Archie Roach: Charcoal Lane

Archie Roach: Charcoal Lane


Festival Records and Warner Music Australia have released a new 25th Anniversary Edition of Archie Roach’s iconic 1990 Aurora/Mushroom Records debut Charcoal Lane. The double CD release includes the remastered version of the original album together with a second disc including 5 acoustic tracks recorded live for Triple j’s Live at the Wireless in 1990, and some new recordings of Charcoal Lane material by other artists (including recently released tracks by Briggs & Gurrumul & Dewayne Everettsmith and Emma Donovan & The Putbacks with Archie himself). 

The new recordings:

  • Paul Kelly & Courtney Barnett ‘Charcoal Lane’
  • Dan Sultan & Emma Donovan ‘ Munjuna’
  • Marlon Williams & Leah Flanagan ‘I’ve Lied’
  • Ellie Lovegrove & Nancy Bates ‘Beautiful Child’
  • Emma Donovan & The PutBacks (Featuring Archie Roach) ‘Down City Streets’
  • Radical Son & Urthboy Produced by Trials ‘No No No’
  • Briggs & Gurrumul & Dewayne Everettsmith ‘The Children Came Back’

Charcoal Lane was co-produced by Steve Connolly and Paul Kelly and rocketed Roach into the national consciousness. The album won Roach two ARIA awards, achieved gold sales, and, unprecedentedly, an international ‘Human Rights Achievement Award’ for the song ‘Took The Children Away’.  The song was written by Roach about his own experience as a member of the Stolen Generations: he was forcibly removed from his own family and community at a young age.
The awards never stopped coming for Roach (see attached list of achievements); most recently he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (earlier this year), and ‘Took The Children Away’ was entered into the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA)’s prestigious ‘Sounds of Australia’ register. However the succession of albums that begun with Charcoal Lane was momentarily halted in 2010 with the death of his wife and singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter, and his subsequent stroke and battle with lung cancer. Roach ‘came back’ with the much-acclaimed album Into The Bloodstream in 2012, which was followed by the 4CD collection Creation in 2013.
This new deluxe edition of Charcoal Lane will also include a thick booklet featuring previously unseen images from the era and lengthy and insightful liner notes. Included in the notes are reprints of significant early features on Archie by Clinton Walker from RollingStone and by former ABC Speaking Out producer/presenter Wayne Coolwell that provide, from a unique vantage, an in-depth look at what inspired Archie to create Charcoal Lane and what impact its release had on his and Ruby’s lives. The booklet also includes new pieces by long-time US Rolling Stone writer David Fricke and The Marngrook Footy Show’s Grant Hansen, who documented Archie’s first US tour in ’92 (an often over-looked aspect of Archie’s early recording career is the acclaim he received internationally).



  1. Native Born
  2. Charcoal Lane
  3. Munjana
  4. Ive Lied
  5. Down City Streets
  6. Took The Children Away
  7. Sister Brother
  8. Beautiful Child
  9. No, No, No
  10. Summer Of My Life


  1. Charcoal Lane - Paul Kelly & Courtney Barnett
  2. Munjana - Dan Sultan & Emma Donovan
  3. Ive Lied - Marlon Williams & Leah Flanaghan
  4. Beautiful Child - Ellie Lovegrove & Nancy Bates
  5. Down City Streets- Emma Donovan & The Putbacks (Feat. Archie Roach)
  6. No, No, No (Prod. Trials) - Radical Son & Urthboy
  7. The Children Came Back - Briggs & Gurrumul & Dewayne Everettsmith
  8. Charcoal Lane - Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter (Recorded For triple j Live At The Wireless, 1990)
  9. Down City Streets - Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter (Recorded For triple j Live At The Wireless, 1990)
  10. Native Born - Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter (Recorded For triple j Live At The Wireless, 1990)
  11. Sister Brother - Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter (Recorded For triple j Live At The Wireless, 1990)
  12. Took The Children Away - Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter (Recorded For triple j Live At The Wireless, 1990)

Get Archie Roach's Charcoal Lane 25th Anniversary Edition here.

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