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John Farnham's 'Whispering Jack' Turns 30!

After a career that included the novelty hit 'Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)' winning the 'King of Pop' title five times, and then taking over as lead singer of the Little River Band, John Farnham found his music career was stalling during the mid 1980's. 

The run of hits that had started during the late 60's had started to dry up, and apart from some modest success with LRB, Farnham was desperate to relaunch his solo career.


With the help of his manager Glenn Wheatley, who famously mortgaged his house to cover the costs of recording, in 1986 Farnham set to work on what would become the biggest ever selling album by an Aussie artist.

After initially struggling to find any support, the first single 'You're The Voice' finally began to receive airplay and helped break Farnham to a new younger audience, as well as those who knew him from his early days.

The song was an absolute monster, becoming a top ten hit in several European charts and holding the number one spot in Australia for a then record seven weeks.

Finally the album 'Whispering Jack' was released in October 1986 and went straight to the top of the charts where it stayed for an unbelievable twenty five weeks! 


The hits kept on coming from the album with 'Pressure Down' 'A Touch Of Paradise' and 'Reasons' all released as singles and achieving great success.

The Farnham juggernaut continued when he announced a run of shows to support the album. Initially planning just eleven gigs, the 'Jacks Back' tour sold out almost immediately and more shows and larger venues had to be added, even though big names Michael Jackson and Billy Joel were touring around the same time.

Then, to top off Farnham's incredible comeback, he was announced as Australian of the Year, even though the English-born star wasn't yet naturalised, which resulted in a hasty organised swearing-in ceremony before receiving the prestigious honor.


Incredibly, thirty years on, this much loved album remains easily the biggest selling album by an Aussie artist. To date sales for the album are over 1.6 million copies making it the second biggest album in the country ever, and of course John and the anthemic 'You're the Voice' are an ingrained part of our culture. 

Happy birthday Jack!



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