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Age Of Reason - Age Of Reason album

original cover
original cover

picture disc
picture disc

TRACKS - 7" Vinyl

  • Age Of Reason
  • When The War Is Over

TRACKS - 12" Vinyl

  • Age Of Reason ext. version
  • Age Of Reason
  • When The War Is Over

CD - PICTURE DISC


  • Age Of Reason ext. version
  • Age Of Reason
  • When The War Is Over

FORMAT

  • 7" & 12" vinyl & CD

RELEASE DETAILS

  • 4th July 1988

CHART POSITIONS

  • No. 1 - 4 weeks Australia

CATALOGUE NUMBERS

  • RCA 104904 (7")
  • RCA TDS481 (12")
  • BMG CCD001 (CD)
  • RCA PB42167 - European 7"
  • RCA PB42168 - UK/Europe 12"
  • RCA Victor RCAS 67 - South Africa
  • RCA S-0660 - Argentina 7"vinyl
  • PRTD-3007 - Japan 7"vinyl

In 1987. John was backstage at a Dragon concert at Melbourne's Palais Theatre. John Farnham: I was a big Dragon fan. They were a great band. Marc Hunter had an amazing voice. I loved their songwriting so I asked them if they'd write me a song.

Todd Hunter: Marc and I were standing in the dressing room and John said, Come on guys, write me a song for my new album. I said yes. Dragon, were touring in Europe where they opened for Tina Turner.

Hunter: It all coincided with our first son Harry being born. Pigott: I was pregnant as hell all through writing Age of Reason. Todd had the music structure down in Europe, I finished off the lyrics after Harry was born. The lyrics were inspired by Pigott becoming a mother for the first time. Pigott: Things opened up. It's about hopefulness. Having a child gave me this feeling of having a future and thinking about the next generation.

When the song was finished, Hunter asked brother Marc to record the vocals on a demo. Hunter: Marc just came in, sang it and left again. That was very Marc. He took the lyric sheet off the mixing desk and went over to the microphone. He got to the middle eight and went, 'I'm not singing that crap' so he never did. Later we got Sandi Chick to sing that part for the demo. It was done with a crappy little synth and a terrible drum machine. It was kind of eccentric.

Pigott: Marc didn't do demos, it was very nice of him. But Marc was very uninterested in the song. Although Marc Hunter was uninterested, Farnham loved it.

John: It's quite a deep lyric for a pop song and that appealed to me. It delivered 100% on music and lyrics. I was blown away. It felt like my song. When I listen to a song I try and hear myself singing it. It is difficult when Marc Hunter has sung on the demo! I kept listening to him and not putting me in the song. I have to make the song mine. I get a great kick out of people writing a song for me. It's interesting what they perceive I might want to hear.

Ross Fraser, who produced the song recalls: There was a lot of pressure to find songs. Off the back of Whispering Jack John was a worldwide priority for the record label. When I listen to Whispering Jack, You're the Voice is the standout. We felt that same way with Age of Reason, it just shone and it needed to be the first single. It was a good demo too: we didn't have to do that much. The bones of the song were all there. It just took us a long time to make that record — over six months. Hunter and Pigott thought their song had been forgotten......

Pigott: We'd had this before, someone wants a song, you'd write it and it might not get used. We sent it to John Farnham as soon as it was done but we didn't hear anything for months. So Dragon actually tried it a few times. Hunter: We played it with Dragon but Marc would just say, 'This song's crap' and he didn't want to try it anymore! Pigott: We'd forgotten about it. It was a case of another one bites the dust. It's a funny business, you can write something and be excited about it and no one else wants it. You get used to that feeling of letting it go. Hunter: No one knows what a hit song is until it happens.

Eventually Fraser called and they learned Age of Reason was to be the first single, and the title track, for John's next album.

Pigott: It was so great to hear John's version. We spent a lot of time on that song, it wasn't something we just threw together. So it was so gratifying to work so hard on something and to see it done so well. It was incredible. Some songs come out easily, but this one was a real labour of love.

Farnham recalls the recording session for Age of Reason. I love what (keyboardist) David Hirschfelder did with that song, he played two solos, they were both extraordinary. It was agonising choosing one of them. There is an extended version with both solos on it. But I don't sit around listening to my own music. I haven't actually listened to that album since we made it. That's the same with everything I've recorded.

Fraser: John's vocals are incredible. It's classic Farnham that one.

The single spent four weeks at No. 1 and 11 weeks in the Top 10 in Australia and went Top 10 in New Zealand, Top 20 in Germany. The the extended version was a hit in New York clubs.

Farnham: It was a huge relief when Age of Reason went to No.1. You're the Voice is a really difficult song to top. The album didn't sell quite as many as many as Whispering Jack but it came close. I was very proud of that album.
It's a special song. I don't think it's been out of the set since I recorded it. I often open with it because it's got such a great feel and everyone knows it. I love singing it. Age of Reason is right up there with You're the Voice for me. That's one of my favourite songs in the world to sing on stage still, it's just a joy.