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Song of the Day: “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” by Colin Hay


I’m always fascinated by who survives the long haul in their musical career.  Some artists rise very quickly only to disappear just as fast.  Others remain at the pinnacle for decades living off their reputation, playing their old song catalogue and filling out stadiums (whether they deserve it or not).  There are also performers who never quite cross the threshold of fame outside of a small loyal following but keep plugging anyway.  Sadly, most never really make it even though they have alot of talent but timing and other variables just never seems to be on their side.  Finally, there are the rare few who jettison to the top very early due to their talent and good fortune but then hang on and improve their craft over time.  They worry less about adulation and more about growing as an artist.  The last thing they want to do is get stuck just playing their olds hits and pretending to live in the past.  Their level of fame may (or may not) subside but their credibility and integrity remains intact. 

Colin Hay clearly fits into the last category in my book.  Best known as one of the founders of Men at Work, an Eighties Australian rock band that caught international attention with a few catchy hits.  Sadly, even though the band improved artistically with each ensuing record the public lost attention – a far too common story. The group disbanded (and reforms occasionally) and Colin embarked on a solo career which has certainly had its ups and downs and periods of hiatus.  He has often chosen to strip down the production and gone the acoustic route or something close.  However, I believe the last decade of his work has been fantastic.  Unfortunately many of these records have only ever seen a limited released in the United States.  It feels like Colin is truly a man on an artistic mission.  As a singer songwriter he communicates more like a poet leaving his heart and soul in each song.  Sometimes it can be difficult to hear but I am always drawn in by the sentiment and can relate to many of the undertones in my own life.

I’m lucky to have seen Colin live many years ago.  His voice is both powerful and emotive.  I’ve chosen the song Waiting For My Real Life To Begin because I appreciate its message of optimism and resiliency even when it’s hard.  I believe that most people go through their lives with a similar sentiment.  It does get harder to maintain your optimism with age but it is even more important.  Cynicism and regret become easier to embrace if you are not careful. 

Please excuse the brief intro at the beginning but it’s the best audio and video version available. I also believe he comes across great live.

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