Reviewed by Ian Phillips.
By Max Merritt, Sony Music 2020.
Kiwi born Australian music legend Max Merritt died in Los Angeles in September this year.
He had been unwell for many years and finally lost his battle with a rare auto-immune disease.
What many people didn’t know was that Merritt spent the last months of his life working on his latest, and final, album.
Merritt is best remembered for his work with Max Merritt and The Meteors and particularly his smash hit Slippin’ Away but he had a string of hits including Western Union Man, A Little Easier,Coming Back and his great cover of Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness.
I Can Dream Can’t I is the first single from his last album and if this single is anything to go by then the album, released on 27 November, should be one to look out for.
The album has been a long-term project and is a collection of ten songs comprised of some older material and new songs written in his final months.
The process actually started back in 2002 when he was touring Australia.
Three tracks were recorded at Metropolis studios in Melbourne however Merritt became so ill that the recording process was stopped, and the tracks were shelved.
Between 2014 and 2020 Merritt worked with producer James Barton and in 2018 two more songs were recorded in Colin Hay’s Californian studio.
Hay also contributed a track, Sunbury, to the album. Max Merritt and The Meteors were headline artists at the original Sunbury Music festival way back in the ‘70s.
Some readers might have gone to the Long Way To The Top touring festival in 2002 and will remember that Max Merritt and The Meteors, along with Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, wowed the audiences.
They proved that you’re never too old to rock’n’roll and Merritt still had it, right to the end.
I Can Dream Can’t I is a great track and Merritt’s wonderful voice is as strong as ever.