Classic Cuts (July 2014)

Jim Keays


This months’ classic album review comes at a very sad time, having just lost Masters apprentices front man Jim Keays to a cancer related pneumonia on Friday 13th 2014. I spoke to Jim about 3 weeks before he passed away. I advised him I was going to do a review of his 1993 solo album Pressure makes diamonds and that I required some more copies for the shop as we had long since sold out of them. He told me he was finishing off the new album he was recording  and would forward the last thirty or so copies of PMD he had left in the next few weeks, which obviously didn’t eventuate. I had initially planned the album review  for around the October issue but decided to bring it forward in light of what has happened, in order to honour a great Aussie icon and a great album.

At the time of its release in 1993 the opening track Waiting For The Big One was regarded as the stand out track which was to be released as a single. He was looking for some opinions as to what other tracks might be best suited for the single.  I told him the album is full of singles and whilst the opening track was the obvious first choice, my favourite is Sleeping Giant.

Waiting For The Big One was issued along with Sleeping Giant as the first a single (not necessarily because of my opinion though), and shortly after that the second single This Song backed with All Your Love was released.

Three of the album tracks Bridges, All Your Love and the title track Pressure Makes Diamonds were co-written with ex Masters guitarist and long time song writing partner Doug Ford. The remaining tracks, This Song, Somebody Loves You, Broken Promises, Some Call It Love and When The Ring Is Broken were co-written with Frank Sablotny and Darryl Mitchell as was Sleeping Giant.

Pressure Makes Diamonds was an exceptionally good effort . There’s something about it that just hits the right spot. The songs are well written and recorded, the production is slick and the vocals are captivating. Possum Records (BMG) took over the distribution and changed the cover artwork. Sometime after that the album seems to have been forgotten about. If this album had been released in the seventies, I feel it would have been a giant of an  album – which it deserves to be.

In honour of Jim Keays, thanks for the great music and great memories.

Ray McGrotty is the owner/manager of Record City Collectables, 433 Nepean Highway, Frankston. Record City stocks a vast array of memorabilia, cassettes and vinyl, rare and unseen releases as well as current favourites. If you’d like to suggest a Classic Cut, drop him a line at