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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
BillyThorpe Tangier CD review at The Rockpit

Released October 2010



Billy Thorpe was many things during his lifetime – child star in the dawning age of television, pop star as Beatlemania swept through the world, long haired acid blues rocker as Woodstock came to Australia at Sunbury, L.A. based chart topping space rocker, best selling author of 2 volumes of hilarious, candid and moving memoirs, husband & father of two, driving force behind the “Long Way To The Top” tours a decade ago, and so much more.


In a life so full of achievement, Thorpie may just have saved his best for last.


In 2000, Thorpe took his closest family and friends to Morocco for a birthday celebration, and fell in love with the country, the culture and – most importantly – its music.


Before his early passing in February 2007, Billy Thorpe’s “Tangier” project had consumed him for 3 years – after his death the project was steered to completion by his widow Lynn and Thorpie’s old friends from the “Long Way To The Top” project, Michael Chugg & Amanda Pelman, and co-producer Daniel Denholm.


“Tangier” is rich with the sounds of this amazing and exotic country, and features an incredible array of talented performers from Rose Tattoo’s Dai Pritchard and Cold Chisel’s Ian Moss, to Mick Fleetwood, Brian Cadd, narrator Jack Thompson, as well as an entire orchestra, no less than 23 violinists, plus flautists, tabla and other African instrumentalists.


The end result is a lush and fantastic trip to a beautiful fantasy world created by Thorpe where the music evokes the sights and smells of Marrakesh, combined with the stadium sized pub rock he virtually invented in the early seventies. None of this would matter much though unless the songs were as redolent with such lavish and intricately crafted melodies and exotic lyrics to mirror the sounds throughout.


‘Marrakesh’ is luxuriant and beguiling, beckoning you into the album gently and readying the listener for the magical journey they are about to be taken on. ‘A River Knows’ is inspired in its choice of actor and long time friend of Thorpe Jack Thompson as narrator. ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ is a beautiful song of longing, made almost unbearably poignant after Billy’s passing.


The rest of the album is equally wonderful, with not a note out of place. The entire CD is layered and sumptuous and promises to reward repeated listens, such is the depth of the songs.


It’s impossible to know how closely this album would resemble the finished product had Billy Thorpe lived long enough to complete his version of it. Thankfully the project was completed by people with respect for Thorpe’s talent and vision, and his last gift to us all is this work of rare and magical beauty.

Shane Rockpit