Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Musical Monday (2022/08/29) – Margaret Urlich

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For the third Musical Monday in a row, I’m featuring an artist who has recently died. I hope it’s not going to become a trend, although at my age, many singers whose songs I have become fond of are now well into their seventies and eighties. So perhaps it’s inevitable.

Margaret Urlich was considerably younger than I am, and on 22 August lost a two year battle with cancer at the tender age of 57. She was well known in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and will be fondly remembered. I’m not sure how well she was known outside of these two countries. She started her musical career in Aotearoa before moving to Australia – unfortunately an all too common occurrence for NZ performers as the Australian market, being many times larger than ours, offers more opportunities.

In the late 1990s Urlich dropped out of the limelight, preferring family and being a high school music teacher. As reported in the NZ newspaper The Star, “I quite like being normal. I only ever started singing because I just love it. The whole fame side of it, I didn’t think about it that much and it always felt a little bit uncomfortable to me. I don’t need to have a high profile to be happy – in fact, I think the opposite is true for me.”

Margaret Urlich is one of those singers who, for me, flew somewhat under the radar, and it’s only now that she is gone do I realise that what is good about her music, and what was good about the person herself. Although she’s gone, her music will continue to live on. I’ve included five YouTube tracks – three solo performances and two from groups she was a member of in the 1980s.

I hope I never

This song was originally performed by the group Split Enz and was written by band members Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner. Released as a single in August 1980 it peaked for Split Enz at number 33 in the NZ charts. The Margaret Urlich cover was included in her 1999 album Second Nature.

I Hope I Never – Margaret Urlich
I Hope I Never

I fall apart when you're around
When you're here, I'm nowhere
I can't pretend that I'm not down
I show it, I know it
I've been a fool, more than once, more than twice
I'm gonna move to a new town where the people are nice

I hope I never, I hope I never have to sigh again
I hope I never, I hope I never have to cry again
I still want to beam and smile
Happiness is back in style yeah
I hope I never, I hope I never have to see you again
Again, oh oh oh oh

It should be possible I know
To see you without stress
But I can see I'll have to go
I'm changing my address
My urge to cry I have failed to conceal
Life - it's no fun when you're hunted by the things that you feel

I hope I never, I hope I never have to sigh again
I hope I never, I hope I never have to cry again
I'm for living while you can
I'm an optimistic man
I hope I never, I hope I never have to see you again
Again, oh oh oh oh...

I hope I never
I hope I never
I hope I never, never, never...
I hope I never, I hope I never have to see you again
Again.

Escaping

Escaping is a song written by Dina Carroll and was included in Margaret Urlich’s album Safety In Numbers released in 1989. It reached number one in the NZ singles chart. and has re-appeared on the Hot 20 NZ Singles (The 20 fastest-moving New Zealand tracks by sales, streams and airplay) at number 5, The Hot 40 Singles (The 40 fastest-moving tracks by sales, streams and airplay) at number 10, and at number 16 on the Official Top 20 NZ Singles chart (The 20 best-selling and most-streamed New Zealand tracks).

Escaping

Kid at heart playing games
In the shadows
Fall asleep make a wish
And the bad goes
I can dream can't I?
When I close my eyes
Kiss the world goodbye
You'll see me escaping

To a land faraway
In the night time
There's a secret place
Where no-one can hurt you
Desert you, no-one hurts you
That's why I'm escaping

Oh starry eyes am I
Knowing that when I try
To forget you
Love brings me out of my shell
I put my heart upon the shelf
Hiding inside myself
What am I doing?
No use in faking, fool for the taking
There's no more escaping you

Let me loose, set me free undercover
'Cos the night all around is my lover
And you're running into you
Where you wanna be
All you have to do
No shame in escaping

Oh starry eyes am I
Knowing that when I try
To forget you
Love brings me out of my shell
I put my heart upon the shelf
Hiding inside myself
What am I doing?
No use in faking, fool for the taking
There's no more escaping you

I can dream can't i?
When I close my eyes
Kiss the world goodbye
This time I"m escaping

Oh starry eyes am I
Knowing that when I try
To forget you
Love brings me out of my shell
I put my heart upon the shelf
Hiding inside myself
What am I doing?
No use in faking, fool for the taking
There's no more escaping you

Starry eyed am I
knowing that when I try
To forget you
Love brings me out of my shell
I put my heart up on the shelf
Hiding inside myself
What am I doing?
Rules meant for breaking
Feelings awaken, there's no more escaping you

There's no more escaping you

Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night)

Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night) was released in early 1990 as the second single from her debut studio album, Safety in Numbers and peaked at number 10 on the NZ charts at that time. It has re-appeared on the the Hot 40 Singles chart at number 39, and on the Hot 20 NZ Singles at number 10.

Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night) – Margaret Urlich
Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night)

Last night I took a cab to the south side
I took a walk over the old neighbourhood
Just by chance we ran into each other
After so long we spent apart

Years ago you were my first love
I'm not to blame, it took my little heart
We were so close
Time went by, we drifted apart

But remember when we danced all night
Danced till we cried, we were so in love
No matter how much the time goes by
You'll always be my number one
My own number one

I maybe a fool, I know I'm sentimental
Easy to get lost in a moment from the past
The love we knew, it still lingers
Those memories will always last

There's somethin' special 'bout a love for the first time
Can't be forgotten, can't be replaced
It was yesterday, we were young again
The moment that I saw your face

But, remember when we danced all night
Danced till we cried, we were so in love
And no matter how much the times goes by
You'll always be my number one

Things were so simple then, we were so innocent
I know we can't go back
But I'm thankful for the time we shared
Our worlds are so different now

We were so close
Time went by, we drifted apart, baby

But remember when we danced all night
Danced till we cried, we were so in love
No matter how much the time goes by
You'll always be my number one
Still every time I think of you
I get misty eyed but I won't come undone
No matter how much the time goes by
You'll always be my number one

When the Cat’s Away

Urlich was also a member of When the Cat’s away. This was a five member all female group formed in the 1980s. At the end of that decade it was one of the biggest live acts in the country, performing to audiences of up to 80,000. They are perhaps best known for their cover version of Melting Pot, which reached number one on the NZ charts and achieved gold in 1998. They disbanded in 1990 but reformed in 2001 and their live album Live in Paradise achieved platinum. The band was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame in 2021.

Asian Paradise – When The Cat’s Away
Asian Paradise

There's a strange white moon at my open window
There's a heat on the breeze tonight
I see the lights of the hotel burn in the trees
And I feel love is burning in me

I am caught in the change of a tropical rainstorm
Out there between green and blue
And it's telling me that you're so hard to forget
I'm a traveller just passin' through

Asian paradise you still haunt me
And it's so damn nice, I can tell you
I feel your burnin' in me
Asian paradise you still haunt me
I just close my eyes
I can tell you I feel your burnin' in me

Now the moon lies herself out on top of the water
She's as naked as we were born
And the satay and beer paralyses me here
And I'm feeling I'm already home

I am caught in the change of a tropical rainstorm
Out there between green and blue
And it's telling me that you're so hard to forget
I'm a traveller just passin' through

Asian paradise you still haunt me
I just close my eyes, I can tell you
I feel your burnin' in me
Asian paradise you still haunt me
I just close my eyes, I can tell you
I feel your burnin' in me

Asian paradise you still haunt me
And it's so damn nice, I can tell you
I feel your burnin' in me

Peking Man

Margaret Urlich was also a member of the band Peking Man. The band’s single Room That Echoes, where Urlich is the lead singer reached number one on the NZ charts in 1985. In the following year Peking Man won six categories at the New Zealand Music Awards: Album of the Year; Single of the Year; Engineer of the Year; Producer of the Year; Best Group; Best Album Cover.

Room That Echoes – Peking Man
Room That Echoes

You hear all the words that I tell you
You touch upon the things that I feel
Every movement I make tells a secret
I had promised I will never reveal
It's not that I'm trying to mislead you
It's just that I'm misleading myself
Now that the wall is completed
I'm taking time to build a house

I'm gonna build a room that echoes
Around and around and around with its own sound
'Round and around, I won't need to be there
'Round and around and around with its own sound
A sound that no-one has to hear

I'm painting my face with numbers
A message that you won't understand
I look at myself in the mirror
I give myself a helping hand
I will listen to the sound that surrounds me
Even though I won't be there at all
So, next time you need some stairs to fall down
Give my room of sound a very loud call

Around and around and around with its own sound
Round and around, I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
A sound that no one has to hear

A sound
A sound that
A sound that tells
A sound that tells you
A sound that tells you what you've got
A sound that tells you what you're not
A sound that tells you what you need
A sound that tells you
Around and around and around with its own sound

Round and around I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
A sound that no one has to hear
Around and around and around with its own sound
Round and around I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
Round and around I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
Round and around I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
Round and around I won't need to be there
Around and around and around with its own sound
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Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

3 thoughts on “Musical Monday (2022/08/29) – Margaret Urlich

  1. I’ve begun looking forward to your Monday music posts – My radar missed Margaret Ulrich entirely but I can’t say she wasn’t a presence in North America, for my connection to pop music was pretty well gone by 1990, except the past. It’s always a shock to hear of the death of someone too young to die. And 9 times out of 10 it’s cancer. But how I would like to hear the top 20 in New Zealand in, say, 1972! But even here, where we had the top 40, no one appears to have recorded an afternoon from any station.

    • In the period from the mid sixties to early seventies, I recorded the weekly “Top Ten” from our local radio station, but in those days cassette tapes were relatively expensive, so inevitably older tapes would eventually be recorded over. I don’t know what the situation was in the US, but at that time, TV music shows here were prerecorded on reel-to-reel tape, and to keep costs down, the tapes were reused almost immediately after broadcast. No-one thought that they should be kept for posterity’s sake.

      I never had a large vinyl collection, and what I had was mainly LPs. My younger brother had a huge collection of singles – most of his discretionary spending went on expanding his collection. But that changed after he married at the tender age of 17 (not an uncommon age in those days) and he took on the responsibilities of a family life of his own. Over the following decades and multiple house moves, including a move to Australia, the collection has disappeared. I still have a small collection of LPs stored in the basement but unfortunately no record player on which to play them.

      • So much has been lost. I too have recorded over many other tapes. But just think, if not you, maybe someone else has such a thing. If we could just get everyone to do a search. Rescue the past.

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