After a break of over two decades, Greg Dear returned to the stage for the Red Parrot Reunion for the past two years and has since put together a new cast for his band, Greg Dear & The Beautiful Losers. As a way to celebrate, and to get people up to speed on the story so far, Dear has put together a comprehensive three-disc compilation of ‘greatest hits’ from past recordings.
Rather than group songs by chronology, Cherry Pickings find the tunes spread across a ‘pop’, ‘ballads’ and ‘rarities/demos’ discs. The music here is certainly of its era with similar tones to Australian bands of the time such as The Go-Betweens and The Triffids. Pop songs such as The Holy Rollers’ much loved Above The Law stands up to the test of time and is in good company next to The Beautiful Losers standout, Second Hand.
English indie bands were experimenting with beats and the club scene, and this clearly didn’t escape Dear at the time as he dabbles in the art during the dance version of Harmonise and Muscle/Soul. The ballads come in many forms with Prisoner being fuzzed out and Just Like You having a mouth full of spite.
The tipping of his hat to Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen hints at the type of song Dear is adept at creating with his earthy turn of phrase. There is ample fruit on Cherry Pickings to keep a busload of backpackers busy for weeks.