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I'm working on compiling a list of all of Gilbert's songs. The majority of these songs have been released and are available on CD.  Some of them have never been recorded but have only ever been heard in Gilbert's live concerts and a handful of these songs have never been heard in public. Where possible I've included comments that Gilbert has made about his songs. If you spot an error or have some information to add to this list, please email me by clicking HERE. The best place to buy Gilbert's music is at Bygum Records


15 TIMES

A Stranger In My Own Back Yard

15 TIMES

Released on the album A Stranger In My Own Back Yard [Oct 1974] - 2:21

NOTE: A rollicking, faintly surreal piece of music-hall style nonsense featuring a talking goldfish and an enthusiastic masochist.

GILBERT: ďI remember the drummer Harvey Mason brought a full case of percussion nick-nacks in it, we used a lot of them on the track.  Just a bit of lightweight fun.Ē

 

A FRIEND OF MINE

The Essential Collection

A FRIEND OF MINE

Released on the album I'm A Writer Not A Fighter [Sept 1973] and recently on The Essential Collection [2016] - 3:24

NOTE: Adding Mary Ann, Ted, Sarah Jane and Homer the dog to the growing list of characters introduced in Gilbert's songs, 'A Friend of Mine' features a mildly eccentric narrator greeting ladies, offering advice and suggesting that if you're 'good and kind', he'll be your friend for life.

GILBERT: "I really like this song, nice middle section.  We still do it live in concert, it's very popular especially in Scandinavia.  Sarah Jane was [arranger/conductor] Johnnie Spence's daughter, but there's no real significance to the names.  Mary Ann is a beer in Jersey!"

 

A LOVE SO

A LOVE SO

Released on the album Piano Foreplay [May 2003] - 2:51

 

A MINUTE OF YOUR TIME

A MINUTE OF YOUR TIME

Released as a vinyl single [June 1982] and later appeared on the album Life & Rhymes [Oct 1982] - 3:41

NOTE: One of Gilbert's quirkiest, most memorable love songs in which the singer begs for a moment's attention from the object of his affections while meditating on how an 'error' in life can determine someone's happy fate.  His assertion that he'd be 'happy in despair' echoes the phrase coined by one of Gilbert's favourite writing teams Rodger's/Hart in their 1936 song "Glad To Be Unhappy".

GILBERT: "A nice song written in Ireland.  Again, you can hear Graham's input there on the harmonies.  Muff Winwood at CBS loved this; he saw it as a strong commercial song."

 

A PROPER FOOL

A PROPER FOOL

Released on the album A Scruff At Heart [Oct 2006] - 3:19

 

A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES

A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES

Released on the album Irlish [June 2000] - 3:40

 

A VERY EXTRAORDINARY SORT OF GIRL

A VERY EXTRAORDINARY SORT OF GIRL

Released as the b-side to Get Down [March 1973] and later appeared on the album I'm A Writer, Not A Fighter [Reissued Edition] [Apr 2012] - 2:20

NOTE: An up-beat, whimsical portrait of a 'perfect' female who can perform alchemy, rope-tricks and glue your heart together after she's broken it, featuring a uniquely strange synth solo.

GILBERT: "Just Gordon and myself, I played drums and piano, Gordon, keyboards and synth bass.  Bit of engineering trickery made the solo sound like that."

 

A WOMAN'S PLACE

A WOMAN'S PLACE

Released as a single [Aug 1974] and later appeared on the album A Stranger In My Own Back Yard [Oct 1974] - 3:17

The controversial lead single from the album was a cracking, Philly-style track with a classic lick, a version of which reappeared recently in Cee Lo Green's "Forget You".  While the sentiment "a woman's place is in the home" was merely a genuine reflection of Gilbert's traditional if possibly out-moded beliefs, the song was taken as sexist provocation, not least by BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour, who hosted a debate about the piece.  Pop radio, for their part, refused to play it.

GILBERT: "In fairness I do say 'I'm all for a woman who can make it on her own' and that I don't want people to become like men.  But I come from a family where my mother was a housewife and when I got married, I didn't want my wife to work.  Being at home, especially with young children is as important, if not more, than any job.  These days of course, easier said than done!"

