Ian Francis History – 1970’s

The Earliest Threnodies

Ian started performing live with Jenny Williams. She asked him to accompany her on guitar and play a duo with her at MacQuarie University in the Student Bar  in 1975.

He met other musicians and gained a group of friends who enjoyed hearing him play guitar. Soon the latter hours of parties were about singing and playing guitar and he played both his own songs and covers to an audience of friends who loved being part of his magic.

Ian’s earliest songs in the 1970’s were simple voice and acoustic guitar recordings some of which might be called folk songs or cynically called album tracks, meaning that they are unlikely to get radio play. All of these songs have a beautiful melody and a thoughtful lyric that touches people.

Strongly influenced by 70’s artists Don McLean & Harry Chapin as singer songwriters, his songs are deeply emotional, sometimes sad, usually thoughtful, often confronting – and many of his songs tell a story about how it feels to be someone or do something.

There is also a strong influence from his musical heritage, folk songs, church songs, ballads, classical – there is more to music than a hit single, although record companies always say it’s hard to find a market for it.

The guitar on these songs is good enough to play as a classical piece, just on its own without a lyric, and in fact he has many more guitar pieces that have never been recorded because he never wrote a lyric for them.

Few of these songs were ever professionally recorded, the recordings we have are from tape decks of the time. It’s a tragedy that while his voice was so pure at this time, that so few recordings were made, but that’s how it was. In later recordings his voice has matured and gained more gravel, depth and expression, but there is a sweetness to his voice in these songs that is irreplaceable, despite the low budget recording.

Even with only home recording devises he learned how, on some songs, to record two tracks so he could also sing a harmony on the song, or two guitar tracks.

The Earliest Threnodies

Early songs that Ian Francis wrote include

12,000 Miles
Sell My Soul To the Devil
Lord Are You There?
It’s Calling Me
A Year Has Passed
If My Father Hadn’t Loved My Mother
Hey Did You Know

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