Essentially a re-issue of their 1997 album, this version of Future Road contains additional material in the form of a DVD of the ‘making of’ Future Road, which includes the official clip of ‘Far Shore’ – incidentally the first ever official Seekers film clip, all their previous clips being of live recordings on television or the concert stage.
Released to reinvigorate demand for the re-started Golden Jubilee Tour, cut short by singer Judith Durham’s brain haemorrhage after only the first concert in the tour in May 2013, it signifies a renewal of spirit and a return to health.
Significantly, the original 1997 release featured all new music – the first composed by the group as a whole since their 1968 split – and is the first official studio album since 1967’s Seekers Seen in the Green. Interestingly, The Seekers have released more albums since their split than they released while together in their heyday, with many of these featuring additional new material, although by and large being compilations of earlier works.
For those who remember The Seekers primarily from their ‘wonder years’ in the sixties, Future Road may be something of a disappointment, as The Seekers own songwriting talents are arguably less able than those of their sixties collaborators like Tom Springfield and Paul Simon, and they have seldom charted to any distinction with their own material.
All their four gold records (over one million sales) were penned by Tom Springfield, with perhaps only Brice Woodley’s later work, ‘I am Australian’, achieving anything like the broader public recognition of their earlier works.
Having said that, public acclamation does not seem to have been a hindrance to sales of their subsequent compilation albums, with over 60 million albums sold by the turn of the millenium, so it may be that this re-release of Future Road will sell its socks off to the faithful fans as previous albums have done.
Of the tracks on the album, only ‘Far Shore’ was released originally as a single, and is perhaps the most original of the songs on the album, which vary from the sentimental nostalgia of ‘The Bush Girl’ to the almost hymnal ‘Shores of Avalon’.
The title track, ‘Future Road’ is a paen for a better future, and thus varies somewhat from the overall theme of the album, which is primarily composed of love songs, such as ‘Calling me Home’ and ‘Circle of Love’ to the more yearning ballads like ‘Guiding Light’ and ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough For Me’.
While Future Road is an album well worthy of The Seekers imprimatur, it lacks something of the vibrancy of the albums produced in their heyday. For a first-time Seekers student, it may not be perhaps the best place to start – the mid-sixties Georgy Girl or one of the previous compilations of ‘greatest hits’ (such as the Silver Jubilee Album) might be a better place to get a feel for the power of The Seekers. This is a mature album by mature performers who have nothing left to prove, and as such should certainly still find a following among The Seekers faithful.
The new Australian concerts in November & December 2013 are: [list type=’arrow’]
- 2nd & 3rd: Perth, Riverside Theatre
- 7th, 8th & 28th: Melbourne, Hamer Hall
- 11th & 12th: Adelaide, AEC Theatre
- 15th: Sydney, State Theatre
- 19th: Wollongong, Entertainment Centre
- 23rd: Hobart, Derwent Entertainment Centre
- 25th: Launceston, Princess Theatre
- 2nd: Toowoomba, Empire Theatre
- 4th: Brisbane, Convention Centre