Prompted by a Scottish mate’s post on Twitter about a tune that reminds him of his homeland, I got to thinking about the same kinds of songs that have an effect on me regarding Australia, my native country.
While doing so, I realized there are probably a few shared by just about every Aussie on the planet.
For Australians in their mid-60s and under, there is only one answer to the question posed by Doc Neeson and the Angels in their 1976 song, Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? Ironically, the song was only a minor hit when first released, but has since became an iconic tune Down Under. Personally, I had an amazing experience with this song several years ago while riding through the deserted streets of Shibuya’s Centergai while playing this tune out loud through a speaker mounted on my handlebars. TRhe chorus played and from somewhere out on the streets I heard the yelled response. I never saw the person who responded, but to me it represented my peak Straya moment of living in Japan.
Released around the same time, and with a much greater response that effectively heralded AC/DC’s first step toward global superstardom, It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) has an opening riff that will stir some sort of emotion in most Aussies. Perhaps symbolic of AC/DC and Aussie pub rock, the song still only just managed to sneak into the national top 10 upon its initial release in December 1975.
Are there more? Australia has certainly had a lot of global stars in the years since I left in 1988 and largely lost contact with the Australian music scene. Are there more? If you’re not an Aussie, what are iconic sounds of your country? I guess from Japan, I immediately think of 上を向いて歩こう (Sukiyaki) by Kyu Sakamoto as the first of many, many other examples of tunes that immediately stir people’s emotions.