Empty words are grains of sand
Empty words are like a face
Behind the mystery and mystique
Empty words inside our mind
Early in '87, while John Farnham's version of You're The Voice was enjoying a run of 7 weeks at number one in Australia (I was enjoying it too!), the follow-up single was also in the Top Ten there. It had been written by another Rondor Music writer - Harry Bogdanovs. Harry and I realized Farnham would need another song eventually, so we decided to write something for him. We used the basic elements of You're the Voice, same chords/different melody for verse and chorus, lots of percussion, and meaningful lyrics. I (or maybe it was Harry!) thought "Empty Words" would be a suitably ironic title for a meaningful song, and an interesting challenge. I believe it made the short list for Farnham's next album, but he never recorded it. When I was doing my version, I had a serious difference of opinion with the producer over how it should sound. We tried with difficulty to make a compromise. Eventually someone suggested pedal steel guitar for it. As I had met Jeff Baxter previously, and knew his assistant, I was able to contact him. He came in like a true pro, like Paulinho, very modest and putting everything into it. He really helped to save the track. Scott came in later with his magic sax, and in the end I found the song more enjoyable than I thought possible at first!