25 September 2023

Black Fingernails, Red Wine (Anniversary Edition)

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Eskimo Joe, Warner Music 2019.

To celebrate 21 years since their formation, Eskimo Joe has embarked on the reissue of their back catalogue in new formats including coloured vinyl, 2CD editions, and 40 track digital versions.

Black Fingernails, Red Wine was the third studio album release for the band and it reached number one on the ARIA Albums Chart and was one of the biggest selling albums in 2006.

It spent 62 weeks in the ARIA Top 50, won four ARIA awards and sold more than four times platinum.

As well as the top 20 singles Sarah and New York, the title track itself had an extended stay in the top 10 and in the process became an Australian classic.

The album was an important marker in the band’s history.

Front man Kav Temperley states; “if you’re lucky you get one moment in your career where all the stars seem to align and everybody is in the right place at the right time. For us it was the Black Fingernails Red Wine album. This album was a benchmark.”

The Black Fingernails Red Wine single came in at #2 in the 2006 Triple J Hottest 100.

No less an Aussie music identity as Iva Davies of Ice House notes in the foreword to the Anniversary Edition that; “At the heart of the album is the undeniable sound of a quality Australian rock band who had learned the value of dramatic dynamics, cinematic atmospheres and infectious melodies.”

It’s always been my Eskimo Joe favourite and as a fan the 40 track digital release is a treasure trove.

The package includes remixes (including a 2019 remix of Black Fingernails, Red Wine by Melbourne production duo Le Sauvage), B-sides and live material as well as previously unreleased demo recordings from the album’s earliest 2005 sessions.

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