Talk (Paul Kelly album)

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Scattered range of large coloured circles mostly red or black. The background in pink. Artist name is at top left with album name at top right.
Studio album by Paul Kelly and the Dots
Released 30 March 1981 (1981-03-30)
Recorded Balance Sound, Armstrongs, EMI Studio 301
Genre Australian rock
Length 37:47
Label Mushroom
Producer Joe Camilleri, Martin Armiger, Trevor Lucas
Paul Kelly and the Dots chronology
Singles from Talk
  1. "Recognition"
    Released: 1979
  2. "Billy Baxter"
    Released: 20 October 1980
  3. "Lowdown"
    Released: 3 May 1981

Talk is the debut album by Australian rock group Paul Kelly and the Dots and was originally released on 30 March 1981 by Mushroom Records and re-released in 1990.[1] Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons leader Joe Camilleri produced seven of the eleven tracks with three tracks produced by Martin Armiger (The Sports) and one by Trevor Lucas (ex-Fairport Convention, Fotheringay).[1][2] The album spawned the singles, "Recognition", "Billy Baxter" and "Lowdown". Only "Billy Baxter" appeared on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart it peaked at No. 38.[3] The album peaked at No. 44 on the related Albums Chart.[3] All tracks were written by Kelly, including two co-written with guitarist Chris Langman.[4]


Paul Kelly and the Dots had formed in August 1978 in Melbourne from the remains of High Rise Bombers, which included Martin Armiger. Their debut single "Recognition" was issued in 1979, under the name The Dots, on an independent label, but had no chart success.[1][2] "Recognition" line-up were Kelly (vocals), Chris Langman (guitars), Chris Worrall (guitars), Paul Gadsby (bass guitar) and John Lloyd (drums). The version of "Recognition" included on Talk is not the single version, but a re-recording.

The Dots were signed to Mushroom Records, and underwent further line-up changes prior to the album's release.[2] The band name was changed to "Paul Kelly and the Dots" at the record company's insistence.

Armiger produced part of the album, while Joe Camilleri produced the majority of the LP. The group released "Billy Baxter" in 1980, which peaked at No. 38 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[3] The song's subject, Billy Baxter, is an Australian musician and comedian.[2]

Talk was issued on 30 March 1981 and peaked at No. 44 on the related albums chart.[3] "Lowdown" was released as a single in May but had no chart success.[2] The group then travelled to The Philippines' capital to record their second album Manila during July and August 1981, but further line-up changes delayed its release until August 1982.[2] Kelly was later dissatisfied with both of these albums: "I wish I could grab the other two and put 'em in a big hole".[5]

The album's liner notes quote the opening stanzas of Charles Baudelaire's 1857 poem, "Les Foules" (see "The Crowds" for English translation).[6]


Professional reviews[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [7]

Allmusic has rated Talk.[7]

Chart positions and releases[edit]

Year Chart Peak
1981 Australian Albums Chart
Kent Music Report
Format Country Label Catalogue No. Year
LP AUS Mushroom L37512 1981
LP AUS Mushroom L19465 1990
CD AUS Mushroom D19465 1990

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Promise Not to Tell" Paul Kelly Martin Armiger (Remix: Paul Kelly/Barry Earl) 3:24
2. "Lowdown" Kelly Armiger (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 3:36
3. "Want You Back" Kelly Armiger (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 3:12
4. "Fall Guy" Kelly, Chris Langman Joe Camilleri (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 3:39
5. "Hard Knocks" Kelly Trevor Lucas (Remix: Joe Camilleri/Jim Barton) 3:57
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
6. "Billy Baxter" Kelly, Langman Camilleri (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 2:47
7. "Recognition" Kelly Camilleri (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 3:08
8. "Cherry" Kelly Camilleri 4:35
9. "The Way Love Used to Be" Kelly Camilleri 3:11
10. "I Hate to Watch You Loving Him" Kelly Camilleri (Remix: Kelly/Earl) 3:22
11. "Please Send Me" Kelly Camilleri 2:53


Paul Kelly and the Dots members

  • Paul Kelly – vocals
  • Paul Gadsby – bass guitar
  • Chris Langman – guitars
  • John Lloyd – drums
  • Chris Worrall – guitars
  • Chris Dyson – guitar, vocals
  • Tony Thornton – drums
  • Alan Brooker – bass guitar
  • Tim Brosnan – guitar
  • Michael Holmes – guitar

Recording details

  • Producer – Martin Armiger (tracks 1, 2, 3), Joe Camilleri (tracks 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), Trevor Lucas (track 5)
    • Remixer – Kelly (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10), Barry Earl (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10), Camilleri (track 5), Jim Barton (track 5)
  • Engineer – Jim Barton
    • Remix engineer – Michael Lesso (track 5)


  1. ^ a b c Holmgren, Magnus. "Paul Kelly". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Paul Kelly'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  4. ^ "APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 18 September 2008.  Note: APRA search engine requires user to input song title, e.g. Promise Not to Tell
  5. ^ Jenkins, Jeff; Meldrum, Ian (2007). Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia. Melbourne, Vic: Wilkinson Publishing. ISBN 978-1-921332-11-1. 
  6. ^ Blanda, Eva (2003). "The Recordings of Paul Kelly with bands". Other People's Houses. Retrieved 17 February 2012. It is not given to every man to take a bath of multitude; enjoying a crowd is an art; and only he can relish a debauch of vitality at the expense of the human species, on whom, in his cradle, a fairy has bestowed the love of masks and masquerading, the hate of home, and the passion for roaming. Multitude solitude: identical terms, and interchangebly [sic] the active and fertile poet. The man who is unable to people his solitude is equally unable to be alone in a bustling crowd. C.B. 1857 
  7. ^ a b "Talk > Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 9 September 2010.