 

AIN'T NO TELLING (WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING)

AIN'T NO TELLING (WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING)

Version 1

NOTE: Originally written for the 1996 Ski-flying World Championship in Austria and not on general sale. The only difference between the two versions is one line in the chorus on the original is sung by a group of skiers - 4:09

Version 2

Instrumental version as part of the above CD single - 4:04

Version 3

Released as part of a 3-track CD single in 1998 with Doesn't It Make You Sick (Mortar and Brick) and Break A Leg - 4:03

 

ALL THEY WANTED TO SAY

ALL THEY WANTED TO SAY

Version 1

Released on the album Gilbertville [Jan 2011] - 4:05

Version 2

 A radio edit of the album track was released as a CD single in February 2011 - 3:12

 

ALWAYS SOMEBODY

ALWAYS SOMEBODY

Released on the album A Stranger In My Own Back Yard [Oct 1974] - 0:48

NOTE: A miniature sign-off and a rare example of what might be thought of as a bit of O'Sullivan preaching.

GILBERT: "Yes but it's not over the top.  It's not even a whole song just a refrain.  There must have been something in my mind at the time, and the sentiment is something I'm very conscious of today."

 

AN END

AN END

Released on the album Singer Sowing Machine [Nov 1997] [UK release] - 0:15

 

ANSWERS ON A POSTCARD (PLEASE)

ANSWERS ON A POSTCARD (PLEASE)

Released on the album Piano Foreplay [May 2003] - 3:34

 

ANYTIME

ANYTIME

Released as a CD single in Japan [Sept 1993] - 3:03

 

ARE YOU HAPPY?

ARE YOU HAPPY?

Version 1

Released on the UK released version of the album Sounds Of The Loop [Apr 1993] - 3:14

NOTE: Gilbert's take on the 'money can't buy you love' maxim, complete with a Swingle Singers Sing Bach-style interlude and a contemporary groove.

GILBERT: "It was originally a slow song, but it was fun getting it to work with that Soul2Soul-style Jazzy B feel.  That's a good example where a half-thyme works better than a full one.  The big choir again is me incorporating my love of musical soundtracks."

Version 2

Released as a CD single [Nov 1993] and is the same as the album version except for addition of Gilbert singing "do, de do, de do de do da da" a couple of times at the beginning - 3:29

 

AS A RULE

AS A RULE

Released originally on the album The Little Album [Nov 1992] [Japanese release] - 2:47

NOTE: On a song dating back from the 1970s, this track presents Gilbert at his musically dense and lyrically mischievous.  The capriciousness is underlined by the marvellously profaced string arrangement in the convoluted introduction and fade.

GILBERT: "This is just lyrical madness.  I love to do these kind of things.  I love to write straighforward love songs, but sometimes I just like to let loose.  Bill Whelan had no idea what the song was when he wrote those strings.  Just as well."

 

AS LONG AS I CAN

AS LONG AS I CAN

Version 1

Released as the b-side to the single You Got Me Going [July 1977]

NOTE: This version has a saxophone solo.

Version 2

Released on the reissued edition of the album Southpaw [June 2012] - 2:21

NOTE: This version has a piano solo.  A life affirming country rocker that brightly touches on gay marriage, domestic violence and traditional English condiments.

GILBERT: "Thatís my Fats Domino piano lick.  Lyrically it doesnít lie low, it doesnít hid behind the bushes."

 

AT LEAST I'M HONEST

AT LEAST I'M HONEST

Released on the album Life & Rhymes [Oct 1982] - 3:01

NOTE: The happy return of a version of Gilbertís endearing, well-intentioned, if gauche, suitor (see also "Who Was It", "No More") only this time heís married and his justifications for his romantic shortcomings are dressed in a beautifully detailed, classic musical theatre-style melody and the elegant orchestral sounds of Richard Niles.

GILBERT: "It was never going to be a drums/bass/guitar thing.  Strings worked well I think.  Could be from a musical.  And musicals to this day have a big influence on my song writing."

 

AT THE VERY MENTION OF YOUR NAME

AT THE VERY MENTION OF YOUR NAME

Version 1

Released originally on the album Frobisher Drive [Nov 1987] and later on the album In The Key of G [Nov 1989] -5:16

NOTE: Produced by Ken Gold.  Very gradual haunting beginning to the song.  

