25 September 2023

After The War

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Various Artists, ABC Music/Universal Music 2018.

This album was initiated by Dr. Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, and was produced by the same team that brought us the ARIA, highest selling album of 2015, Spirit of the Anzacs.

It was recorded at Rancom Studios in Sydney and produced by Garth Porter.

The release coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918 which ended The Great War.

The songs on the album span from Gallipoli and Passchendaele to the sinking of HMAS Canberra in 1942 to the Battle of Long Tan and on to the ongoing blurred and dusty war in Afghanistan, by far the longest war that we’ve been involved in.

All the artists featured on the album have donated their talents and royalties to veteran services under the direction of the Australian War Memorial to be used to support the initiatives, exhibitions, and programs in support of veterans and their families.

The artists featured include many who were involved in Spirit of the Anzacs including, Lee Kernaghan, John Schumann, Fred Smith and Garth Porter but there are also some new comers such as Glenn Shorrock, Darren Percival, The Wolfe Brothers and Wes Carr.

Of particular note is the inclusion of a number of wonderful performers from the various branches of the Armed Services.

The song Sisters in Arms is performed by Lance Corporal Elizabeth Smith, Able Seaman Leigh Robke and Aircraftwoman Samantha Morley. Their fantastic performance is as good as any of the professionals on the disc.

There is a very moving rendition of the wonderful song Oh Passchendaele performed by the Royal Australian Navy Band and a fantastic version of the Cold Chisel song When The War is Over, which is probably better than the original, by Melbourne trio Field, See and Mason.

Fred Smith returns, this time with The Spooky Men’s Chorale in tow, and their wonderful version of Fred’s, Say A Prayer, is drenched with emotion.

The Wolfe brothers song, Hey Brother, was inspired by the experiences of Private Paul Warren who lost a leg and best mate, Ben Renaudo, in Afghanistan.

Proceeds from the sales of this album go to a very good cause, which is reason enough to buy it, but the album’s also very good and thought provoking.

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