Australian singles charts:
The Real Thing entered the Kent charts on 22 March 1969 and was a #1 hit. The song was #4 on the Top 100 of 1969.

Johnny Young

Ian “Molly” Meldrum

Record label of Australian release:

The Real Thing was written by Johnny Young and produced by Ian “Molly” Meldrum.
The final product was a swirling psychedelic collage of music and sound effects which included deliberate edits and instrument ‘dropouts’ of the backing track (anticipating the Jamaican dub experiments of the 1970s) and an ominous spoken-word “buyer beware” message (suggestive of the LSD ‘trip’ experience) which was, in fact, Meldrum’s heavily filtered voice reading aloud from the product disclaimer on an Ampex recording tape box. The final edit was further processed by applying the then-novel studio effect known as flanging, in which two identical copies of the recording were played together but slightly out-of-phase with each other, producing a rich ‘swooshing’ sound effect around the music. The children’s choir singing toward the end was sourced from an archive recording of a WWII Hitler Youth choir singing Die Jugend Marschiert (Youth on the March) and the song concludes dramatically with the children’s choir shouting “Sieg Heil!” immediately followed by the cataclysmic sound of an atomic bomb explosion.
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Pop Archives:
Terry Stacey writes: “With backing provided by the cream of Australia’s 60s pop scene including The Groop and Marcie & The Cookies, The Real Thing was a ground-breaking single for its time. At over 6 minutes long this psychedelic-pop masterpiece included a dynamic build-up starting from a simple acoustic guitar intro through to a long hypnotic rave instrumental run out (which included phasing, sound effects and speeches) and ended with a dramatic apocalyptic/cold war nuclear explosion extinguishing a children’s choir.”
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Buoyed by the success of The Real Thing as his first solo single, Russell immediately followed it up with a single that was a continuation of the song that blends into Paper Walls, again with the help of Johnny and Molly. The Real Thing ended with the sound of an atomic bomb explosion which is how Part Three begins, and radio DJs of the time merged the two to play both records together.
LISTEN: Part Three into Paper Walls – Russell Morris

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