One of Gilbertís surprisingly rare, straightforwardly fulsome love songs and a satisfying indication that despite the five-year gap between records, OíSullivanís ability to create effortless-sounding, beautifully crafted music remained intact.

GILBERT: "Yes, good song, I thought it would do well, but as always itís the luck and timing.  But you never loose heart as a songwriter; Dionne Warwick turned down 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head'!  Thatís a reassurance!"

Version 2

Released as a single [June 1990] - 4:52

NOTE: The version recorded in America and funded personally by Gilbert with top producer David Foster became the second single from In The Key of G.

GILBERT: "I'd sent David the track and within days his manager got back to me.  It was an expensive project but I was very happy with it; it has more power than the album version and of course that big American sound.  Roy Massey got a lot of interest with it from American labels but they wouldn't give me a deal on the strength of one track, and I couldnít afford to record any more with David."

 

'B' SIDE INTRO

'B' SIDE INTRO

Released as the b-side of the single No Matter How I Try [Nov 1971] and used as prelude to the If I Don't Get You (Back Again) and more recently available on the album The Other Sides of Gilbert O'Sullivan [Feb 2004] [Japanese release]

 

BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE (SUCH IS LIFE)

BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE (SUCH IS LIFE)

Released on the album Piano Foreplay [May 2003] - 4:02

 

BEAR WITH ME

BEAR WITH ME

Released as a single [Sept 1982] and appeared on the album Life & Rhymes [Oct 1982] - 3:22

NOTE: Heartfelt, blue-eyed soul in which the singer pleads for patience from a lover while he does what he can to "safeguard both our futures".

GILBERT: "Great track, really happy with it.  In the clear light of another day, I can see the lyric sums up my situation before getting married, everything leading up to the move to Ireland.  American publishers loved that song.  George Benson wanted to record it and they asked if the lyric could be changed.  I said no, I donít do that."

 

BECAUSE OF YOU

BECAUSE OF YOU

Released originally on the album The Little Album [Nov 1992] [Japanese release] - 2:30

NOTE: A classic piece of 1960s AABA pop song construction; simple, direct and very catchy.  The narrator's self-pity tinged with hope is pithily conveyed in the lines "Can't say that I envy me/I'm not exactly myself right now".  Note also the attention to detail as the long 'yoou' and the shorter 'you' alternate in the fading title line.

GILBERT: "Just a nice little song, I love counter melodies."

 

BREAK A LEG

BREAK A LEG

Version 1

Break A Leg (1) was released on the album Singer Sowing Machine [Jan 1997] [Japanese release] - 4:06

Version 2

Break A Leg (2) was released on the album Singer Sowing Machine [Jan 1997] [Japanese release] - 4:16

Version 3

Released as track 3 on the CD single Ain't No Telling What (Tomorrow Will Bring) [Oct 1998] - 4:02

 

BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY

BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY

Released on the album Off Centre [Oct 1980] and later as the b-side to Hello, It's Goodbye [Jan 1981] - 3:20

NOTE: Expecting something good to end before much longer, the narrator in this defenceless, sad song pleads for kind treatment when heís given the heave-ho.  A country-style weeper that could have come from the heart of Nashville.

GILBERT: "I love three-chord songs, going back to Buddy Holly.  I still do them.  The track is nice; musicians perform really well on this."

 

BREAKFAST, DINNER AND TEA

BREAKFAST, DINNER AND TEA

Released as the b-side to the single Happiness Is Me And You [Feb 1974] and later on the reissued version of A Stranger In My Own Back Yard [June 2012] - 2:07

NOTE: This woman's place is indeed in the home; unfortunately while sheís great in the kitchen, she's not much in the bedroom department.  A tongue-in-cheek 'food in lieu of sex' song.

GILBERT: "Is that what I was singing about?  We shouldnít hark on that one then!  Little bit of a rocker, it was always going to be a B-side.  This one was recorded in England, at the end of a traditional three hour session."

 

BUT I'M NOT

BUT I'M NOT

Released as the b-side on the single Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day [May 1972] and later appeared on Back To Front [Oct 1972] - 2:06

NOTE: A rollicking, Fats Domino-style variation on the 12-bar blues and one of three occasions on Back To Front (see also 'Can I Go With You' and 'The Golden Rule') when Gilbert defends himself against suspicions that he might be a 'fool'.  The narrator may be an underdog, and an outsider, but underestimate him at your peril.

