Speedboats For Breakfast CD

James Reyne


Track by Track:


The oldest song recorded for the album shows James Reyne at play with his skills as a songwriter and wordsmith.

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Track by Track:


The oldest song recorded for the album shows James Reyne at play with his skills as a songwriter and wordsmith. "I wanted to create a song out of playing the same four chords going round and round, building and growing all the time, with things coming in and dropping out. The listener knows there's transition but there's no real point where the change is obvious" The lyric plays with an idea that alludes to Franz Kafka's novel "Metamorphosis", a story of persecution and bewilderment.

"It's also having fun lyrically mostly. I mean, how many insect metaphors have you got?"

Glamour Puss

This song was written with Reggie Bowman.

It takes its lead from very local scenarios. The girlfriend, the car, the getaway down the coast, the rich old man who'd kill you as soon as look at you. Daddy's little girl ain't Daddy's little girl no more. And anyway, what's Daddy doing with all those gold chains? And what's with the SLACKS?!

Stage Fright

In the middle of recording the album, James and Scott Kingman wrote the score to the movie 'Postcard Bandit'. It offered a chance to really explore the capabilities of modern, "backyard" recording. "The technological climate of today allows even rank amateurs like me to explore the use of orchestral arrangement. It gives one the confidence to use all the sections of an orchestra.

Lyrically, it stems from a conversation I had years ago with an old friend, Rick Grossman, in a bar in Sydney, about the relative merits of a pop music peer, who'd just returned from America and was laying it on just a little too richly. Lovely fella though. Came back down to earth and was an absolute delight".

The Rainbow's Dead End

"A song about Sydney - well, Bondi as it's become, more specifically. After watching some dreadful movie with James Woods and Melanie Griffith and, I think, Juliette Lewis playing star-crossed junkie misfits shootin' up the banks, making the escape 'cross-country, dressed all the while in gorgeous heroin chic! Looking just like everybody hanging out on the corner at Ravesi's in Bondi"

It's a song that shows us where James has come as a singer. "I actually think that I've become OK, which I don't think I was for a long time."

Thank God For The Pusherman

At the beginning of the record James and co-producer Scott Kingman thought of working as a band project, and this is a song that perhaps typifies that approach - a song built around a quiver of great rock and roll riffs and a grab-bag of lyrics James had had lying around for ages.


The song title only appears in the lyrics once. James had come into the city from out of town where he lives, to see an actress friend in a Melbourne Theatre Company production.

"I always half-seriously feel like a bit of a hick whenever I go into the city.

I'm just a country bumpkin, putting on his town shoes to head off to the Big Smoke – that sort of thing. The play was "Sweet Bird Of Youth", written of course, by Tennessee Williams, who often invokes the poet Hart Crane. I left an opening night card for my friend with a little verse in it that was trying to express, in a not-so-serious way, some of these thoughts. It lead to this song."

Love In A Strange, Strange Land

"This came from a picture in a magazine of a guy in a bar in one of the southern states of America, louche and lounging, cigarette angled just so, with what I imagine is his girlfriend, draped conspiratorially around his neck.

This is his song. It's his imagined life at any particular point in time. His attitude, his bar, his trailer park, his strumpet, his cocktail waitress, his chorine. And he doesn't want any of you big-city folk with your big-city folk ideas messing with his world."

Hooray and Hallelujah

"This started out as a very different kind of song. I'd written the verses around the chorus, in a kind of Johnny Mercer/Tin Pan Alley style.

When we started recording it Brett Kingman suggested we do it with a tougher, more up-tempo contemporary kind of approach".

Hangman's Wages

A playful but deliberate swipe at the all-acquisitive, avaricious, new money businessman in all his wayward, boorish vaingloriousness.


"When we were recording this album, I asked if any of the other guys had any songs they might want to throw in. Brett Kingman, who played a lot of the guitar on the record, said 'I've got this piece, "Lustre"', that he'd been toying with for a little while.

All I did was suggest that it was played slower – my big contribution! I think he wrote the lyrics in about two and a half minutes flat, and justifiably proud of it. I think he sings it really well – he has a kind of youthful, sallow, pop-Englishness to his voice that really works."

Have You Never Been Mellow?

Brett has always wanted to do a punk version of this ONJ song, and it was whipped up for fun.

Speedboats For Breakfast CD by James Reyne