You’re the Voice – John Farnham – 1986
Beyond his antipodean backyard John Farnham is not as well known or respected as his talent on the microphone should dictate, and has been overlooked internationally for most of his long career. That’s a crying shame, because he is arguably the greatest pop/rock performer Australia has ever produced. You know… next to Gina G.
You’re the Voice is taken from his 1986 album, Whispering Jack, and stands as the song that is most associated with him. It’s a power ballad that builds from a soft introduction to a chorus that few others could nail the way that Farnham does here, and also includes a brief yet memorable bagpipe solo, an instrument not often associated with the genre.
I’ve dropped the links for both the album version, as well as a live recording from three years later which he performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, quite simply because – as well as that entire concert being fantastic – this may be Farnham at the peak of his vocal powers. If anything, his range and raw emotion is used to greater effect here on stage than it ever was in the studio.
…and besides, this is my list and I make up the rules as I go along, so today is two for the price of one.