GILBERT: "Iíve always had a lack of self-esteem in my personal life.  In those days, I used to watch myself on TV from a distance.  Iíve always been suspicious of mirrors.  I had no problem hearing my voice in the studio, but if it came on the radio, I turned it off.  You just feel inadequate at times.  I donít think you ever lose that.  But the good thing is belief in your work more than makes up for it."

 

BYE BYE

BYE BYE

Released as the b-side to Thunder And Lightning and on the album Himself [Oct 1971] - 3:22

NOTE: Very much a straightforward song of parting set to a pretty melody and arrangement but laced with barbed lines like "Sometimes even out of spite/Iím uncouth".

GILBERT: "Barbs, I do that, little lines like that would give it a bit of edge; that would be in my mind.  Itís very often the dark side of love that I pick up on e.g. the breakdown of relationships, affairs, etc."

 

CALL ON ME

CALL ON ME

Released as the b-side on the single You Never Listen To Reason [Oct 1975] and later on the reissued release of Southpaw [June 2012] - 3:14

NOTE:A cheerful affirmation of friendship with a couple of pianos plus an early drum machine.  Note also the characteristic reference to the trackís B-side status.

Gilbert: "I love this track.  Thatís Bob Hook on solo overdubs.  Went in a 7pm, went home three hours later, finished and mixed."

 

CAME AND WENT

CAME AND WENT

Released on the album Sounds of the Loop [Nov 1991] [Japanese release] - 3:45

NOTE: This sad portrait of someone feeling betrayed by a fair-weather friend is pitched in a lower key than is usual for Gilbertís voice, which gives a dark, murmuring quality to the vocal, underlining the singerís disappointment at events.  The four-seasons-in-one-day middle section is one of Gilbertís strangest dreamlike lyrics.

GILBERT: "Thatís a Stones-influenced song.  I wrote most of it in the early 70ís and wrote the bridge when we recorded it.  It was always in that key, I sing in the key I write in.  Tom Dowd was the first person to ever suggest to me singing in a different key."

 

CAME TO SEE ME YESTERDAY (IN THE MERRY MONTH OF)

CAME TO SEE ME YESTERDAY (IN THE MERRY MONTH OF)

Version 1

Released on the album The Humble Beginnings of England's Gilbert O'Sullivan and Gerry Dorsey [1972]

NOTE: Recorded solo on piano with 1,2,3,4 count-in.

Version 2

Released on the album E Le Sue Canzoni [1974]

NOTE: The same as Version 3 but without the woodwind prelude. Titled "Come To See Me Yesterday" on the record.

Version 3

Released as a single [1974]

NOTE: Recorded with drums, strings and wind instruments with a woodwind prelude.

Version 4

Released on the album The Little Album [Nov 1992] [Japanese release]

NOTE: Another nonsensical oldie, this time with a lyric that swerves around the expected word 'May' into surprise puns and other eccentric wordplay.  Tom Rush covered it on his 1970 album Wrong End Of The Rainbow.

GILBERT: "Tom Rush was a highly-regarded spotter of up-and-coming writers like Joni Mitchell, so that cover was a big thrill.  The Amboy Dukes did an upbeat reggae version, so we've done it like that on stage.  Great fun to do."

Version 5 [Live]

NOTE: This unrecorded ska version of the song has been on the live playlist since the 2008 tour.

 

CAN I GO WITH YOU

CAN I GO WITH YOU

Released on the album Back To Front [Oct 1972] - 2:47

NOTE: A knowing homage to the musical style and dreamy innocence of early Beatles, especially McCartneyís chiming romanticism, Can I Go With You evokes a world of holding hands and promising to be true, full of hope and youthful idealism.

GILBERT: "The Beatles first album was a revelation for all of us.  I was into songs before, but The Beatles made us feel that we could do it.  I donít do harmonies, being a solo singer, but thereís a perfect Lennon-McCartney harmony to this song that I occasionally do on stage with one of the girls in the band."

 

CAN I LEAVE THE REST UP TO YOU

CAN I LEAVE THE REST UP TO YOU

Released on the album Gilbertville [Jan 2011] - 3:25

NOTE: Backing vocals on this track by British comedian Bobby Davro

 

CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME

CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME

Released on the album Every Song Has Its Play [May 1995] - 3:43

NOTE: Written specially for this record, this song is a good example of O'Sullivan's approach to a melodic, standard-style song.  The recurrence of the 'lost lamb' images evokes the Gershwins ("Someone To Watch Over Me") and Rodgers/Hart ("Glad To Be Unhappy").

