The Black Swan (The Triffids album)

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The Black Swan
The Black Swan (The Triffids album).jpg
Studio album by The Triffids
Released April 1989
Length 46:43
Label Island Records/Mushroom Records
Producer Stephen Street / The Triffids
The Triffids chronology
The Black Swan
Singles from The Black Swan
  1. "Goodbye Little Boy"
    Released: 1989
  2. "Falling Over You"
    Released: 1989

The Black Swan is the fifth and final studio album by The Triffids, released in April 1989 and peaking at No. 59 on the Australian Album Charts.[1] The album was originally conceived as a double album.

In the recording sessions the Triffids were joined by producer Stephen Street (the Smiths' - Strangeways, Here We Come and Morrissey's Viva Hate).[2] The Black Swan used a greater variety of musical instruments than their previous albums with bouzouki, güiro and accordion and a more obvious use of synths and programming. The title of the album was originally going to be Disappointment Resort Complex [3] but was renamed to The Black Swan, which according to a 1989 interview by Stephen Phillips (NME) with David McComb is based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Thomas Mann.[4]

The chosen single from the album, "Goodbye Little Boy", featured Jill Birt on vocals and ‘glammed up’ for the record sleeve.

"Too Hot To Move" was one of three songs written by David McComb which were used in the ABC TV series Sweet and Sour (1984) it had lead vocals by Deborah Conway (of Do-Ré-Mi). McComb bought the rights back to "Too Hot To Move" so that The Triffids could perform it again.

The cover photograph was taken in the stables at the rear of The Cliffe, the historic Peppermint Grove home in which David and Robert McComb grew up.[5]

A deluxe version of the album, with a 17-track bonus disc of demos, was released in Australia on 7 June 2008 through Liberation Music.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dave McComb unless otherwise noted.[9]

  1. "Too Hot to Move" - 4:12
  2. "American Sailors" - 0:41
  3. "Falling Over You" (David McComb, Adam Peters) - 3:43
  4. "Goodbye Little Boy" (David McComb, Adam Peters) - 3:28
  5. "Bottle of Love" (David McComb, Phil Kakulas, James Patterson) - 2:54
  6. "The Spinning Top Song" (David McComb, Adam Peters) - 3:36
  7. "Butterflies Into Worms" (David McComb, Phil Kakulas) - 3:20
  8. "New Year's Greetings" - 5:43
  9. "Good Fortune Rose" (Jill Birt, Alsy MacDonald) - 3:33
  10. "One Mechanic Town" - 3:11
  11. "Blackeyed Susan" (David McComb, Phil Kakulas) - 4:02
  12. "The Clown Prince" (David McComb, Phil Kakulas) - 4:37
  13. "Fairytale Love" - 3:51

2008 Reissue[edit]

Disc 1:

  1. Too Hot to Move, Too Hot to Think
  2. American Sailors
  3. Falling Over You
  4. Goodbye Little Boy
  5. Bottle of Love
  6. Go Home Eddie
  7. The Spinning Top Song
  8. Butterflies Into Worms
  9. I Can't Help Falling in Love
  10. New Year's Greetings
  11. Good Fortune Rose
  12. Shell of the Man
  13. One Mechanic Town
  14. Jack's Hole
  15. Black-Eyed Susan
  16. You Minus Me
  17. The Clown Prince
  18. Fairytale Love
  19. How Could I Help But Love You

Disc 2:

  1. Too Hot to Move, Too Hot to Think (Demo)
  2. American Sailors (Demo)
  3. Why Don't You Leave for Good This Time (Demo)
  4. Bottle of Love (Demo)
  5. The Spinning Top Song (Demo)
  6. Butterflies Into Worms (Demo)
  7. New Year's Greetings (The Country Widower) (Demo)
  8. Good Fortune Rose (Demo)
  9. One Mechanic Town (Demo)
  10. Jack's Hole (Demo)
  11. Black-Eyed Susan (Demo)
  12. You Minus Me (Demo)
  13. The Clown Prince (Demo)
  14. Fairytale Love (Demo)
  15. (You've Got) A Funny Way of Showing You Love Me (Demo)
  16. No More After You (Demo)
  17. In the Dark (Demo)


The Triffids[edit]

Credited to:[2]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Adam Peters
  • Philip Kakulas
  • Rita Menendez


  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: 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.
  2. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Skjefte, Morten; Warnqvist, Stefan; Simonetti, Vince. "The Triffids". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 28 July 2002. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Rock Australia Magazine - Jon Casimir (17 May 1989)
  4. ^ New Musical Express (22 April 1989)
  5. ^ "Battle Over Triffid's House". 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  6. ^ Liberation Music website announcement
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ Aston, Martin. "Stunning" [The Black Swan review]. Q. May 1989.
  9. ^ APRA database at the Australasian Performing Right Association website (search each song title)

External links[edit]