Mascot Label Group’s Provogue label and Jimmy Barnes have announced a January 27, 2015 release date for HINDSIGHT. The album marks his 30th anniversary as a solo artist, and his 15th studio release since stepping away from Cold Chisel. No Australian artist has enjoyed a more prolific, legendary career down under than Barnes, who has enjoyed fame and success on a global scale. He enjoyed an unparalleled and unbroken streak of six chart-topping albums in a row, spanning the 1980s and into the ’90s. Just like Cold Chisel previously, his solo work literally provided the soundtrack for a generation of Australians. The incredible statistics of nine number one albums in total (all but one of his 14 studio albums debuting inside the Top 3), alongside his dual induction in to the ARIA Hall of Fame (as a solo artist and member of Cold Chisel), have cemented Barnes legacy as one of the great Australian recording artists of all time.
HINDSIGHT sees Barnes surrounded by family and friends, revisiting some of the biggest hits from throughout his solo career, along with a few deeper cuts. His family members contributing to the album include daughter Mahalia, son David Campbell and brother-in-law Diesel. His friends who collaborated on the recordings feature Jon Cain and Neil Schon of Journey, The Living End, Tina Arena, Steven Van Zandt, Joe Bonamassa and more.
Barnes shares, “I was trying to do something special for the 30th anniversary. Chisel did STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE, where we got a lot of our favorite bands to record our songs. It’s a great idea, but everyone’s been doing it. So I thought, I’ll get all my favorite acts and I’ll get to sing with them! It’s either me being the singer, or doing duets. I tour a lot and I’m always stimulated by support bands and all the musicians I work with. Over the years I have done lots of collaborations – DOUBLE HAPPINESS was an album of duets, and I’ve recorded with Tina Turner, INXS, John Farnham, Joe Cocker and many others.” He continues, “These songs are important to me – I wouldn’t go out there and change the essence of the songs. But I didn’t bring in all these great artists to tell them what to do – I’m actually working with them because I’m learning from them. It was like, ‘What are we going to do with this and have fun with it?’ They sound like new songs now and really fresh to sing. I’d come up with a shortlist. Basically, I had a good idea of the artist I wanted for each song – I didn’t want to put square pegs into round holes. The whole thing has been made quite quickly and spontaneously. The first track we put down was ‘Ride The Night Away’ which was originally on FOR THE WORKING CLASS MAN album. Back then Steven Van Zandt sent that song to me via Gary Gersh, who was the A&R man for Geffen Records in America. It was a little demo that he’d recorded on a Dictaphone. There was nothing else on it, just Steven scatting. Steven and drummer Steve Jordan had written this song specifically for me. When I got it, it was just the perfect demo. I just put it in the right key for me and I did it. I’ve been a fan of Springsteen since 1973 – the E Street Band is one of my favorite bands in the world, but I’d never seen them live – we’d never crossed paths and I was always working when they were touring. But when they came back to Australia this time (March, 2014), and I was working with them in New Zealand, I got this idea in my head that I would like to do the song with Steven. I went up to him and said, ‘This song you sent me 30 years ago, I wouldn’t mind recording it with you.’ So Steven came to my house. My son [Jackie] played drums, and I got Steven playing the guitar solo and singing harmonies. Virtually, it was take three, but we spent about 12 hours together, just talking.”
Kevin Shirley reconvened with Barnes to produced HINDSIGHT, collaborating together for the first time since Cold Chisel’s final album NO PLANS. Shirley brought Joe Bonamassa in to the sessions, where he is featured on ‘Too Much Ain’t Enough Love” and also plays on “Stone Cold.” From there, it snowballed. Mark Lizotte, Diesel, The Living End, Barnes’ daughter Mahalia, and one of his personal favorites Jon Stevens joined the fold. He reflects, “I recorded ‘I’d Rather Be Blind’ with Jon Stevens, one of my favorite singers of all time. We’re dear mates, we’ve grown up together. He used to support me when he was a young singer, and now we do gigs together all the time. So to get Jon to sing with me was really special. Baby Animals doing ‘Time Will Tell’ is a great, great version. LOVE AND FEAR and PSYCLONE were albums that were reasonably lost compared to the others, so to go back and cover songs like ‘Time Will Tell’ and ‘Love and Hate’ (with Shihad) was a great experience and gave us a chance to breathe some fresh life into them and reintroduce those songs to people who buy my records.” In celebrating this occasion collaborating with his brother-in-law Diesel (Mark Lizotte), he offers, “‘I’d Die To Be With Tonight’ was a big song for me, one of the pivotal songs of my career. I wanted to work with Diesel and I said, ‘What song would you like to do?’ and that was his first choice loved. It’s modernized the song but also took me back to 1987, or whenever it was when THE INJECTORS album came out and when I was first recording that song.“ Perhaps most special is the featured appearance of his daughter Mahalia, who sings “Stand Up” with Barnes. He states, “Mahalia is a beast – she’s a phenomenal singer. She’s one of the best girls I know. I know I’m biased, because I’m her father, but she’s got a great work ethic, she sings harder than anyone I know, she’s a caring person, a great mother and she’s a great mentor for young artists. She picked ‘Stand Up’, which is one of my favorite tunes from the HEAT album. Mahalia and her band, The Soul Mates, did it first take, and it was just frightening – it reminded me of Sly and the Family Stone.”
Barnes is a gifted artist who has made extraordinary contributions to the global music scene. This truly is a celebration wherein songs that have been the soundtracks to the lives of millions find a reinvention with freshness, energy and a new timeless appeal. The complete track listing includes:
“Lay Down Your Guns” w/ The Living End; “Time Will Tell” w/ The Baby Animals; “Ride The Night Away” w/ Little Steven; “Stand Up” w/ Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates; “I’d Die To Be With You” w/ Diesel; “Stone Cold” w/ Tina Arena & Joe Bonamassa; “Working Class Man” w/ Jon Cain and Ian Moss; “Going Down Alone” w/ Neal Schon and Jon Cain; “Love And Hate” w/ Shihad; “No Second Prize”; “I’d Rather Be Blind” w/ Jon Stevens; “When Your Love Is Gone”; “The Other Kind”; “Walk On” w/ David Campbell and “Still On Your Side” w/ Bernard Fanning.