GILBERT: "One of my best songs, lovely to sing and slightly outside a normal approach.  I like that it's about someone who has fallen in love, but is frightened by how it could and is affecting his way of life.  I've done it live quite a few times recently; it's proven to be very popular."

 

CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU

CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU

Version 1

Released on the album Off Centre [Oct 1980] and later as a single in March 1981 - 3:27

NOTE: Another old-style Gilbert standard, full of heart, melody and sumptuous chord changes, and which surprisingly failed to crack the charts when released as the third single from Off Centre.

GILBERT: "Probably the closest thing to a Bacharach-David song Iíve written.  One of my best ever."

Version 2

Released on the album Rare Tracks [Apr 1992] [Japanese release] - 3:36

NOTE: Described on the album sleeve as "Another Version".

 

CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY MIND

CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY MIND

Released as the b-side on the single To Each His Own [Oct 1976] and more recently on the reissued edition of Southpaw [June 2012] - 3:25

NOTE: For all its evident B-side production values, this song is full of satisfying detail, not least in the elaborate middle section, inspired guitar solo and classic Beatles ending.

GILBERT: "Me, a guitar player, a drum machine, and keyboard bass.  There was a hiss on the drum part that really annoyed me.  I had trouble getting rid of it.  Not sure I ever did."

 

CAN'T GET YOU TO LOVE ME

CAN'T GET YOU TO LOVE ME

Released on the album A Stranger In My Own Back Yard [Oct 1974]

NOTE: A Steely Dan-style unconscious updating of the old standard 'I Canít Get Started', featuring a list of the singerís considerable achievements which appear insignificant when compared to his inability to get anywhere with a particularly stubborn girl.

GILBERT: "Itís a "Got To Get You Into My Life" kind of thing that got a lot of FM airplay at the time.  It really comes to life when we do it live.  It deserves a good remix.  Lyrically, itís a typical approach of mine; sheís the problem, not me."

 

CAN'T SAY FAIRER THAN THAT

CAN'T SAY FAIRER THAN THAT

Released on the album A Scruff At Heart [Oct 2006] - 2:48

 

CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT

CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT

Version 1

Released on the Japanese released version of the album Sounds of the Loop [Nov 1991] [Japanese release] - 4:03

Note: Duet with Takao Kisugi.  Popular Japanese recording artist Takao Kisugi was inspired to begin writing songs by Gilbertís  'No Matter How I Try' and was invited to Jersey to meet and duet with him for 'Canít Think Straight'.  This was Gilbertís first ever recorded duet and his first since his mainstream TV days when his partners included Dean Martin, Lulu, Petula Clark and Vicky Leandros.

GILBERT: "Takao is a nice person and a good writer/musician.  We usually meet up on our visits to Japan."

Version 2

This version is a duet with Peggy Lee and was released as a CD single [1992] - 4:03

NOTE: Schmaltzy, witty and wise, 'Canít Think Straight' is one of Gilbertís later masterpieces in which the singer agitates about getting angry with his girlfriend, third-world hunger, the imminent extinction of the human race and his rent going up.  The duet with legendary chanteuse Peggy Lee, recorded in New Yorkís Hit Factory studio, recreated via video screen, remains a highlight of Gilbertís live show.

GILBERT: "I wanted that big orchestral and choral effect and Laurie Holloway, as an arranger, is perfect for this.  I donít even think of it as a duet, maybe a cameo, but Peggy was my first choice.  Meeting her, recording the vocal, filming it for a video was, in spite of Peggy being in a wheelchair and having to use an oxygen tank, a joyful and memorable experience."

Version 3

This version is a duet with Danish singer Kirsten Siggaard and was released on the Scandinavian release of the Sounds of the Loop album [1993] - 4:03

Version 4

This version is a duet with Spanish actress Silvia Tortosa and was released on the Spanish release of the Sounds of the Loop album [1993] - 4:03

NOTE: Gilbertís Spanish publisher suggested this for the Spanish release of the album.

