Song of the day: Lori Balmer – "Here Before The Sun"

October 27, 2009

Here’s Lori Balmer with the gorgeous “Here Before The Sun” (1972):


The song appears on Tea and Sympathy (2007), a wonderful collection of forgotten baroque pop gems.

Song of the day: Lori Balmer – "Don’t Throw It All Away"

June 5, 2009

It’s occurred to me that the songs I’ve been pestering you with have primarily been from the Northern Hemisphere.

Now, this wouldn’t be much of an Australian Power Pop blog if I only kept pumping out ditties from up north. From now on, I’ll try to focus on Australian content.

Right, let’s start with a long-lost gem.

Here’s “Don’t Throw It All Away,” a recording from 1976 by Australian performer Lori Balmer:

It’s soft rock at its softest, and almost completely forgotten now, but I’ve always adored this song. I was 15 years old when it was released, and as soon as I heard it I fell instantly in love with both the song and Lori.

Unless someone can tell me otherwise, this has never been issued on CD. I can’t tell you how long it took for me to find it, after so many years spent rummaging around in secondhand record stores, online, anywhere. Ever since selling my vinyl collection (and saying goodbye to the song) to make way for all those shiny new-fangled CDs, I’ve always had this song in the back of mind, hoping to find it somewhere.

This is just one reason why the Internet is one of mankind’s greatest achievements*: I was able to find a song that virtually everybody’s forgotten, but one person, somewhere on Earth, had a copy of it, digitised it, and made it available to someone else on Earth. I love the Internet.

(*That may be a slight exaggeration.)

Anyway, “Don’t Throw It All Away” was written Gary Benson and David Mindel, two people I’d never heard of before (you can hear the original version by Gary here). It’s also been recorded by quite a few artists I’ve never heard of before either – there’s a smooth funk version (verrrrry smooth) by The Delfonics, a reggae version by Barrington Levy, a regular middle-of-the-road version by Stacey Lattisaw (who?), and a painful version by “Dave, Judy and Kevin.”

However, bigger names have tackled it over the years – Barry Manilow had a go at it, as did Olivia Newton-John. But the oddest version, for me, is the one by The Shadows:

I find this video extremely weird for two reasons:

a) it’s The Shadows, and there’s absolutely no twang in any of the guitars whatsoever;
b) it’s The Shadows, and they’re singing.

All of those other versions may be nice in their own ways (except for maybe the painful version), but for me it’s Lori all the way.