In 1997, after discussions with my manager, Helene, we approached Rose and Marcia to see if they would be interested in making a new Goanna recording. Rose and Marcia agreed. It was a good time. Thanks to Dick Verkuil and BMG, I'd enjoyed considerable success in Ireland and Europe with Mary Black recording Flesh & Blood and several other songs. John Farnham had also recorded Talk of the Town in Australia and named his national tour after it. I'd released my Clan album in Australia through ABC Music and their head, Meryl Gross, was very interested in a possible Goanna project.
Over that year we recorded Spirit Returns mostly at my home studio in Warrnambool. But I also took Marcia's song about Margaret Tucker's experience as an Aboriginal child of the stolen generation to Steve Cooney and Liam O'Maonlai in Ireland. I took tapes to Kerryn Tolhurst in New York, Greg Sheehan in Byron Bay, Clarence and Charlie Bynoe in Cairns and captured the visiting Pigram Brothers as well as my old Murri friends, Billy Cummins, Irwin Riley and Graeme Brady in my Warrnambool studio, to accompany Lionel Fogarty's poetry set to music. Rose and Marcia's songs took a more central role on the album.
Goanna's third album, Spirit Returns, was finally realised, some 10 years after our previous last shows.
Spirit Returns is also now available again, in the digital age. It's grown more precious with the passing years because of the many connections, some of whom have sadly passed.