Russell Morris was 18 when he recorded 'The Real Thing', his first solo single after leaving Melbourne pop band Somebody’s Image. The song was written by singer Johnny Young, recorded in Bill Armstrong’s Melbourne studio on the country’s first 8-track tape recorder by engineer John L Sayers, and produced by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, a columnist for the weekly music magazine Go-Set. The song was notable for its length (over six minutes); the way musical instruments, vocals and sound effects were layered in the recording; and the distinctive ‘phasing’ sound, achieved by running two tape recorders at slightly different speeds. It was the fourth best-selling single of 1969 (behind two Beatles’ songs and one from The Rolling Stones) and stayed in the charts for six months after being released in March, including two weeks at No. 1 in May. The song has enjoyed enduring popularity and has been covered by Midnight Oil and Kylie Minogue.