Ocean Songs

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Ocean Songs
Studio album by Dirty Three
Released March 1998
Recorded August-September 1997
Genre Post-rock
Length 66:32
Label Touch and Go Records
Producer Steve Albini, Dirty Three
Dirty Three chronology
Horse Stories
Ocean Songs
Whatever You Love, You Are
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[2]

Ocean Songs is the fourth major album by Australian trio, Dirty Three. On some tracks David Grubbs plays piano and harmonium. Cover art by guitarist Mick Turner.

Recorded at Electric Audio, Chicago, United States, during August and September 1997.[3]

A special release version was issued by their UK record label, Bella Union, in 2005 that contained the original album along with a live DVD.

Also in 2005 the album was performed live in London in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series, a performance that was later repeated in Barcelona and Mt Buller, Australia and as part of the 2009 ATP New York Festival (curated then by The Flaming Lips).


In October 2010, Ocean Songs by Dirty Three was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[4]

Rolling Stone Australia said, "Eschewing the now patented violin-led raveups, the Dirty Three turned the atmosphere up to 11. With Warren Ellis playing sans distortion for the first time, Ocean Songs ebbs and flows with its own inevitable momentum: quiet, reflective and painstakingly slow."[5]

AllMusic considered the album, "easily their most controversial, and a decided change in direction. The music here keeps all tempos reigned in and all instrumental flurries to a minimum, creating the feeling of waves lapping and pouring into and out of one another. It's as if the D3 were on a vessel, playing to the ocean itself."[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sirena" – 4:06
  2. "The Restless Waves" – 5:09
  3. "Distant Shore" – 5:50
  4. "Authentic Celestial Music" – 10:04
  5. "Backwards Voyager" – 4:34
  6. "Last Horse on the Sand" – 4:52
  7. "Sea Above, Sky Below" – 6:04
  8. "Black Tide" – 4:35
  9. "Deep Waters" – 16:27
  10. "Ends of the Earth" – 5:11

Special Edition DVD track listing[edit]

  1. "Last Horse on the Sand"
  2. "Distant Shore"
  3. "Authentic Celestial Music"
  4. "Sue's Last Ride"
  5. "Deep Waters"


  1. ^ a b Allmusic review
  2. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  3. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Dirty-Three-Ocean-Songs/release/603982
  4. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  5. ^ "The Year in Recordings". Australian Rolling Stone Yearbook. Tilmond Pty Ltd. December 1998. p. 139.