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Deborah Conway


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Alternative & mainstream pop/rock

Status:

Most recent release, Everybody's Begging (with Willy Zygier, 2016)

See also:

Deborah Conway's site

Wikipedia's entry on Deborah Conway

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for Do Re Mi, an Australian pop band she used to be part of.

Comparisons:

Best songs rather like Sara Craig or Liz Phair, others like any mainstream pop singer (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Write own lyrics, co-writes music with producers

General comments:

Lively pop/rock music, with strong vocals. Her material is often a little too mainstream for my tastes, but she can also be wonderfully edgy, and certainly her voice is always powerful and impressive. (Neile)

*sensational!* she is a great performer—both on record and live (she did some amazing shows whilst touring in support of My Third Husband). (maier@joynet.com.au)

Recommended first album:

Bitch Epic, though Only The Bones: Deborah Conway's Greatest Hits is a good sampler of her work. (Neile)

Recordings:


String of Pearls

Release info:

1991—Mushroom Records—TVD91018 (RMD51018)

Availability:

Available in Australia

Ecto priority:

Recommended (colford@chlotrudis.org)

Group members:

Deborah Conway—lead and backing vocals, high-strung guitars

Guest artists:

Peter Jones—drums
Greg Morrow—drums and percussion
Peter Maslen—snare
Richard Pleasance—guitars, mandolin, bass, piano, percussion and backing vocals
Michael den Elzen—guitars, bass, auto harp, percussion and backing vocals
Dave Cochrane—bass
Nigel Griggs—bass
Dror Erez—piano, piano accordion
Alan Harding—piano and organ
Lawrence Maddy—organ
Rick Steff—organ, piano accordion
Chris Wilson—harmonica
Vince Jones—trumpet and backing vocals
Tom Fitzgerald—violin
Ann Hickey—violin
Peter O'Reilly—cello
Peter Maslen—tambourine
Linda Bull—backing vocals
Vika Bull—backing vocals
Joe Hardy—backing vocals

Produced by:

Richard Pleasance, Michael den Elzen, and Joe Hardy

Comments:

I think Deborah was going for a more relaxed feel with her first solo album after the politically charged Do Re Mi albums. Lots of acoustic/folk/country influences, especially on the ballads. Powerful upbeat songs are straight forward pop-rock. Deborah has a strong voice with just enough fragility for some poignant ballads, especially the country-tinged, intense, "Will you miss me when you're sober?" and the beautiful break-up song, "White roses." Her irony and daffy sense of humor comes into play with the inventive, "Deborah Conway's nightmare #347." She wrote most of the songs by herself. A couple she co-wrote with Paul Kelly, and a few she co-wrote with her various producers. (colford@chlotrudis.org)

Bitch Epic

Release info:

1993—Mushroom Records, Australia—TVD93386 (RMD53386)

Availability:

Available in Australia

Ecto priority:

Recommended for lovers of female pop. (Neile)

Group members:

Deborah Conway—vocals

Guest artists:

Peter Jones—drums
Mick Girasole—bass
Bill McDonald—bass
Willy Zygier—guitars, strum, pie and cow synths, backing vocals, string arrange
John Peter Newille—steel drums, tambourine, sticks, vibraphone, bells, beer barrel
Al Harding—Hammond organ, Mellotron flute, Moog, Wurlitzer
Richard Lloyd—extremely loud guitar
Linda Bull, Vika Bull, Christine Anu—backing vocals
David Chesworth—honky piano, bird call keyboards
Jen Anderson—first violin
Margaret Baker—second violin
Vince Parsonage—viola
Helen Mountfort—cello
Paul Williamson—baritone sax, flute
Peter Luscombe—drums
Stephen Robinson—oboe
Andrew Mitchell—first clarinet
Grania Burke—second clarinet
Lucinda Kran—bassoon

Produced by:

Jim Rondinell and William J. Zygier

Comments:

Melbourne singer, ex of band Do Re Mi, launches into her second solo album by posing naked on the sleeve smeared totally in Nutella (chocolate spread) and gorging cake (the shots were done to promote a TV episode of Seven Deadly Sins called "Gluttony"), and hiring Jim "I pan everything hard left and right because I love the '60s" Rondinelli to mix it. Stark but rich in detail, very ironic lyrics, á la Liz Phair but less blatantly pissed off, and a sense of humour. Great stuff. (ahoran@ozemail.com.au)

The album has a powerful beginning with two tough and wonderful songs, "Alive and Brilliant" and "I'm Not Satisfied" then loses steam and becomes something much more common. "Now that We're Apart" tries to get the energy and power up again, but doesn't quite manage it. (Neile)

A bit uneven, with some really great songs, and some that are less so. The standout track for me is the gorgeous and inventive "Madame Butterfly is in trouble" which closes out the album on a haunting note. (colford@chlotrudis.org)


My Third Husband

Release info:

1997—Mushroom Records (Australia)

Availability:

Australia

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of pop-rock

Group members:

Deborah Conway—vocals

Guest artists:

Dave Anderson—programming, keyboards, bass
Andy Cox—programming
Roy Dodds—drums
Martin Swain—bass
Willy Zygier—arrangements, programming, guitars, synthesizers, samplers and vocals

Comments:

My Third Husband is Conway's third solo album after spending time as lead vocalist of the Australian band, Do Re Mi. This album really shows a maturity that her first two were building toward. Conway explores sampled rhythms á la Portishead and really takes her music in new directions. Her vocals prowl over the lyrics with a hypnotic menace and sensuality. An earthier Portishead? If that makes sense to you, that's probably the best way to describe Deborah Conway's latest album, My Third Husband. It's not exactly a total change of style, more an evolution. More introspective, certainly darker, and with heavier use of keyboard programming and sampling, Conway explores new territory on her third solo album. The Australian single, "Only the Bones (Will Show)" uses decidedly morbid symbolism to describe a dying relationship. It is chilling and thrillingThe vocal processing furthers the Portishead comparison, but Deborah hasn't left her roots behind completely. Her powerful voice still pulls few punches, although she uses a tempered modulation to achieve a more haunting vocal style. Songs like "It's a Girl Thing" and "2001 Ultrasound" are nice bridges from Bitch Epic to My Third Husband. (colford@chlotrudis.org)

Perfect stylish guitars and very now beats, with some of the best lyrics this year. Too cool for the likes of me. (afinney@ozonline.com.au)


Only The Bones: Deborah Conway's Greatest Hits

Release info:

2002—Mushroom Records—335282

Availability:

Australia

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Deborah Conway—vocals, etc.

Guest artists:

As per original release

Produced by:

As per original release

Comments:

This spans Deborah Conway's career, starting with her Do Re Mi and leading to the present, including a track with Ultrasound. As such it's got a large range, but the disc is more consistent that I would have thought given the variety of things she has done. It's unified by her strong, strong voice. (Neile)

Further info:

Deborah Conway also did an album with a group called Ultrasound.

She's has the lead in a Australian production of Always...Patsy Cline, with the Patsy Cline album currently only available at shows.


Thanks to Michael Colford and Neal for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-04-29 21:20:14.
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