Going Down With Mister Green

Big Sky

Released in September 1997 by Polygram, catalogue number BPCD 2. Mixed by Rob Jacobs and produced by Steve Louw.

Going Down With Mister Green
Going Down With Mister Green

In ’97, Big Sky released ‘Going Down With Mister Green’ and once again big sales and radio play followed. Throughout these 11 songs, Louw’s effervescent guitar licks and yearning lyrics dominate. The first single, ‘Wasted’, is the resigned but optimistic cry for spiritual renewal and another nod to the ‘Mr Green’ of the title.

Stephen Segerman

Tracks

  1. Mr. Green (4.17)
  2. Take My Heart (3.41)
  3. Sally & Suzie (3.26)
  4. Hold Me (3.53)
  5. 79/35 (4.47)
  6. Raise Up Your Hand (3.45)
  7. Wasted (4.01) single 1997
  8. Diamond Heart (4.00)
  9. Hitch-Hike (3.29)
  10. Be My Country (5.00)
  11. Cowgirl (3.48)

All songs written by Steve Louw except ‘Cowgirl’ by Steve Louw and Kathleen Louw.

Musicians

  • Steve Louw: vocals, guitar
  • Scott Crago: drums, percussion
  • Mark Harris: bass
  • Benmont Tench: keyboards
  • Tommy Girvin: guitar
  • Tim Pierce: sitar on ‘Wasted’
Going Down With Mister Green Back Cover
Going Down With Mister Green Back Cover

Reviews

Throughout these 11 songs, Louw’s effervescent guitar licks and yearning lyrics dominate. The first single, ‘Wasted’, is the resigned but optimistic cry for spiritual renewal and another nod to the “Mr Green” of the title. ‘Diamond Head’s’ soft, gruff vocals and sensitive acoustic backing is pure Big Sky as is the sweet ‘Sally And Suzie’. ‘Be My Country’ is a lilting country-rock ode to SA and ‘Cowgirl’ brings this varied collection to a calm and reflective close. There aren’t many SA musicians who can produce albums of this intensity and quality but Steve Louw’s done it three times in a row.

Stephen Segerman

Bylae by Die Burger (12 September 1997)
Daar’s ‘n groen paadjie vir stap
by Herman Wasserman

Hy is geen groentjie nie. Steve Louw maak al musiek sedert die tagtigerjare, toe hy lid was van All Night Radio,en het in 1990 die groep Big Sky gestig. Twee albums (Waiting For The Dawn en Horizon) en ‘n FNB toekenning later, is Big Sky terug met Going Down With Mister Green, en die album het alles wat nodig is om nog ‘n mylpaal in die groep se geskiedenis te word. Die snitte wissel van ‘n heerlike popwysie soos die titelsnit tot sulke grower, gatskop-bluesrock – a la ZZ Top – soos “Hitch-hike”. Die onderwerpe het grootliks maar te doen met die liefde, maar ook met ander aardse waardes soos die terugkeer na die natuur, soos in die titelsnit: take off your jewels / lay them on the ground. Louw se stem is sterk en suiwer, met ‘n sweempie nostalgie en wereldwysheid, maar tog lig en energiek genoeg om te spreek tot jonger luisteraars se pop-sentimente.

Partykeer klink hy mymereend, en die ver af klank van sy stem agter die melodie en ritme herinner selfs (op snitte soos “Hold Me” en “79/35”) aan Bono van U2 se Keltiese anthems. Maar meesal is dit opgewekte, ritmiese, stuwende folkrock, met vernuftige verwerkings en goeie melodiee met duidelike rigting. Louw is ewe tuis in sterker rock nommers en stadiger liefdesballades. Maar die oorheersende gevoel is ‘n folkagtige, akoestiese een, en in snitte soos “Take My Heart” spog die ritmiese akoestiese kitaar vir ‘n aansteeklike, opwindende pas. Daar is sweempies country te bespeur in die gebruik van glykitare, so ook van blues in sommige van die patrone en die gebruik van ‘n Hammond orrel. Maar as die klavier oopgemaak word in “Sally & Suzie”, het dit saam met Louw se heserige stem ‘n pragtige, greinerige liefdeslied tot gevolg. Stap gerus die groen paadjie saam. Dis knap uitgele en gemaklik onder die voet.

Steve Louw 1997
Steve Louw 1997

Lyrics

Mr. Green

A hundred dollar bill
Tattooed on her heart
Diamond rings and a credit card
You want love well that’s not hard
Just take my hand
I’ll lead you down the path
To Mister Green

Going down with Mister Green
Seen some strange things
I never wanted to see
Going down with Mister Green
Take a trip Mister Green and me
Mister Green

Take off your jewels
Lay them on the ground
Take off your robes
Listen to the sound
Of the night, coming through the clouds
Of the day, its still beating loud

Going down with Mister Green
Seen some strange things
I never wanted to see
Going down with Mister Green
Take a trip, Mister Green and me

Take My Heart

Look at my baby, with her back against the wall
She’s not too short, she’s not too tall

Looks up at me, let’s put some laughter in your eyes
Cause I’m going to love you till the day I die

Want to cut off all my hair, make it feel real bright
Change all my clothes till I look alright

You look so good to me
I gonna love you till I’m history

So take my hand, you can take my arm
You can take my money, you can take my heart
So take my clothes, take my guitar
You can take my motorcycle standing in the yard

You look so good to me
I’m gonna love you till I’m history

So, take my hand, you can take my arm
You can take my money, can take my heart
You can take my clothes, you can take my guitar
You can take my motorcycle standing in the yard

