The Acoustic Chapel Sessions

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The Acoustic Chapel Sessions
John Farnham The Acoustic Chapel Sessions.jpg
Live album by John Farnham
Released 30 September 2011 (Australia)
Recorded July 2011 at Chapel off Chapel
Genre Pop, rock
Label Sony BMG
Producer Ross Fraser
John Farnham chronology
The Acoustic Chapel Sessions
Two Strong Hearts Live
(2015)Two Strong Hearts Live2015

The Acoustic Chapel Sessions is a live album by Australian singer, John Farnham. It was released through Sony BMG, as a CD/DVD package in September 2011 and the album peaked at number 10 on the ARIA Charts.

The CD, recorded at Chapel off Chapel in July of that year, consists of eleven of Farnham's songs stripped back and in acoustic mode. The DVD package includes eight songs plus interviews with the artist and his backing band members, and behind-the-scenes footage.[1]


The release of The Acoustic Chapel Sessions coincides with the 25th Anniversary of Whispering Jack, Australia's highest selling and most successful album ever.[2]

John Farnham explained, "We wanted to rework some of the songs that we have been doing on stage for the last 25 years. It's always difficult to rework something that people are very used to, having said that we have had a lot of fun doing it'. Farnham's manager, Glenn Wheatley, added, "This recording has just given me goose bumps; it's amazing seeing the songs stripped right back and all acoustic. I wonder why we didn't think about doing this earlier".

Tour and promotion[edit]

Farnham toured the album nationally in October and November 2011 in intimate venues with smaller audiences than his large stadium shows.[3] Patrick McDonald of Adelaide Now said of the tour, "Magic was the right word. For all the flack he cops about endless comebacks, it would truly be a crime if 'The Voice' was ever silenced."[4]

A music video of "Pressure Down" was released to further promote the album.[5]


Jon O'Brien of AllMusic gave the album 3 out of 5. He said that the majority of the album adheres to the "if it ain't broke.." approach but complimented the conviction on "Pressure Down" which abandons its synth-heavy AOR sound in favor of a subtle and soulful gospel vibe, and "Two Strong Hearts", which transforms the impassioned MOR staple into a seductive slice of lounge-pop. O'Brien did comment that the acoustic setting meant some of his bigger/bolder tracks lost their anthemic appeal, in particular "Age of Reason" and "You're the Voice" which removes the bagpipe solo that made it so memorable.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1 CD

  1. Pressure Down - 4:11
  2. Reasons - 3:55
  3. Chain Reaction - 3:09
  4. Playing to Win - 3:01
  5. You're the Voice - 4:00
  6. That's Freedom - 4:18
  7. Two Strong Hearts - 3:27
  8. Age Of Reason - 4:59
  9. Talk of the Town - 3:51
  10. A Simple Life - 4:04
  11. Heart's on Fire - 4:47

Disc 2 DVD

  1. Talk of the Town
  2. Chain Reaction
  3. Two Strong Hearts
  4. Pressure Down
  5. Hearts on Fire
  6. A Simple Life
  7. Age of Reason
  8. Playing to Win


The Acoustic Chapel Sessions debuted and peaked on the week commencing 10 October 2011.[7]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[8] 10


  • Acoustic Bass – Craig Newman
  • Acoustic Guitar – Brett Garsed, Stuart Fraser
  • Backing Vocals – Lindsay Field, Lisa Edwards, Rod Davies, Susie Ahern
  • Banjo – Brett Garsed
  • Drums – Angus Burchall
  • Electric Bass – Craig Newman
  • Electric Piano – Chong Lim
  • Engineer – Doug Brady
  • Harmonica – Steve Williams
  • Mixed By – Doug Brady
  • Piano – Chong Lim
  • Producer – Ross Fraser
  • Soprano Saxophone – Steve Williams
  • Vocals – John Farnham



  1. ^ "John Farnham prepares acoustic album and DVD". 23 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "John Farnham - The Acoustic Chapel Sessions". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Whispering Jack is back". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Whispering Jacks back again and still magnificent". 5 October 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "John Farnham - Pressure Down". 22 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Acoustic Chapel Session". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "The ARIA Report, Issue 1128" (PDF). 10 October 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  8. ^ " – John Farnham – The Acoustic Chapel Sessions". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  9. ^ "John Farnham – The Acoustic Chapel Sessions". Retrieved 18 July 2015.