GILBERT: "I never met her.  Thereís another English version featuring Danish singer Kirstin Siggaard with whom I also in 2011, recorded a duet with her of my 'Christmas Song'."

 

CHRISTMAS SONG

CHRISTMAS SONG

Version 1

Released as a single [Nov 1974] - 2:46

Version 2

The original track was remixed and released as a iTunes download [Dec 2010] - 2:46

Version 3

Recorded as a duet with Gilbert and Kirsten Siggaard and released on Kirsten's album Min Jul [Nov 2011] - 2:43

 

CLAIR

CLAIR

Release as a single [Oct 1972] and also appeared on the album Back To Front [Oct 1972] -3:02

NOTE: Written as a thank you to the parents (manager Gordon Mills and his wife Jo) of the little girl Gilbert sometimes babysat, the open-hearted affection, wry realism ("you can be murder at this hour of the day") and irresistible melody of Clair touched millions around the world."you can be murder at this hour of the day") and irresistible melody of Clair touched millions around the world."you can be murder at this hour of the day") and irresistible melody of Clair touched millions around the world."you can be murder at this hour of the day") and irresistible melody of Clair touched millions around the world.

GILBERT: "Everything about it worked perfectly, because Gordon, a former harmonica champion of Great Britain, played the solo, and Clair does the laugh at the end.  It was very personal, very innocent, and captured a moment really well.  It often crosses my mind though, in the world we live in today, would I be able to write it now?"

 

CON-LIB-LAB

CON-LAB-LIB

Released on the album Singer Sowing Machine [Nov 1997] [UK Release] - 3:26

 

CONVERSATION WITH FLYING PLATS

CONVERSATION WITH FLYING PLATES

Released on the album Piano Foreplay [May 2003] - 4:34

 

COULDN'T GET ARRESTED

COULDN'T GET ARRESTED

Released as track 2 on the CD single Have It [May 2001]

 

DEAR DREAM

DEAR DREAM

Version 1 [Live]

Released on the album Tomorrow Today Live In Japan '93 [Aug 1993] [Japanese release] - 3:25

Version 2

Released on the album Every Song Has Its Play [May 1995] - 3:14

NOTE: The doubts and ambitions of the young artist set to very pretty melody.  "Dear Dream" has an air of classic, catchy O'Sullivan and if released in Gilbert's commercial heyday of 1971-73, would undoubtedly have been a hit.

GILBERT: "This album was Radio 2's album of the week.  However when we released "Dear Dream" as a single, it didn't make their playlist!"

Version 3

Released as a CD single [Track 1] [Nov 1995] - 3:16

NOTE: Remix by Ben Liebrand.

Version 4

Released as a CD single [Track 2] [Nov 1995] - 3:40

NOTE: Dance Mix Radio Edit.  A. Gill & Ben production.

Version 5

Released as a CD single [Track 3] [Nov 1995] - 7:23

NOTE: Dance Mix Full Version.  A. Gill & Ben production.

 

DISAPPEAR

DISAPPEAR [Version 1]

The original demo was released on the reissued deluxe version of the album Himself [Nov 2011] - 1:40

NOTE: Gilbert was unhappy with a studio rerecording of the song so this original demo recorded in his shed was Ė after a lot of persuasion from Gilbert Ė used by producer Mike Smith and arranger Keith Mansfield (Tremeloes, Love Affair) as the basis for his debut single in November 1967.  It featured his early Ďold maní vocals.

GILBERT: "That was the Dylan thing, I played on that old man sound, saying to the record company ĎYou want something different?  Take your pick!  A young man who sounds like an old man and looks like nobody else!í  Dylan at that stage was a big influence for singing, Lennon/McCartney for songwriting.  'Girl' from Rubber Soul was an inspiration for 'Disappear'."

DISAPPEAR [Version 2]

Released as a single [Nov 1967] - 2:03

 

DISHONOURABLE PROFESSION

DISHONOURABLE PROFESSION

Released on the album Every Song Has Its Play [May 1995]

NOTE: The only song especially composed for the stage show and naturally retained for the album, "Dishonourable Profession" is a moody, sad indictment of the ruthlessness of the music business, full of expressive musical detail, not to say a palpable feeling of hurt and disappointment.

GILBERT: "That's how the business is: push them on stage, then push them to one side.  The X-Factor is no different.  But all business is a bit like that."

