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Aria HOF Tim Freedman
Photo by Ros O'Gorman

The Whitlams Give Away Live Album This Weekend

By Tim Cashmere
Wed, 28 May 2008 11:20:01 +1000

Whitlams founder and front man Tim Freedman is gearing up to give away 700,000 copies of their live album, recorded with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

700,000 copies will make that in the top 20 biggest albums in Australian history, although Freedman has remained calm about the prospect, telling Undercover, "Well no I don't think I would consider that to be valid because those other albums were paid for by the consumer, but that's why I did it because I'd get reach.

"It made sense for us because we're about to release our studio best of, and this was, I thought, a really interesting way of putting our name and music into people's heads before that release. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing how it affects live numbers."

But this "highlight of our last 900 gigs", as Freedman puts it, will happen again... and again.

"We do these shows with the symphony orchestra, well we started doing them last year and we're hoping to do another one next year, so the upside for me [of giving away 700,000 albums] is in twelve months when I play the Sydney Opera House again and I do six nights instead of three."

Why keep going? The answer is simple, "It's a thrill [playing with an orchestra]. The composers did a wonderful job, because I gave them carte blanche, and being in the middle of an orchestra like that is a very heady, lush experience, and we managed to record it quite well and capture it on tape last September, so for me it's a great opportunity to let people hear the highlight of our last 900 gigs."

In other Whitlams news, the band are about to release a best of CD. Unfortunately you'll have to pay for this one, but it's more than just the singles, and will be well worth it.

"I decided to leave a couple of singles off, because I wanted to tell a story of The Whitlams in song, and I needed to put a couple of early tunes in there, and a couple of songs which were about the dramas that the band lived through, and I tried to make a nice mix between the popular songs and those that are an emotional journey."

The Whitlams and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Live In Concert will be available with The Sunday Telegraph in NSW, The Australian in Victoria and The Mercury in Tasmania this Sunday, June 1.

The band's best of will be released in August through Warner music.

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