Daryl Braithwaite is one of Australia’s hidden gems, with a career spanning over 40 years, yet many of you would have never heard of him. That is unless you remember the Australian 70s rock/pop band Sherbet, of which Braithwaite was the lead singer. Seriously, take a listen to the song Howzat, it is bound to bring the memories rushing back.
Fast forward to 1991 and Braithwaite was well into a successful solo career, with the album Rise becoming the highest selling Australian album of 1991. It is also one of my favourite albums of all time and arguably the highlight of his career.
The Horses, and the associated music video, was my first exposure to Daryl Braithwaite, back when Australia’s version of MTV, Rage, was considered the national pastime for exploring new music.
Kenny Loggins fans should also note that he covered The Horses on the album Return to Pooh Corner. While I still prefer Braithwaite’s rendition, Loggins does an exceptional job of covering this Australian classic, while applying his own unique style to the recording.
The Rise album also has a special place in my heart as my grandmother always encouraged my interest in music. She would often watch Rage with me and upon returning home from school a few days later, a new cassette would be waiting on my bed; in this case it was Braithwaite’s Rise.
That cassette was played more times than I care to remember. As I listen to the album, I can still recall the exact areas in the tape that had begun to stretch. I truly miss that aspect of analogue media as each and every play offered a unique experience. The problem is, and this is a good problem to have, the whole album is akin to a greatest hits compilation. There simply isn’t a b-side to be found on the album.
Unfortunately, I no longer have the cassette because I went through an idiotic phase of moving away from cassettes, to the compact disc, and then to the more convenient MP3; selling the physical formats as I went. If only I knew then, what I know now, but I guess we do learn from our mistakes.
Despite being so successful, Rise is out-of-print in all physical formats. To experience it, you will either need to purchase it from iTunes, or stream it on Apple Music or TIDAL Hi-Fi. The TIDAL Hi-Fi edition, being presented in full CD-quality, is noticeably superior to the iTunes and Apple Music versions, as there is yet to be a Mastered for iTunes release. I noticed there was more muddiness in the bass and drum tracks on the lossy editions, whereas the stereo separation was superb on TIDAL Hi-Fi. It doesn’t stop the album from being enjoyable, but if you have a decent sound system, or simply want the best version available, then TIDAL Hi-Fi is the one to go for.
Rise is uniquely Australian and while I may be biased, I truly believe Australia has some of the most underrated musicians in the world. Braithwaite is one of many that I intend to share via Subjective Sounds. His vocals are smooth and crisp, with just enough rasp to be able to attack rock, pop, and ballad styles that will have you captivated for the entire 50-minute album. Add a tremendously talented line-up of guest vocalists and musicians, such as John Farnham, Margaret Ulrich, and Tommy Emmanuel, and you have an album that can not only stand the test of time, but one that should have catapulted Braithwaite to international success.
Dust off your best stereo system, turn the volume up, and put the album on repeat. Trust me, you will want to listen to this record more than once.