Glenn Shorrock Walks Down Memory Lane With New Take on 'Lonesome Loser': Premiere

Glenn Shorrock
Tony Mott

Glenn Shorrock

Glenn Shorrock knows the title of his new album, Glenn Shorrock Sings Little River Band: The Hits Live in the Studio -- whose new take on "Lonesome Loser" is premiering exclusively below -- may seem odd to some. "Of course everybody would say, 'Well, wasn't he in the band? Where's he going here?'" Shorrock tells Billboard with a laugh.

The 10-song set, out March 8 and the brainchild of producer Steve Balbi, finds Shorrock going in a variety of different places on the 10 LRB favorites. While melodically faithful, the songs have been rearranged, with a funkier flavor to some, including "Lonesome Loser," while "Reminiscing" gets a jazzier treatment than the original hit version. "I basically tried to keep my voice in front rather than letting the harmonies drive the songs, like we did in the band," Shorrock, who's now 74, explains. "I left out a lot of the a cappella harmonies we did, like on 'Lonesome Loser.' I just wanted it to be a little more funky and modern sounding."

Shorrock acknowledges that there's also a desire for "a reaffirmation of my legacy," including two tenures in LRB -- the peak of 1975-82 and 1987-98, as well as a 2004 induction into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame. He, along with other former band members, lost any claim to the LRB name during a 2002 court case, and Shorrock says legal conditions about how his connection to the band can be used have made U.S. promoters in particular shy away from booking him.

"I've been trying to get to America again and sing in front of the LRB fans and just say, 'Hey, I'm the guy!'" notes Shorrock, who includes a version of "The Night Owls" on the album as a not-so-subtle shot at Wayne Nelson, who sang the original version in 1981 and fronts the current LRB. "But the (current) Little River Band has got a pretty aggressive agent, and he makes noises every time I raise my head above the ramparts. The promoters are not prepared to go through all that sort of stuff. And I'm not prepared to go in to the American legal system, even if I could win, unless I had some sugar daddy.

"If the laws of decency are true, then it'll happen and I'll be able to get back there before too long. This (album), meanwhile, raises the profile a bit and raises the question 'What does he sound like now?' And here I am."

Shorrock has also authored a memoir, Now Where Was I?, which traces his youth as part of the migration boom from England to Australia during the 1950s as well as his music career, which includes bands such as the Checkmates, the Twilights and Axiom in addition to LRB. "It's been a long ride for me, mainly successful, and I've met a lot of great people and worked with those people," Shorrock notes. "I approached the blank page with trepidation, but it got done and I'm happy with it." Meanwhile he's contemplating other musical projects, though he considers another LRB covers album unlikely.

"I think I can create some retrospective albums from other sources as well," he notes. "Everybody's done the Great American Songbook; Maybe I can do the Great Australian Songbook. We'll see. There's life in the old voice yet. I'm just blessed with good pipes, so I may as well keep using them."


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