Joined: 1978 (founding member)
Instrument: Keys, harmonica, vocals
One of the founding members of Mental As Anything, Greedy Smith is one of Australia’s most popular and successful songwriters. He’s had local and international success with the hits Too Many Times (No. 8 Australia, No.20 Canada), Spirit Got Lost (No. 15 Australia), You’re So Strong (No. 8 Australia, No. 10 U.S.), Live It Up (No. 2 Australia, UK, Germany, No. 1 Scandinavia), He’s Just No Good For You (No. 15), Let’s Go To Paradise (No. 15) and The World Seems Difficult (No. 20).
Greedy recorded a solo album, Love Harmonica, his first with TWA Records in 1996. He says, “I found I had written quite a few songs that were too gentle and romantic for Mentals and I wanted to record them in a different way, using just a simple backing of piano, double bass and strings, featuring harmonica as the lead instrument.” The result is a collection of love songs featuring latin, pop and jazz rhythms, lush harmonica and lyrics that explore the insecurity, jealousy, sex, guilt and humour which make up the smorgasbord of modern love.
This was followed by the singles Time Heals All Wounds, and Always Thinking of You.
Greedy has now recorded a new album of his songs, this time with a full band, Greedy’s People, and the addition of a couple of covers that have been proving popular at the live gigs – “Close To You”, made famous by the Carpenters, and the classic “Everybody’s Talking”, also available as a single.
Greedy’s thoughts about the songs.
Did I Make You Happy? Isn’t it amazing how something as physically intimate as making love can leave you wondering ‘was it good enough for you?’
Time Heals All Wounds. Too many long train journeys on my own spent fantasising about the woman sitting opposite.
Charming In My Pyjamas. In old movies when the woman stayed overnight at the man’s place and she is seen the next morning wearing his pyjamas, it was Hollywood code for them having made love. How racy!
How Come? When it comes to romance, sometimes it’s hard to know when you’ve been given your marching orders.
Always Thinking Of You. Playing in a touring band means you’re away from your loved one for long periods, so writing a song about it is cheaper than whiskey.
No Break In The Chain. The whole song appeared in my mind’s eye as a sad French movie about two ex-lovers who can’t get beyond their pain and get back together.
You Never Know. The pain of separation is lessened by the delicious anticipation of her return.”
Playtime Is Over. Jealousywhat a stew of conflicting emotions! Great inspiration for a songwriter. It’s never far away.
Your Memory Of Me. You watch as your lover is lured into the clutches of a smooth-dancing sadist.”
Kaleidoscope. Old style swing jazz with a psychedelic lyric.
Gone Too Far. I saw the great Flacco Jimenez play his Tex-Mex accordion in a London pub, and was impressed by his virtuosity and his sense of humour. This ain’t Tex-Mex – it’s more of a slow cha-cha, but I was going for the humour.
Bully Me. I’m talking about violence on the personal level and how it all adds up to affect nearly everybody. Musically it’s about as experimental as I could get.