Imagine if you could travel back in time to a warm balmy night in the Brisbane suburbs sometime in the early 80’s.
It’s around 5.30pm and in streets and cul-de-sacs everywhere the men of the house are returning from work. Mums are cooking and nagging, while kids set tables and squabble with their siblings.
Households buzz with pre-dinner noise, but above it all floats the strains of a tune coming from the wood-paneled TV in the corner of the lounge….
“Love You Brisbane… yes you mean the world to meee…”
This was Channel 7 Brisbane’s slogan from 1982 – 1988, and I guarantee you that there is no one who lived in Brisbane during this time who couldn’t give you a stirring rendition of at least the first chorus.
At its heart its nothing more than an advertising jingle. A clever marketing ploy to make us feel all warm and mushy about our home town and by extension Channel 7 as a provider of family friendly media viewing.
The swelling orchestral arrangement combined with Kim Durant’s plaintive vocals suck you in, and the catchy melody line ensures you’ll have an ear-worm that lasts for days.
Oh yes – those 80’s ad-men really knew what they were about!
But “Love You Brisbane” ended up being much more than just an add. It completely transcended its advertising roots and became an anthem for generations of Brisbane folk.
There was just something so hopeful in its uplifting melody and heart-warming lyrics, that it spoke to people. And as Kim Durant says in the interview after the song, it’s just so bloody sing-able!
Sing it we did at concerts and sporting events, waving our arms in time with the music. It somehow made it on to our local music charts without even being released as a single. And in 1986 at Springwood Road State School I learned it on the recorder, that godforsaken instrument of the Queensland primary school, in my grade 4 music class!
It pulled off the ultimate feat of going viral in an analogue world.
My family moved to Brisbane in December 1982 so it’s not surprising that its the unofficial soundtrack to my earliest memories of Brisbane.
Watching the video is like opening a time capsule that was buried in 1982!
Obviously a lot has changed since then, but a few things that really jumped out at me were:
- The river is missing a couple of bridges. It looks kind of… bare.
- The city appears to be missing about 20 sky-scrapers so it looks sort of like its training to be a real city but isn’t there yet
- The shot of the Treasury when it was just the Treasury – before it became the Casino
- The shot of Kim crossing the road near Hungry Jacks – that is actually Queen Street BEFORE it was a mall
But what hasn’t changed is the feeling I get from the song. As a kid it made me feel lucky to live in Brisbane – that it was an exciting place where things HAPPENED (although at six I wasn’t completely sure what these things were but i knew they were exciting). And its the same when I listen to it today.
Its a love affair that’s lasted 30 years, and one that I have faith will continue for the next 30 and beyond