Antipodean 'Soul music'* - 'Evie' parts 1, 2 & 3, Stevie Wright single (Hard Road, Albert, 1974)

Genre: Hard rock, blues rock (Part 1) soft rock (Part 2) rock (Part 3)

'Evie' was written by Harry Vanda and George Young. It has been suggested that it is the first 11-minute song to chart at #1 anywhere in the world. The song features three parts and some critics consider it as one of the most perfect rock n' roll songs ever, encapsulating the three basic themes of all love songs:

·         (I) Baby it'll be great once we're together (Let Your Hair Hang Down)

·         (II) Baby, it's so great now that we're together (Oh Evie... I'm nothing without you)

·         (III) Baby, it's so bad since you left me (I'm Losing You). However, the loss in this case is more tragic than the usual 'boy loses girl' scenario - it describes the singer's emotions following Evie's death in childbirth.

Part One is a guitar driven, hard rocking and bluesy, swaggering and swayful song. Part Two is more piano and string based, a much softer emotional ballad style. Part Three is more of a disco-rock style, being quicker, relatively urgent and guitar driven track with a great vocal.'

(summary comment/overview from Wik) 

I got some money in my pocket I got my car keys in my hand I got myself a couple of tickets
To see a rockin’ rollin’ band
Come on girl just get on your shoes
We’re gonna hear some sound
Come on babe you know there ain’t no time
Don’t mess around

World-famous, at the time, for his role as the lead singer of the 60s rock group, The Easybeats - the first Australian act to meet international stardom - that he led from age of 16, the story of Stevie Wright is one of great musical achievement in parallel with the worst aspects of addiction that ended up leaving him in his old age a frail, decrepit version of his former sprite-like self. He died in 2015 at the age of 68.

This song is much loved in Australia, as a classic representation of a particular national style (rarely expressed in public) that is at once kind of excessive, sentimental, but knowing to a certain extent, it is also a perfect example of a certain kind of male psychology, forever dreaming of the lost Eurydice. Knowing the tragic story of Stevie Wright's descent makes listening to this song a particularly piquant experience; as it sounds like he really means it.  

And it features a 21 year-old Malcolm Young (of AC/DC) on guitar ...

What I love especially in the first part is the call and response of the guitars and the phenomenal drumming by John Proud - who worked as a session musician on the AC/DC recording sessions of High Voltage in 1975. There's so much intelligence in Proud's performance here, the way he plays with moods, offering up unusual touches as commentary.     

Suzi Quatro covered part 1 - see here - which appeared on the European version of her album If You Knew Suzi... in 1978.

Check out this beautiful performance from 1979 where Stevie Wright and band fronted a crowd of 250,000 outside the Sydney Opera House in a billing dubbed the 'Concert of the decade' ...