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Encyclopedia entry for 'I'm Talking' LETTER:

Formed in 1983
StyleFunk, soul
 Original line-up: Kate Ceberano (vocals; ex-Expozay, Hoagy Cats), Robert Goodge (guitar; ex-Essendon Airport), Ian Cox (sax; ex-Essendon Airport, Hot Half Hour), Stephen Charlesworth (keyboards), Barbara Hogarth (bass; ex-Essendon Airport), Cameron Newman (drums)
 Albums: Bear Witness (Regular/Festival, 1986), Dancing (compilation, Regular/Festival, 1988).

History
In some ways, Melbourne band I'm Talking was an odd phenomenon. Firstly, with a couple of members drawn from an experimental background (Robert Goodge and Ian Cox) it was unusual for the band to play silky-smooth disco, funk and soul. Goodge and Cox's previous band, Essendon Airport, played a hybrid of modern jazz and funk with art-rock leanings, but the musicians eschewed the experimental approach in favour of a more commercial route. Indeed, I'm Talking was one of the first bands to introduce sophisticated dance beats to a pub-rock audience and to win them over. Secondly, with two vivacious singers out front, the band's appeal extended beyond the standard constraints of the pub-rock milieu.

I'm Talking played the Melbourne pub/club circuit for a year, and had already issued a self-financed 12-inch EP, `Someday' (May 1984), before coming to the attention of Regular Records. The band added Zan (ex-Grand Wazoo, Bang) as co-lead singer, and found national chart success with the singles `Trust Me'/`Take It to the Bridge' (#6 in February 1985), `Lead the Way'/`Disko', `Love Don't Live Here Anymore' (#20 in August 1985) and Rose Royce's `Love Don't Live Here Anymore'/`Cry Me a River' (#17 in September). `Lead the Way' impressed drummer Fred Maher from UK band Scritti Politti so much that he offered to produce the band's debut album Bear Witness. Issued in August 1986, the accomplished album reached #5 on the national chart, and yielded three hits, `Do You Wanna Be?' (#9 in May 1986), `Holy Word' (sung by Zan, #8 in August) and `How Can It Be?' (October). International interest followed, and I'm Talking undertook a 36-date UK tour sup-porting Five Star. Warren McLean (ex-Machinations) replaced Cameron Newman and Kevin Wiltshire joined as second keyboardist. That line-up appeared on the national Australian Made tour of January 1987.

It was to be I'm Talking's last major engagement. Zan, Charlesworth, McLean and Wiltshire had all left by March. Finding the new four-piece format unworkable, I'm Talking announced its break-up in July. Kate Ceberano and Zan both launched solo careers. Zan issued two solo dance/pop singles in 1989, `It's Your Move' and `Good Love' (produced by Todd Hunter), plus the 12-inch single `Nobody Else' in March 1991. Zan also worked with a number of bands, including Mercy Mercy (with her sister Sherine from Big Pig). Goodge went on to work as part of the Filthy Lucre production team which was responsible for the remix on Yothu Yindi's epochal chart hit `Treaty'.



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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