20: Slipping Away – Max Merritt

NeilTop 30 - Australian Songs

Entered Charts: 8 January 1976
Entry Point: 31
Highest Chart: 1
Weeks In: 19
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Max Merritt had been part of the Australian music scene for many years, having arrived from his native New Zealand in 1965. After a few minor hits, Max Merritt hit the big time – and number 1 for the first time – in 1976, with this single.

The full version of the song goes for five and a half minutes (there was a radio edit that went for just under three and a half minutes) and yet only has one verse and one refrain (“Oh, you’re slipping away from me, oh, you’re slipping away from me. And it’s breaking me in two, watching you slipping away”) – in total, there are only 77 words in the song – and that the includes repeated lines in the refrain!

You would think that with so few words, repeated over and over, that the song would get boring. Not a chance – a great melody and a great performance.

And if you get the chance, Google Max’s performance at his great mate, Billy Thorpe’s, funeral. A very moving tribute to a lost mate.