Quasimodo's Dream (song)

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"Quasimodo's Dream"
Quasimodo's Dream.jpg
Single by The Reels
from the album Quasimodo's Dream
A-side "Quasimodo's Dream"
B-side "(Love Is) Here Today"
Released May 1981
December 1983 (re-release)
Format 7" Single
Recorded 1980–1981 at Albert Studios
Genre Pop, new wave
Length 4:06
Label Polygram, Mercury
Songwriter(s) David Mason
Producer(s) The Reels
The Reels singles chronology
"Shout and Deliver" / "Depression"
(1981)
"Quasimodo's Dream"
(1981)
"No. 3" / "Haunted"
(1981)
"Shout and Deliver" /
"Depression"
(1981)
"Quasimodo's Dream" /
"(Love Is) Here Today"
(1981)
"No. 3" /
"1, 2, 3" /
"Haunted"
(1981)
The Reels singles chronology
"Happiness" /
"Comedy"
(1983) HappinessComedy1983
"Quasimodo's Dream"
(1983) Quasimodo's Dream1983
"It Must Be Love" /
"My Family"
(1985) It Must Be LoveMy Family1985

"Quasimodo's Dream" is a song by Australian pop/new wave band The Reels and was released as the title single off their second album, Quasimodo's Dream in May 1981. The album peaked at No. 27 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart but the single did not reach the Top 50 of the related Singles Chart.[1] Rock music historian, Ian McFarlane claimed, "the album's highlight was the sparse, evocative title track".[2] The song, written by lead singer Dave Mason, is now regarded as a classic—in 2001 it was named by Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) at No. 10 of their Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[3] It was covered by fellow Australians Kate Ceberano (1989) and Jimmy Little (1999).[4]

Background[edit]

The Reels were formed in 1979 in Sydney and signed with the Australian branch of Mercury Records, with the line-up of Paul Abrahams on bass guitar, John Bliss on drums, Craig Hooper on lead guitar and synthesiser, Dave Mason on vocals, and Colin Newham on keyboards, saxophone and guitar.[2] They released their debut single, "Love Will Find a Way" in October, which peaked into the top 40 of the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[1] Their self-titled debut album, The Reels, produced by Mark Opitz (The Angels, Cold Chisel) had appeared in November. With the follow-up single, "Prefab Heart" also appearing in November, combined with the band's distinctive image, they gained increasing attention with their music videos featured on the influential national ABC TV pop show Countdown from early 1980.[2][5] In February, The Reels were joined by another keyboardist, Karen Ansel (ex-Romantics), and released their third single, "After the News" in July. It marked a transition in their music—their songs took on a more serious lyrical tone—they dispensed with guitars, by using synthesisers as their main instruments.[2]

"Shout and Deliver" was released in March 1981, ahead of their second album, Quasimodo's Dream, in May, which peaked at No. 27 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. The title single, "Quasimodo's Dream", followed but did not reach the Top 50 of the related Singles Chart.[1] Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane claimed, "the album's highlight was the sparse, evocative title track".[2] In 1983 the band travelled to the United States and United Kingdom, and released a five track EP, Pitt Street Farmers and followed with an updated version of "Quasimodo's Dream" in December, which demonstrated the band's faith in the song, although it failed to chart on its second release. At this point Mason was forced to give up performing after contracting hepatitis, which effectively ended the group. The song became acknowledged as a classic,[4] and in 2001, it was named by Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) at No. 10 of their Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[3]

Music journalist, Toby Creswell, described the song in his 2005 book, 1001 Songs as being "a grim but beautiful tale of alienation and self-hatred",[6] although the song's writer, Mason, concedes that the "whole lyric just doesn't make sense".[6] In March 2011, while performing the song on RocKwiz, Mason says, "... And of course you know that Quasimodo, wanted to marry Gazelda [sic], and live in a nice little house with three children, and a picket fence; And I never want to be, in Quasimodo's dream. No Sir." [7]

Cover versions[edit]

"Quasimodo's Dream" was covered by Kate Ceberano on her album, Brave (1989); by The Blackeyed Susans' Robert Snarski for the Triple R-FM compilation, RRRewind in the Chapel (February 1999); and by Jimmy Little on Messenger (June 1999).[2] Subsequently it was covered by Glenn Richards of Augie March on national radio, Triple J's segment "Like a Version" in October 2010. Another variety was arranged and performed by Tripod and Eddie Perfect (performing together as "Perfect Tripod") together with Gotye as a special download and vinyl release in March 2013 to support the Save Live Australian Music campaign on Pledge Music.[8] "Quasimodo's Dream" was interpreted by Tim Rogers with a music video[9] by Sandpit[10] to coincide with the theatrical release of an Australian feature film, The Boy Castaways (2013).[11]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Quasimodo's Dream" (David Mason) – 4:06
  2. "(Love Is) Here Today" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher) credited on the record label as Brian Wilson/Peter Asher – 3:39

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  2. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Reels'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on June 15, 2004. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "2001 - Top 10 list". APRA/AMCOS. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "The Reels". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. "Reels, The". The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2010.  Note: [on-line] version established in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition.
  6. ^ a b Creswell, Toby (2007) [2005]. 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them (RocKwiz ed.). Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-74066-458-5. 
  7. ^ RocKwiz - Ep 108 - SBS TV (26 March 2011). Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Save Live Australia's Music: Fighting Fund". pledgemusic.com. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  9. ^ "music video". wearesandpit.com. 
  10. ^ "Sandpit". wearesandpit.com. 
  11. ^ "The Boy Castaways". boycastaways.com.