Part 3 Into Paper Walls (J Young/R Morris) and The Girl That I Love (J Young) – Russell Morris 1969
The shy retiring young man from Richmond was quickly engulfed by the star-making maelstrom unleashed with the unprecedented success of The Real Thing and its unstoppable domination of national music charts. The fan hysteria that was generated became part of the “scream” years of Australian rock and roll, regularly mobbed by teenage fans Morris became a ubiquitous presence on the TV music shows of the time – Bandstand, Uptight, Hitscene, and later Happening ‘70.
He toured the country performing, usually with a local “pick-up” band whose musicianship varied wildly in quality, although one group, San Sebastian, were one of the more able bands who frequently toured with Morris, backed him the first time he performed The Real Thing live, and would go on to greater success under the name of Madder Lake. Such was the fame around Russell Morris that his opening slot on the national tour package Operation Starlift in 1969, saw him regularly upstage his more established co-stars which included Johnny Farnham, Ronnie Burns, The Masters Apprentices, Johnny Young, and Doug Parkinson In Focus. Below – Madder Lake
Part 3 Into Paper Walls became the follow up hit for Morris, it was co-composed by him and Johnny Young and produced by Ian “Molly” Meldrum, with an arrangement by Strangers lead guitarist John Farrer, when released in July 1969. The session musicians were members of the Real Thing alumni and included some of the best in Melbourne, including the rhythm section from the Groop – Max Ross(bass), Richard Wright (drums) – Brian Cadd (keyboards), a horn section, and the Armstrong Studios in South Melbourne, were again the recording venue. Part 3 at seven minutes was longer and more dramatic than The Real Thing, the complex arrangement included many chord and tempo changes, full orchestration, and staccato bursts of brass, it was arguably a more accomplished recording than the original blockbuster hit, and it was certainly more difficult to play live, once the production trickery and special effects were stripped away.
Part 3… was certainly influenced by other songs hitting the charts at this time – Eloise (Barry Ryan), MacArthur Park (Richard Harris) and Hey Jude (The Beatles), so again the timing of Russell Morris’s follow- up to The Real Thing was perfect. The opening chords revisited the original song, and reprised the nuclear explosion, and a brief return to the earlier ooh mama mow mow…” filler, which were a direct segue from the end of The Real Thing. Morris’s plaintive vocals then commenced with a trippy examination of the power of bright colours delivered over a mix of lush strings, choral inserts, and phased vocals which lent a swirling, spectral ambience to what were quite straightforward lyrics” In the street there’s boys and girls/There’s others in the park/I hear their laughter ringing out/I hear their doggies bark/If I can’t be happy like them/Happy as can be/I’ll find some pretty colours/And I’ll pour them over meeeeeeeeee…” If the song was composed under the influence of hallucinogens, as many have suggested, then the lyrics were a far cry from the other “head hits” of the era, including – The Beatles (I Am The Walrus), Jimmi Hendrix (Purple Haze), Steppenwolf (Magic Carpet Ride), Traffic (Paper Sun), Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit), etc.
But Part 3 possessed the same beguiling and transfixing qualities of its predecessor, Doug Ford (ex-Missing Links and soon -to- be Masters Apprentices) provided compelling lead guitar riffs for both sides of this record. A brass section drenched the finale, as a veritable wall of sound washed over the mix, with the outro revisiting the original beginning of the Real Thing, including the distinctive pastoral acoustic guitar motif played by Roger Hicks, so completing the surgery on the two songs necessary to unite the creative input, and produce a monster follow-up hit, with the compilation of the Real Thing’s trilogy of bombastic parts. Below – Nov. 1969 Go-Set Front Page, Doug Ford, Roger Hicks.
It would remain at the #1 position for three weeks and occupy the charts for 21 weeks, but it would mark the end of Morris’s psychedelic period as he indicated with his choice of a B-side here, the tender romantic ballad The Girl That I Love. A sweet, heartfelt song of love and affection, sung with great sensitivity by Russell, who was obviously emotionally invested in the lyrics, as indicated by a November Go-Set banner headline in 1969 which announced the forthcoming nuptials of Russell and Paula, who would marry the following year, and have two children, a daughter Jaime and son Luke, “And the morning she brings/With the sun in her eyes/Will never make me blue/And the girl that I love/Will be you…”
The Girl That I Love had a Bee Gees pocket symphony structure and ambience to it, Johnny Young had spent time with Barry Gibb in London and the maestro’s influence was evident in the orchestral flourishes, swooping strings, glissando of keyboards, and undulating brass, and one is left to wonder how Barry and Robin Gibb may have shared vocals on The Girl That Love, had they recorded it, nevertheless Russell Morris delivered a subtle and nuanced interpretation, which was a world apart from the boisterous pop of The Real Thing and Part 3.
The Girl That I Love was the song that producer Howard Gable had preferred to the Real Thing for Morris’s debut solo single, he and Meldrum had argued ferociously over the merits of these two songs at the time, and obviously Meldrum had prevailed. The Girl… was only intended to be the B-side to the psychedelia of Part 3, but Gable’s instincts were correct, and it became a hit in its own right, the impressive B-side helped to push what now became a double A-side record to #1 and it was the 6th biggest-selling record of 1969, and following the success of The Real Thing, it gave Morris a double punch start to his solo career, and he became the first Australian singer to take his first two singles to #1.