 

DIVORCE IRISH STYLE

DIVORCE IRISH STYLE

Version 1

Released on the album Sounds of the Loop [Nov 1991] [Japanese release] - 4:13

NOTE: Gilbert casts a beady eye on the inflexibility and complacency of the Catholic Church in the face of unhappy marriages.

GILBERT: "I remember reading that Edward Kennedy had the annulment of his marriage fast-tracked by church hierarchy in America and I was appalled by the hypocrisy, and thought of all those unhappy, particularly in Ireland, who had to wait years and only then if they were lucky, for theirs."

Version 2

Released as track 3 on the CD single Can't Think Straight [1992] - 4:11

 

DOESN'T IT MAKE YOU SICK (MORTAR AND BRICK)

DOESN'T IT MAKE YOU SICK (MORTAR AND BRICK)

Version 1

Released as a CD single [Jan 1997] - 3:27

Version 2

Released on the album Singer Sowing Machine [Nov 1997] [UK Release] - 3:33

 

DOING THE BEST I CAN

DOING THE BEST I CAN

Released as the b-side on the single Underneath The Blanket Go [Feb 1971] and later appeared on the album Himself [Nov 1971] - 3:06

NOTE: With the sense of an impoverished father at the end of his rope, this song boasts an intriguing circular chord sequence.

GILBERT: "Beatle-influenced, McCartney-esque track, odd chord sequence.  You look for those kind of things, but sometimes they just happen.  Itís nice though when it does."

 

DOING WHAT I KNOW

Released as a single [Aug 1976] and later appeared on the reissued edition of Southpaw [June 2012] - 4:45

NOTE: This chiming, piano-driven track features an effective minor modulation mid-way through and anticipates the piano rock of Bruce Hornsby by years.

GILBERT: "It's very me, pretty much sums me up!  Really good song that got a bit overshadowed by the Four Seasonsí ĎSeptember '63', which has a similar piano part, at the time.  I wanted to do something to make pianos sound big (always a bee in my bonnet); no one had done a record with pianos really to the fore.  Iím proud of that, and Iím still trying to figure out how to do it live."

 

DON'T BOTHER AT ALL

DON'T BOTHER AT ALL

Released as the b-side on the single Bear With Me [Sept 1982] and later on the reissued edition of Life & Rhymes [Aug 2012] - 3:26

NOTE: A tough early-1980s production supports a tough, bluesy dismissal of an unfaithful lover.

GILBERT: "With Graham, very '80s, a bit of rock 'n' roll."

 

DON'T I KNOW IT

DON'T I KNOW IT

Released on the album Irlish [June 2000] - 3:22

 

DON'T LET IT GET TO YOU

DON'T IT GET TO YOU

Released on the album A Scruff At Heart [Oct 2006] - 3:22

 

DON'T YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR MIND

DON'T YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR MIND

Released on the album E Le Sue Canzoni [1974] - 4:31

 

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN

Released as the b-side on the single What's In A Kiss? [Aug 1980] and later on the reissued edition of Off Centre [Aug 2012] - 2:38

NOTE: A terrific, finger pickin', absurd rocker with tricky rhythmic displacements and, after "Intro" from Southpaw, Gilbertís second evocation of Stanley and Livingstone in a song.

GILBERT: "We knew it wouldnít make the album, but good playing from everybody."

 

DOWN DOWN HERE

DOWN DOWN HERE

Released on the album Gilbertville [Jan 2011] - 3:23

 

EASIER SAID THAN DONE

EASIER SAID THAN DONE

Released on the album Irlish [June 2000] - 3:15

 

END-VIRONMENTAL PIECE

END-VIRONMENTAL PIECE

Released on the 3 CD set Caricature - The Box [Jan 2004] - 1:25

NOTE: Same track as 'Me - Reprise' from Irlish [June 2001]

 

EVERYBODY KNOWS

EVERYBODY KNOWS

Released as the b-side on the single Nothing Rhymed [Oct 1970] and more recently on the reissued edition of Himself [Nov 2011] - 2:19

NOTE: Gilbert in Grand Ole Opry mode, complete with hoedown fiddles and whistle-along melody.

GILBERT: "Good little number, lightweight, a bit of fun."

 

 

Song descriptions by Chris Ingram