74707-2 Southern Cross
Produced by Phil Manzanera and Keith Bessey
Released on 1990
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
74707-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he studio pop of WettonManzanera crossed with the guitarist’s Cuban past. It’s a rich-sounding record, elevated by the nearly full-time collaboration of Tim Finn as lyricist and vocalist. Southern Cross is also a serious record: “Dr. Fidel,” “A Million Reasons Why,” “Rich And Poor.” They sing of class distinctions, dictators, unscrupulous doctors. I have to imagine that songs like “Venceremos” better reflect the feelings of Messr. Manzanera. That or Tim Finn was reading a lot of Leon Trotsky that week. Finn is actually only one of the featured vocalists, Gary Dyson being the other. Dyson has a voice suited to the adult pop market, more flexible than Finn’s sometimes high-pitched pipes. Personally, I think Finn could have done great things with “The Great Leveller,” and maybe he’ll resurrect it for his solo career some day. Southern Cross is a very smart and professional pop record, if more political than most. However, I don’t know where the market is for it. Roxy Music fans would need to exhaust all of their original works plus everything by Bryan Ferry, the first two proper Brian Eno albums and maybe Diamond Head before arriving at Southern Cross. Tim Finn fans don’t lack suitable side avenues either: Split Enz, Crowded House. As for Phil Manzanera fans, I have to wonder how many exist outside of the Roxy axis. I can imagine maybe Latin Roxy fans aligning with Manzanera, but the weirdos went with Eno while the pretty boys and girls belong to Bryan. I’ve picked up a few of his efforts out of curious habit and Southern Cross stands as tall as any of them. It’s south and to the left of my usual tastes, but we all have to leave our little island sometimes.


  1. A MILLIONS REASONS WHY    (Tim Finn/Phil Manzanera/Gary Dyson)    4:13
  2. FRONTERA '91    (Phil Manzanera/Ian MacCormack/William MacCormack)    5:00
  3. THE GREAT LEVELLER    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    5:15
  4. TAMBOR    (Phil Manzanera/Ian MacCormick)    6:08
  5. SOUTHERN CROSS    (Phil Manzanera)    4:37
  6. RICH AND POOR    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    5:46
  7. DANCE (BREAK THIS TRANCE)    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    4:26
  8. VERDE    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    6:51
  9. DR. FIDEL    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    5:36
  10. VENCEREMOS    (Phil Manzanera/Tim Finn)    3:24


PHIL MANZANERA -- guitar, keyboards, tiple', voice, orquestral guitar, electric guitar, cello guitar, bass, sax guitar, guitar synthesizer, drum programming, effects, bass drum programming
CHRIS DAVIS -- sax, alto sax
GARY DYSON -- vocal
TIM FINN -- vocals, piano
PHIL TODD -- sax, alto sax
SUZIE WEBB -- backing vox
Mauricio Abello -- congas, cowbell
Guy Barker -- trumpet, trumpet solo
Keith Bessey -- engineer, drum programming, additional engineering
Livingston (Livingstone) Brown -- bass
Mel Collins -- soprano sax
Dave Defries -- trumpet
Bosco De Oliviera -- rain maker, Brazilian percussion, congas, percussion
Rebecca De Ruvo -- backing vox
Kevin Dillon -- keyboards, strings, percussion, programming, engineering
Sandy Loewenthal -- piano, organ
Clive Mayuyu -- drums
Ian MacCormick -- artistic motivation
Val McKenna -- backing vox
Chuco Merchan -- bass
Zoe Nicholas -- backing vox
Mikey Sterges (Sturges) -- drums
Sally Ann Triplett -- backing vox
Ana Maria Velez -- spoken vocal
John Wetton -- backing vox
Lisandro Zapata -- bass
Ashley Howes, Trevor Smith, Stewart Barry, Noel Harris, John "Trapper" Maile -- additional engineering
The Duke Design Co. -- art direction/design
Nicholas DeVille -- photography

UK 1990 Expression LP/CD EXPAL/EXPCD1 lyric sleeve
AUS'L 1990 Interfusion/Festival CDX D30526 w. two bonus tracks
US 1991 Agenda Records CD 74707 lyric booklet


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