Some albums are perfect, and when you don’t hit the skip button at all, then go on to play it again, that’s a pretty good indicator of a perfect album. East is one of those albums.
This is Cold Chisels third record, and is probably their most accessible. Their most commercial and democratic too, with every member contributing to the songwriting.
Ian Moss also stands up and shows his talent as a beautifully soulful singer. From the grit of Never Before to the sweet My Baby, written by Phil Small, the quiet bass player.
Of course, Don Walker contributes most of the songwriting. In my opinion, he is one of our national treasures. He has our psyche tapped. From the loner in Standing On The Outside to his decadent portrayal in Cheap Wine and his love letter to another national icon in Ita, these songs are all anthemic. They are all singalongs, drunk or sober, and they all rock.
Barnsey, of course contributes. With his unmistakable wail and energy and some songwriting too. My Turn To Cry is such a great way to finish an album and Rising Sun is another belter.
Every Cold Chisel fan will give you a different answer or reason as to why they like a particular album. I think East was their zenith as far as Chisels output goes. The creativity, the flow and curation of the album and the fact that, 39 years on, it still has a freshness. Yes, there are better Cold Chisel songs on other albums. I could give you a top 5 right now but for me, this is their best album. Probably the best Australian album ever, and possibly the most radio friendly album in the world, ever.
Review by Gregg Heldon