|Label:||Universal Music Group International (2016)|
|Genre:||Hard Rock , Rock N|
Sealed brand new release of this classic album housed in a smart repro. cover. Includes bonus 7"
East was the third studio album by Australian pub rock band Cold Chisel, released in June 1980. The album peaked at No. 2 and spent 63 weeks on the national chart. It was the biggest-selling Australian album release of the year. It was the only Cold Chisel album to chart in America, reaching 171 on the Billboard 200. It also reached number 32 on the New Zealand charts.
The cover art was inspired by the 1793 painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David. The photo of Barnes was taken at Roger Langford's apartment in Elizabeth Bay, where the video for "Cheap Wine" was later shot. Barnes had purchased the headband in Japan, and years later discovered he had worn it upside-down. Walker said, "I got the idea of the bathtub and the Marat/Sade ripoff. I knew I wanted to fill the whole thing up with certain flavoured bric-a-brac. Jenny spent a whole week getting the bric-a-brac together out of the antique shops and second-hand book shops. There was a certain list of books I wanted but she came back with some wonderful stuff I would never have thought of."
The album was preceded by the release of the single "Choirgirl" that was recorded in October 1979 and released in November, the band's first recording with Mark Opitz who would then work on all subsequent 1980s Cold Chisel albums. The bulk of the album was recorded in March and April 1980, with the band having completed little writing before entering the studio. Opitz said, "I booked Paradise as a lock-out, which meant Chisel had sole 24-hour access. The only people allowed in were friends of the band and roadies. I did that to make sure the roadies got their free feed."
The songs "Cheap Wine" and "My Baby" were also released as singles. East was the first Cold Chisel album to feature tracks written by all members of the band. Opitz said, "One of the key aspects was breaking Don's songwriting monopoly. It gave variation to the record and confidence to the players. Don was comfortable with this changed dynamic, because it meant he no longer had to come up with all the songs."
East was a deliberate attempt by Cold Chisel to make a more commercial album. Walker said at the time, "I go to bed with a tape recorder under my pillow. The tape loop says, 'hit single, hit single, hit single.'" Allmusic describes the album as, "their most widely accepted and artfully constructed album." Producer Opitz said of the pressure for commercial success, "My brief to myself was: “I don’t want to sacrifice the credibility of the band, but I still need hits.” Of course, the band at that stage were letting me have my total way with them. Because they weren’t a successful recording band."
Some of the songs were topical at the time of release. "Ita" referred to journalist and television presenter Ita Buttrose. "Star Hotel" is written about the riot that took place there,"Choirgirl" about abortion, and "Four Walls" referenced the riots at Bathurst Gaol. Barnes later said, "At the time we'd been doing a hell of a lot of gigs in jails and Don had been really into it. He'd been talking to Jack Mundey and all those people, and I don't think he knew why, but he was sort of obsessed with the penal system."
Later, Walker was described as keen to downplay the political nature of the songs. Walker said, "That whole East political thing, all those things were not necessarily said by us. Most of the themes were dreamed up by reviewers."
Barnes was using a combination of speed and red wine to improve his vocal performance in the studio. Walker said, "Jim had developed into the most incredible singer. He could do anything. He could sing melodies in a way that made it sound not over-worked or thought about; it was effortless."
The first 10,000 pressings of the album came with a bonus single, a live cover of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" that had been recorded at the Bondi Lifesaver on the A-side, and a studio recording of "Party's Over" on the B-side. The international version of the album features a slightly different track listing, with no "Ita" or "Four Walls" on the B-side, but instead a rare acoustic intro version of the single Khe Sanh, never released anywhere else. The back cover of the album contains a different group photograph of the band members than what is seen on the Australian version.
Cold Chisel's catalogue was re-released in collectors editions 2011. East re-entered the charts for 3 weeks, peaking at number 19.