Little River Band - Playing to Win (1984)


Album: Little River Band - Playing to Win (1984)
Song: Playing to Win


It is a little known secret that John Farnham was the singer of the Little River Band for a period. John Farnham, for most of us, is probably best remembered as the singer of the songs Break the Ice and Thunder in Your Heart, from the 1986 BMX movie called "Rad".

Those two songs in particular may be responsible for sparking my love of 80s music entirely, but curiously enough, John Farnham did not write those two tracks, and they were never released on any album. There was actually supposed to be an album of his that featured those tracks, and many other more energetic tracks, but the record labels either sat on it too long, or decided it wouldn't sell. Those fools.

In the vacuum of energetic John Farnham songs that have been left after they decided not to release his best tracks, I started to sleuth around to see if maybe he did some more energetic tracks during his career and I stumbled across this little gem. Little River Band seem to be the butt of more than a few 70s jokes, but it seems like the band was well forgotten by the mass public by the time the 80s rolled around. During that time, the band managed to whip up one of the greatest sports anthems I have ever heard in this track. Everything about it gets me fired up to accomplish something. It's so melodic it might as well just be the boss theme from Contra, and John Farnham is really bringing that thunder from his heart all over the place.

But, then there is the video. How amazing is this piece of film? I actually love how blurry and grainy this clip is as well. It adds this weird 80s haze to the entire thing, where you can only barely make out the blurry masses of tracksuits, hair, long mics, and keytars just flailing all over the place. You get a two for one with this Anomaly.


On the topic of John Farnham, just take a look and listen to him performing this song live in 1990. The thing I particularly love about John Farnham is that he is a vocal performance artist. He loves to ad lib new parts, like a drummer ad libs drum fills. He is so full of energy and talent, it's really just fun to watch him go to work.

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