go. Thank you."
  4. ^ The Hollywood Argyles album cover. Hosted by
  5. ^
  6. ^ TISM Discography at Saturday Night Palsy - The Not So Authorised TISM Website.

External links[edit]