Selections from The A to Z Recordings – Paul Kelly
The A – Z Recordings originate from a series of acoustic concerts by Australian rock musician, Paul Kelly starting in December 2004 with 100 songs performed alphabetically over four nights at The Famous Spiegeltent in Melbourne. In November–December 2006 Kelly undertook his A – Z Tour at the Brisbane Powerhouse, Melbourne's Spiegeltent, and at the Sydney Opera House.
On his A – Z Tours, over subsequent years to 2010, Kelly was often accompanied by his nephew, Dan Kelly, on guitar and vocals and sometimes by his then-girlfriend, Sian Prior, on clarinet and vocals. For some of his North American shows, he cut back his performance to only one or two nights, "the speed-dial version". Kelly would provide anecdotes or background for each song, which led to his writing a memoir, How to Make Gravy (named for the song of the same name), issued in September 2010.
The book contains a chapter per song with the lyrics supplied followed by Kelly's description of varied topics.
In January 2011 The Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel caught the first two nights of a four night set, he disputed the "accepted wisdom that acoustic performances were the test of a song's lasting quality" and preferred when Kelly's nephew Dan "add[ed] colour guitar or extra vocals to particular songs" or when Prior "provided scattered 'furnishings', playing clarinet, briefly bringing some operatic vocals to the party and noticeably brightening proceedings". Zuel felt the first night was "lacking some energy, vocal and physical" and that "the show's highlights came in the purely solo songs about or from the perspective of women". Kelly's A – Z Tours continued until March 2012.
2 Be Careful What You Pray For
3 Cradle of Love
4 Down To My Soul
5 Everybody Wants To Touch Me
6 Forty Eight Angels
7 Going About My Father's Business
8 How To Make Gravy
9 I Keep On Coming Back For Me
10 Just About To Break
11 King Of Fools
13 My Way Is To You
14 No You
15 One More Tune
16 Pretty Place
17 (The Ballad Of) Queenie And Rover
18 Rally 'Round The Drum
19 Standing On The Street Of Early Sorrows
20 They Thought I Was Asleep
21 Until Death Do Them Part
22 Winter Coat
23 You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed