The former Sherbet front- man had scored with an unbroken string of hits with his band throughout the 1970’s, mainly with a collection of original compositions that occupied a place on the musical spectrum somewhere between teenybopper pop and dreamy ballads, until their ultimate demise in 1984.
Braithwaite struggled to adjust to a solo career and was an uncomfortable fit on the club and cabaret circuit, by 1986 he was married to Sarah Taylor (above) and they were expecting their first child, Oscar, and living at Mt Macedon, but struggling financially, ultimately he had to go on the dole.
Braithwaite had just finished a stint laboring for the Bulla Shire Council (Vic) when CBS/Sony picked him up and he soared back into the charts in 1988 with a #1 album The Edge and a top ten single, As the Days Go By. This time Daryl was trading in slick, radio-friendly pop-rock songs, his voice had matured and he was being favorably compared to such contemporary artists as John Farnham, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Don Henley. The creatives forces at work behind the re-energizing of Braithwaite’s career included songwriter/producer Simon Hussey who curated a soulful, catchy, radio-friendly album of songs at Melbourne’s Platinum Studios, which effectively re-positioned Braithwaite within the adult contemporary market, and enabled him to shed his teen idol image, so guaranteeing his longevity in the industry.
The teen heartthrob of the 1970’s (pictured above with fellow Aussies Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John) also contributed much to his Phoenix-like revival by preserving his tenor voice and resonant falsetto over the years, as well as his now rugged and more mature good looks. As the Days Go By was written by Canadian Ian Thomas who had one previous US hit with Painted Ladies in 1973 (#34 US and #4 Canada) and would provide a second album track for Braithwaite with All I Do, a #21 hit for him in November ’88.
As the Days Go By has a moody, dreamy feel to it during the verses, reminiscent of Roxy Music’s Avalon, but the mood changes and the tempo and urgency of the vocals lifts on the chorus, no doubt aided by the fact that John Farnham sang backup to Braithwaite in an inspired union of two of the most recognizable voices in Australian popular music. The session players were also first class, Andy Cichon (bass), Jeff Scott (guitar, keyboards), John Watson (drums) and Scott Griffiths (keyboards), who would accompany Braithwaite on a tour of Australia and NZ in 1989, and push sales of the album beyond 300,00 and into the charts in Norway and Sweden . Left to right Watson, Cichon, and Scott.
Lyrically the song is about true, sustained, heartfelt love, and accepting each other’s imperfections, this was the first single lifted from the The Edge album, it hit #9 in September and heralded Braithwaite’s re-emergence as a major recording artist “Sure as the wind keeps on changing direction/I’ve come to understand/There’s no such a thing as perfection/And what went on before/Doesn’t matter anymore…”
One Summer was a terrific follow up hit when lifted from the Edge, written by Braithwaite, it had been inspired by a British TV series of the same name, and was perfectly timed to coincide with the Australian summer of 1989. The song captured the joyous release of hitting the beach, riding the surf and chilling with family and friends over a beer and a barbie, which was pretty much how the promo clip depicted the scene with Daryl and friends Chuck Hargreaves (red shirt) and Jak Houseden (yellow shirt), relaxing on the front porch of a Mornington Peninsula beach house strumming acoustic guitars. Braithwaite had got close to capturing the vibrancy, beauty and sheer hedonism of our summer months earlier in his career, with the sparkling Summer Love, back in his old days as front-man for Sherbet, when in 1975, this was their first #1 hit, so One Summer was yet another celebration of a lifestyle that Daryl Braithwaite genuinely embraced.
It was an international hit, charting top 5 in Sweden and Norway and #6 locally, but what about that enigmatic lyric in the last verse “… Icky runs along a fine line…”, two other minor hits were also lifted from the Edge album, All I Do referred to above, and Let Me Be (#29 in ’89),