Song of the day: Crossfire – "Youth In Asia"

July 27, 2010

For a few weeks some time ago, Tuesdays on this blog was reserved for hotshot instrumentalists. You may have been led to believe (by me) that I had officially retired Hotshot Instrumentalist Tuesday. I thought I had, too.

However, I just remembered a track by an Australian jazz-rock band that I really, really want to play you. (Really.)

The band is Crossfire, and they were active in the 80’s. They held the distinction of being fairly unloved in Australia for two reasons: jazz fans thought they were too rocky; and rock fans thought they were too jazzy. As for me, I thought they were just right. They had fabulous musicianship, and their tracks had actual tunes in them. In other words, they weren’t just showing off all the time – they were aware that people would want some music to listen to, not just instrumental prowess. The band was also fond of puns (as you’ll see by the name of today’s track).

Apart from everything mentioned in the previous paragraph, the main reason I’m playing you today’s track (no, it’s not to torture you) is to highlight Crossfire’s bass player, Phil Scorgie. As far as I’m concerned, Phil Scorgie is the best bass player in Australia*.

As for the track itself, there are two things in it that I want to point out:

1. The absolutely killer riff starting at 3:20. What a riff.
2. Phil Scorgie’s bass solo starting at 4:56. I loved it so much that I learned to play it. (It’s what bass players do.) All those harmonics are great to play.

Anyway, here’s Crossfire with “Youth In Asia” (1981). By the way, the track goes for 10 minutes, so if you’re not particularly interested in it you may want to go and make a cup of coffee (the track will still be going when you come back):

Crossfire – “Youth In Asia” (1981)


“Youth In Asia” appears on Crossfire’s 1981 album, Hysterical Rochords. (They love Spoonerisms, too.)

Non-essential sidenote involving Wikipedia Weirdness: Wikipedia has an article about jazz in Australia, and Crossfire are mentioned. (Yay!) However, the link for the Australian jazz band called Crossfire on that page is actually for a glam metal band from Israel called Crossfire. (Non-yay!)

Okey dokey. I think that I’m now finished with hotshot instrumentalists on Tuesdays. I can’t guarantee anything completely, but I’m pretty confident in saying that you probably won’t be bothered by fancy-pants musicians here from now on. Maybe.

Phil Scorgie on MySpace

(*I know I’ve raved about Divinyls/Hoodoo Gurus bass player Rick Grossman before, but I think Rick is Australia’s best rock bass player.)