JOHN FARNHAM
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
Australia 1986
#1 Sydney #1 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #2 Adelaide #1 Perth #13 NZ #6 UK #82 USA #4 South Africa #3 Switzerland #1 West Germany

Original version

On the album Whispering Jack. Chart positions for other countries are just a sample. Charted in Australia October 1986, NZ December 1986, others 1987 except USA 1990.

John Farnham had already been a late 60s pop idol, a star on the musical stage, and front man for Little River Band when his superbly produced album of contemporary songs Whispering Jack boosted his career all over again and became the biggest-selling Australian album of all time.

You're The Voice has become an Australian anthem, performed by John Farnham at such events as the 1988 Bicentennial commemoration and the opening of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The writers are:

• Andy Qunta, British keyboardist, vocalist and occasional guitarist who worked with a number of notable UK bands before joining Australian band Icehouse in 1982.

• Chris Thompson, British-born NZ-raised vocalist with Manfred Mann's Earth Band who in 1982 met Andy Qunta on tour in New Zealand and suggested they write together. At the time, a song by Andy Qunta, Tribal Statistics, was a track on the current album by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. To fully appreciate the scope of Chris Thompson's work, visit ChrisThompson-central.com.

• Maggie Ryder, British vocalist and instrumentalist who has provided studio and stage backing for many major artists, notably The Eurythmics.

• Keith Reid, lyricist, a member of British band Procol Harum, also lyricist for their 1960s classic A Whiter Shade Of Pale.

Andy Qunta, at his website, recalls that You're The Voice was written in December 1985 inspired by the Christmas vibe of harmony among people.

In Andy Qunta's Story, at Manfred Mann fansite Platform End, he tells about starting the song with Chris Thompson in Thompson's studio. They later called in Maggie Ryder, who collaborated mainly with Thompson in further working up the song. Chris Thompson later "ran into" Procol Harum lyricist Keith Reid, who also agreed to contribute. [More details at Platform-End.co.uk.]

Thanks to Terry Stacey for suggestion and initial research. Further research from Dave Overett.
Further reading: Milesago's John Farnham page. The official site is at JohnFarnham.com.au.

Later versions:

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
UK 1987
Later version

On the 1987 album Rock Symphonies, one of several orchestrated rock albums issued by the LSO from the early 80s.
BARBARA DICKSON
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
UK 1989
Later version

On 1989 album Coming Alive Again by distinguished British stage and recording artist.
BRENDA COCHRANE
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
UK 1990
Later version

On album The Voice Of Brenda Cochrane by winner of British TV talent show Opportunity Knocks. Made with the participation of Status Quo bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards and produced by Status Quo producer Pip Williams.
HEART
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
USA 1991
Later version

Charted #20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, also on Rock The House Live! (1991). Rock band Heart, originally from Vancouver, with a long history stretching back to 1963, was joined by sisters Ann & Nancy Wilson in the 70s.

ALAN PARSONS
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
USA 1995
Later version

Studio recording added to the US release of the album The Very Best Live, with vocals by You're The Voice co-writer Chris Thompson. This is referred to loosely as being by the Alan Parsons Project, the studio group formed by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, but the artist name is shown as Alan Parsons.

MATIA BAZAR
La Scuola Dei Serpenti
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson - Giancarlo Golzi - Aldo Stellita - Sergio Cossu - Laura Valente)
Italy 1995
Later version

On the Polydor album Radiomatia by Genoan band formed mid-70s. The additional writing credits for the Italian version are to members of the band. See full album credits at HitParadeItalia.

The title means School of the Snakes.

REBECCA ST JAMES
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
1996
Later version

On 1996 album God by Australian Contemporary Christian Music singer also hugely popular in the US where she records for the Forefront label.

JOHN FARNHAM, OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & ANTHONY WARLOW
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
Australia 1998
Later version

On concert album The Main Event, recorded in Melbourne, November 1998. Reissued in 2001.

JOHN BERRY
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
USA 1999
Later version

On the 1999 album Wildest Dreams by contemporary country artist. See the John Berry album discography at Petr Vitous's country discography site.
PETER CUPPLES
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
Australia 2001
Later version

On album Home Grown by Australian singer, guitarist and keyboardist, active in music since the 60s, who was in Stylus from the mid-70s, led the Peter Cupples Band in the 80s, and has worked in a range of entertainment media since then.

Such a brief summary sells him short: read the full and intriguing story at Peter's comprehensive website, PeterCupples.com.
TAMEE HARRISON
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
Austria 2002
Later version

Singer born in Perth, Australia to Austrian and English parents, moved as a child to Vienna and later to England, signed to record companies in Austria. See Tamee.com.
KATE MILLER-HEIDKE
You're The Voice
(Keith Reid - Andy Qunta - Maggie Ryder - Chris Thompson)
Australia 2008
Later version

Unconventional rearrangement and performance, popular with audiences of the Brisbane singer and her band since 2007.

A live video of You're The Voice appears on the 2008 CD-DVD edition of Kate Miller-Heidke's 2007 album Little Eve [store].


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