Penned in an attic in the dead of night, in between the unprecedented multi-million-selling global success of Little River Band and an uncertain solo future, Will You Stand With Me is a powerful assertion of Glenn Shorrock's vocation as a singer-songwriter which resonates more strongly through the years.
"'I am the willing critic, I'll cut you down to size/ I'll pounce on mediocrity but I’ll cherish the surprise'. I think that's the best lyric I've written," he says today. "That was on my first solo album, Villain of the Peace, but I put it right at the end. This time I wanted to put it first. I wanted it to say what it says."
Meanwhile, of course, a dozen of Glenn's hits have morphed out of the charts and into the permanent fabric of popular song. Meanwhile, Help Is On Its Way, Emma and Seine City were his before he joined LRB, the band that took them to the world. Home On Monday, Cool Change, So Many Paths, Rock'n'Roll Soldier and Soul Searching all came later.
All are reclaimed here with the immediacy of acoustic performance, produced by Glenn, mixed by Michael Costa, performed with the key sidemen that have accompanied him on the road for the last decade – keyboard player Stewart Wilkinson and guitarist Pip Joyce – with an intimate cast of accomplices playing rhythm, violin and slide guitar.
Needle In A Haystack, one of the few here Glenn did not write, is an affectionate memento of his first band, the Twilights, who made it #1 in Melbourne in 1966. Seine City is his original acoustic demo, recorded in England when Axiom broke up in 1972.
"Unrequited Love was an old demo I did when I left LRB in '82," he says. "My wife always liked it and she said 'You should do that one'. There's a lot of those kinds of circles involved in this album and I think that's why I enjoyed it so much. It feels good. It feels right."
Other surprises include a version of Emma that's closer to the CSN-inspired demo Glenn took to LRB in '75, and a gospel piano version of his first solo hit of '79, Dream Lover. "And Reminiscing is really bare bones," he adds. "I'm interested to hear what (author) Graeham Goble makes of it."
The world, one suspects, will make of it much the same as it always has: a memory that's forever vital and always welcome. "They all still work," Glenn concludes. "That's why I keep doing 'em. It's called body of work, which I think is a mark of a performer's worth."