Unlimited Address

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Unlimited Address
Unlimited Address.jpg
Studio album by Catfish
Released 17 October 1988
Recorded 1988
Genre Rock
Jazz
Funk
Length 33:40
Label WEA Records (LP)
Salt Records (CD reissue)
Producer Peter Walker and Don Walker
Catfish chronology
'Unlimited Address'
(1988)
'Ruby'
(1991)Ruby1991
Singles from Unlimited Address
  1. "When You Dance"
    Released: 18 April 1988
  2. "Early Hours"
    Released: 19 September 1988
  3. "Hiwire Girl"
    Released: 13 March 1989

Unlimited Address was the debut album by Australian band Catfish. Released in 1988, it spent 1 week in the Australian charts, peaking at number 50.[1][2]

Album details[edit]

Don Walker had been the main song-writer and piano player with Australian rock band Cold Chisel. He was the author of many of their hit songs, but rarely sang with them. When the band split in 1983, other members launched solo careers, but Walker travelled extensively through the Soviet Union, Asia & Europe. He intended to retire from the music industry.[3]

In 1988, Walker signed a contract with WEA with the aim of recording under the name Catfish. Although using a band name, Walker was the sole ongoing member, public face and vocalist. He initially recorded bass and basic keyboard parts using a Fairlight CMI series 2, but the bass parts were later re-recorded by Ian Belton. David Blight featured heavily on harmonica, and Ian Moss provided some guitar breaks.[3] Walker chose not to have the contributing musicians listed in the liner notes, claiming it would be "too long and boring."[4]

The album showed a Jazzier, Eastern European side to Walker's songwriting, reflecting his travels during the previous years. Walker said that many of the songs were initially written for his own amusement before Catfish was conceived.[4] One review described it as, "a weird amalgam of torch songs, Eastern European cabaret and funk."[5] Walker said, "Catfish was designed with a specific sound in mind and I didn't want session musicians. All of the people playing on this album have a strong personality which has affected the overall sound."[3]

The song "Unlimited Address" was a reworking of an early unreleased Cold Chisel song, "Five-Thirty ETA". In its original form, it was described by Walker as, "a truck-driving story song with too many lyrics."[6]

In 2010, the album was re-released with new cover artwork. The album was remastered by Don Bartley, and the songs "One Night in Soviet Russia" and "Subway" were remixed by Phil Punch.[5]

Reception[edit]

Shawn Sequeira said of the album, "This might very well be regarded as one of our greatest pieces of contemporary music that slipped under the commercial radar. And no one knows why."[7] Upon release, the album received minimal radio play.[8]

Despite having written many of Cold Chisel's songs, Walker suffered from being less well known than former band-mates Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, who both released hit albums (the very successful Ian Moss album Matchbook was largely written by Walker). Tracee Hutchison said, "Despite Walker's brilliant feel for this genre, the relative lack of impact of Catfish is an interesting indictment on the nature and machinations of band chemistry. Without Barnes, Don Walker lost the outlet for his craft."[9]

A reviewer for The Canberra Times noted that the album may appeal to Cold Chisel fans, but the music was markedly different from his old band. "Brassy blues is the order, though a pop-rock flavour shines through some of the tracks. Walker is not about to limit himself to just one style. He moves subtly, almost quietly, from one mood to another."[10]

Rolling Stone Australia noted Walker, "toured through Australia, Asia and Eastern Europe. These songs are linked by the narratives, the stories of cafes and bars in Europe and caravan parks in the Territory. There is the sense of detachment, a touch of voyeurism and an attempt to get some external reality into an emotional search."[11]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Don Walker[12]

No.TitleLength
1."When You Dance"3:11
2."Hiwire Girl"2:52
3."In the Early Hours"5:07
4."Subway"3:28
5."One Night in Soviet Russia"3:55
6."My Backyard (The Moon Over Manila)"5:59
7."Pre-War Blues"3:48
8."Station"2:40
9."Unlimited Address"4:40

Personnel[edit]

  • Don Walker – Lead vocals, Keyboards
  • Ian Moss – Guitar
  • Peter Walker – Guitar
  • David Blight – Harmonica
  • Ian Belton – Double bass
  • Ricky Fataar – Drums
Production
Engineering
Album artwork

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book. p. 70. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  2. ^ "CATFISH - UNLIMITED ADDRESS (ALBUM)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Lesley Sly. "Catfish Capers". Sonics. Sydney, NSW: Federal Publishing Co (March 1989): pgs 16–19. 
  4. ^ a b Kathryn Whitfield (1 December 1988). "Don Walker chisels out a solo career". Canberra Times. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Catfish re-release of two classic albums by Don Walker". Entertainment Depot. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Michael Lawrence (1998). Showtime: The Cold Chisel Story. Belmont, Victoria: Michael Lawrence. p. 198. ISBN 1-86503-118-6. 
  7. ^ Shawn Sequeira (15 September 2010). "Catfish – Unlimited Address". The Dwarf. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Anthony O'Grady (2001). Cold Chisel: The Pure Stuff. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. p. 268. ISBN 1-86508-196-5. 
  9. ^ Tracee Hutchison (1992). Your Name's on the Door. Sydney: ABC Enterprises. p. 155. ISBN 0-7333-0115-0. 
  10. ^ Kathryn Whitfield (24 November 1988). "Round and Round". Canberra Times. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  11. ^ John Halfhide (1988). "Standing on the Outside". Rolling Stone Australia. 
  12. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Catfish-Unlimited-Address/release/4434980