Cause you look so good to me
I’m gonna love you till I’m history

So take my hand, you can take my arm
You can take my money, take my heart
You can take my clothes, you can take my guitar
You can take my motorcycle standing in the yard
Cause you look so good to me
I’m gonna love you till I’m history

Sally And Suzie

I love Sally, she’s alright
Got a tattoo on her arm, shines in the morning light
Sally dances, across the fire
Her body shining, with warm desire
Sally, woo oo
Sally, I love you

Oh Suzie, you not to blame
For the crazy things you keep saying
Picks a flower, holds it to her chest
Looks me in the eye, says you want me like all the rest
Suzie, hey Sue
Suzie yeah, oh I do

See them dancing, their eyes on fire
Oh they’re shining with warm desire
Sally Suzie, can I tell you
Oh yeah, you know I love you

Sally, oh Sue
Sally, I love you

Hold Me

Hold me like I’m your baby
Feel your heart, beating,
Like a drum

Where the river meets the sea
So your love will come to me

In your eyes, I see sky
Shining blue on blue
Oh my love, I will always, stay
Stay with you

Where the river meets the sea
So your love will come to me

We are two hearts, beating
To one soul
Oh my love, I will never
Let you go

Where the river meets the sea
So your love will come to me

As we walk, down this road
To the morning sun
Oh my love, you will always
Be the one

79/35

It’s been so long, since I saw you
Your smiling face
Your warm hands
How I long, just to hold you
In my arms
In my arms

So come take me
Oh come take me
To where we’re going
To where you’ve been

When I see you, you’ll be smiling
I’ll have no pain
I’ll have no pain

So come take me
Oh come take me
To where we’re going
To where you’ve been

When I see you, you be smiling
I’ll have no pain
I’ll have no pain

Raise Up Your Hand

Daddy was always making time
He said son yeah, be a friend of mine
And take this with you down the track
Cause when I’m gone, I’m not coming back

Oh raise up your hand
Just to tell me you understand

I look in your eyes when my baby smiles
I hold your hand when she holds mine
I’m walking down this lonesome road
Seeing some of the things about which I’d been told

Oh I raise up my right hand
So you know that I understand

Oh I raise up my hand
So you know that I understand

We were so young, so wild and free
Just couldn’t see all the things you had seen
We had some times oh I can tell
Some were sweet,oh some were hell

Oh I raise up my right hand
Just to tell you I understand

Oh I raise up my hand
So you know that I understand

Wasted

Seems like we just so damn old
For this old rock and roll
Take my hand, baby and follow me
Let’s take a walk into history
Got one foot in this world now
I can hear you, just calling me down
One more time, then I’m outta here
I’ve got a smile as you shed a tear

I’m so wasted
Oh baby, please don’t let go
I’m so wasted
I’m going down the crossroads

I can feel I’m just slipping away
For the first time I’ve got something to say
Gonna walk down this open road
Put down this heavy load

I’m so wasted
Oh please hold me now
Cos’ I’m so wasted
Take me baby I’m going down

Always been the same for me
As I walk into history
So you can wish me luck
I’ve got my lips on this broken cup

I’m so wasted,
Oh baby just don’t let go
I’m so wasted
I can see the open road
I’m so wasted
Oh please just don’t let go
I’m so wasted
I’m going down to the crossroads
So wasted
So wasted
So wasted
I’m going down

Diamond Heart

I’m going to meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

Hot blood and steel
Moonlight and pain
Reflecting off the window
This knife I carve your name

I’ll meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

I cut your diamond heart
Burnt you with this cold flame
Echo’s in canyons
I call your name

I’ll meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

I’ll meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

I’m gonna meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

I’ll meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
Wind blowing moonlight on your face

I’ll meet you in another country
I’ll see you in another place
I’ll carry with me this sweet moment
When blowing light on your face

Hitch-Hike

There is a long way to go now
Listen to me my friend
Maybe we ought to hitchhike
There’s a place I know around the bend

One thing’s for certain
On one thing can depend
What you reap so you sow now
It all comes around again

Well I know we’re crazy
Well, I know we’re on the run

I got one eye on the hole
One eye on the street
Wondering about heaven
Whether we’ll ever meet

They say it’s easier for the needle
Past through the eye of the meek
Lay down your guns boy
Sink down to your feet

I know we’re crazy
Well, I know we’re on the run

I know we all have to stand naked
Well I know we all are one
What you gonna do then boy
What you gonna do when that day comes

Be My Country

Oh brother please
Won’t you carry me
Across these broken plains
To our new day
Although I’m barely 17
Im so strung out to get clean
The only language I understand
Is the rhythm of my shaking hands

Won’t you please
Be my country
Won’t you be my friend
Show me some answers
Take me in

Oh sister please
Won’t you marry me
You’re like someone I used to know
A long long time ago
Although I’m barely 17
I’m so strung out to get clean
The only language I can understand
Is the rhythm of my shaking hands

Oh please
Be my country
Be my friend
Show me the answers
Won’t you take me in

And though I’m only 17
I’m so strung out to get clean
The only language I understand
Is the rhythm of my shaking hands

Oh please be my country
Oh please be my friend
Give me some answers
Won’t you take me in
Be my country
Be my friend
Show me the answers
Please take me in
Won’t you be my country
Oh be my friend
Show me the answers
Won’t you take me in

Cowgirl

She’s a cowgirl riding on her horse
Seen the sun and moon taking off
She likes to ride across the sky
She loves to feel how to fly
Across the wide open sky

She loves to ride across the rivers wide
Running and jumping across the fields
Oh she likes to ride across the sky
Oh she loves to feel how to fly
Across the wide open sky

She loves to ride across the sky
She loves to feel how to fly
Across the wide open sky
She loves to feel how to fly

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