I’d Die to Be with You Tonight (C Sandford) Jimmy Barnes 1985 and Good Times (H Vanda/G Young) – Jimmy Barnes with INXS 1986 and Too Much Ain’t Enough Love (J Barnes/J Cain/N Schon/ R Jackson/T Brock) – Jimmy Barnes 1987
In 1985 Jimmy Barnes had kicked off his post-Cold Chisel solo career with several hits that came straight from US tunesmiths who had a track record for delivering hard-rocking, fast-paced, technically-proficient, slightly repetitive and somewhat vacuous songs that had been the staple of such 1980’s bands as Journey, The Babys, Toto and REO Speedwagon, I’d Die to Be With You Tonight was no exception.
It was a simple, straightforward breakup song which reflected the remorse of lost and unrequited love, two people who are physically separated but the man is desperate for resolution and a night together. Barnes would continue to return to this theme of unfulfilled lust and sweaty sex in future songs including Too Much Ain’t Enough Love, Lay Down Your Guns and Let’s Make It Last All Night.
This song was written by US journeyman songwriter Chas Sandford who had previously written hits for ex-Babys front man John Waite (Missing You) and Stevie Nicks (Talk to Me).
Barnes assembled a stellar session group for this recording at Rumbo Recorders (LA) with producers Sandford and Gary Gersh – the gravelly gravitas of the legendary Kim Carnes on backing vocals, Waddy Wachtel and the composer Sandford on guitars, and an impressive rhythm section of Ken Gradney (bass) and Tony Braunagel (drums). The song charted #7 and continued the momentum that Barnes had begun to build with his solo career, following the success of Working Class Man. At this time Barnes vocals were an engaging balance of clarity, tenderness and raw power, the unremitting lung-screaming was not yet evident, the promo video was shot in a studio with band and backing singers intercut with street scenes and location shots near the Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour (Syd).
Good Times was an under-rated Vanda /Young composition which had been released by the Easybeats in 1968 featuring guest vocalist Steve Marriott, lead singer with the Small Faces, charting #18 in that year.
Jimmy Barnes and INXS front man Michael Hutchence teamed up nineteen years later for a rousing version of the same song, which still paid homage to three famous women from earlier rock songs – Boney Maronie, Long Tall Sally and Short Fat Fanny. Recorded in Sydney at the Rhinoceros Studios and produced by Mark Opitz with all the INXS band members involved (except Tim Fariss) plus Peter Kekel on piano, it hit #2 locally, #1 in NZ, #18 in the UK and #47 in the USA for Barnes highest US chart position.
The song became part of the soundtrack for the movie The Lost Boys and was also used to promote the Australian Made concert series in 1986/87, it has also been covered by such diverse acts as Shocking Blue, Jessica Mauboy, and Meatloaf who changed the lyrics and re-titled the song Runnin’ For the Red Light (I Got A Life).
Too Much Ain’t Enough Love was the first single lifted off the Freight Train Heart album and it was the first #1 solo hit for Barnes in Australia and charted #4 in NZ and #91 in the US.
Since going solo Barnes had established close links with US songwriters who were linked with the bands Journey and the Babys, the writers of Too Much Ain’t Enough Love were John Cain a former member of both Journey and the Babys and composer of the song Working Class Man for Barnes. Co-composer Randall Jackson was a former bassist for Journey and a producer of songs for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and had played on the record I Touch Myself by the Divinyls. Neal Schon and Tony Brock were both former members of Journey and the Babys respectively, Schon had also played with Santana and Bad English, and his guitar solos on this one are exemplary. John Cain also produced this song at Plant Studios, Sausalito (Calif.), Diesel played additional rhythm guitar, Venetta Fields and Wendy Matthews provided harmony backing vocals and appear in the promo clip which was largely shot in Hong Kong, the pooling of this talent and expertise paid off, when the record hit the charts and stayed there for 20 weeks.
. In 2005 Jimmy Barnes was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame along with Smoky Dawson, Renee Geyer, Normie Rowe, Split Enz, The Easybeats, and Hunters and Collectors, Barnes had already been inducted as a member of Cold Chisel back in 1993