Australian singer songwriter Pete Murray joined some esteemed company this week when he scored his third No. 1 on the Motorola Australian Recording Industry Association chart.
With his latest album, “Summer At Eureka” (Sony BMG), Murray now ranks No. 4 among Australian male acts with the most No. 1 albums. John Farnham (Sony BMG) and Jimmy Barnes have eight each, and comedy act 12th Man (aka Billy Birmingham) is third with seven releases.
All three of Murray’s releases have now reached the top spot, a feat achieved by fellow Sony BMG-signing Delta Goodrem, and succeeded by Barnes and the 12th Man. Barnes’ first six solo albums (Mushroom Records and Warner Music Australia) topped the chart, while the 12th Man has managed the achievement with seven EMI-released album titles.
Murray’s first major release album “Feeler” from July 2003, took 33 weeks to reach the top spot. Its follow up, “See the Sun,” debuted at No. 1 in September 2005.
Queensland-born Murray tells Billboard.biz that before starting work on the third album, he bought five acres of land in Eureka, near picturesque seaside town Byron Bay, and built a studio there. “The first two records were made with the studio clock ticking,” he says.
Denis Handlin, Sydney-based chairman and CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment tells Billboard.biz, “A key part of the set up was to give his fans an insight into the process of recording and making the album.”
Recording sessions for “Eureka” were broadcast on www.petemurray.com.au, with Murray discussing the background to the songs. The album was launched through Telstra Bigpond’s “Monday Night Live”, a live show streamed online and through mobile phones to the telecommunication giant’s customers. “Our major advertising campaign was through various online sites that included music, surf, radio and sports portals,” Handlin says. “All our advertising carried content that let ‘Pete do the talking about his music’.”
Murray this week began a tour of Europe, making festival and club appearances in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Holland and Belgium. He returns to Australia for 22 theater shows from Aug. 5 to Sept. 12.
“Summer At Eureka” is expected to debut in the Top 10 in Holland, Handlin says. Releases are being confirmed through Sony BMG in New Zealand and Brazil. Discussions continue for the U.S., Japan and South Africa markets.