DELTA GOODREM 2002-2020

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Mistaken Identity (D Goodrem/B Mann) – Delta Goodrem and Almost Here (P Barry/B McFadden/M Taylor) – Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden 2005

The title track was the second single taken off the Mistaken Identity album and was only released in Australia, where it climbed to #7, the promo video was based on the 1984 movie the Never- Ending Story and was directed by Michael Spiccia. Delta played piano and provided backing vocals, Jason Dering (drums) and Conrad Korsch(bass) were an effective rhythm section but given the fraught personal nature of Delta’s post-cancer treatment references in the lyrics, it proved to be a bridge too far for many of her young fans.

Certainly the most dramatic, macabre, dystopian video yet by Goodrem, she had fought the “monster” that invaded her body but it had changed her, and would reflect in her songwriting in the future. The “dance of death” here proved that Delta could strut the stuff when the choreography accommodated her height and shape.

The opening lyrics focused on Delta’s cancer ordeal and how this changed her outlook “The girl I used to be has a terrible case of mistaken identity, yesterday’s girl is not what you see, it’s a terrible case of mistaken identity.” The song was darker and edgier than any of previous releases and Sony wanted her to leave it off the album, but she fought for its retention and succeeded, but it did break Delta’s golden run of six consecutive #1 singles when it peaked at #7 nationally and disappeared from the charts after only 7 weeks.

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The third single released from the album was Almost Here, an utterly generic, soft-centred duet by Delta and Brian McFadden which hit #1 in Australia and Ireland, #3 in the UK, and top ten in Norway, Scotland, Denmark, and Belgium for global sales in excess of 400,000 copies. The former Westlife singer was still a marketable personality in UK and Europe, but this would be the last time that Delta would take a song into the UK top ten.

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McFadden and Brits Paul Barry (Cher’s Believe) and Mark Taylor (Minogue’s On A Night Like This) co-wrote the song, its folk-pop ambience has been described as an antiphonal duet, which resembled choral music in churches, where two singers alternate the singing parts for dramatic effect and heightened reverence. The critics thought it was overwrought and predictable; but the fans enjoyed the chemistry of the loved-up couple, particularly when they performed it live. The promo video sees McFadden chasing Goodrem through an airport after she forgets her handbag, there were two endings, in one the couple are seen leaving the terminal together in a taxi, in the other they don’t connect and McFadden watches Delta’s taxi disappear from view.

But the danger signs for Goodrem were imminent, when the album sales for Mistaken Identity came up, given that her debut album Innocent Eyes had sold 4.5 million copies internationally, including 1.2 million in Australia, this second album only clocked up 460,000 sales globally, did not make the top twenty in the UK and failed to chart in the USA, chart-wise Delta had virtually fallen off the edge of a cliff outside Australia and New Zealand.  

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In 2005 Delta starred in the movie Hating Alison Ashley, based on the children’s book by Robin Klein, but it was poorly received both critically and at the box office, Goodrem’s acting was described as robotic and detached, and although she adventurously played against type as the villain in the movie, her early movie roles seemed to be as poorly-chosen and unappealing as Kylie Minogue’s had been. Concerned about her inability to crack the US market, Delta went to re-launch herself there in 2005 by re-releasing a revamped version of Lost Without You which climbed to #18 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, but she was still struggling to compete in a US market that remained fascinated with Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Gwen Stefani, who were all having hits on the Billboard Pop Charts. Returning to Australia she embarked on her national Visualise Tour, but initially ticket sales were poor, so the price had to be cut by one third to $60, and subsequently 80,000 tickets were ultimately sold, for a solid result for Team Delta locally.

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