Largely viewed as a novelty performer (though he is), comedian and musician Rolf Harris is responsible for at least one of the great rock songs of the early British Invasion. "Sun Arise" not only earned a sterling cover from Alice Cooper, it remains a surprisingly atmospheric piece of work in its original form, all outback drone and dream-time lyricism, and one wonders how many people were lured into the hit's companion album in the hope of hearing more of the same?
This straightforward reissue of the earlier Sun Arise album might have disappointed them at first, but hopefully, only for a short time. Sun Arise features a dozen songs that themselves rank among Harris' most memorable, from the infuriatingly catchy "I've Been Everywhere" to the comically cautionary "Nick Teen and Al K Hall," and onto "Hair Oil in My Ears," a song that could almost be related to "Lipstick on Your Collar," were it not for the fact it's nothing like it. The peaks here, however, are the evergreen "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," which will have you making up your own verses long after the record has finished (although it's hard to top Harris' request to "mind me platypus duck, Bill"), and "Someone Pinched Me Winkles," a sorry saga of Cockney grief and loss, penned by Harris as a riposte to London comedian Charlie Drake's "My Boomerang Won't Come Back." The joke remains funny today, long after both winkles and Drake have faded from popular sight, and it's hard to imagine a greater compliment than that.