Passings: James Cruickshank of Australia's The Cruel Sea (1962 - 2015)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

James Cruickshank, the guitarist for The Cruel Sea, has died after what friends on social media have said was a battle with cancer.

Cruickshank was born in Melbourne in 1962. He was 27 when he joined The Cruel Sea in 1989.

After two alternative albums with Down Below (1989) and This Is Not The Way (1991), The Cruel Sea released one of 1993’s greatest Australian albums The Honeymoon Is Over.


At the ARIA Music Awards of 1994, The Cruel Sea won Single of the Year and Song of the Year for The Honeymoon Is Over, Album of the Year, Best Group and Producer of the Year (Tony Cohen) for The Honeymoon Is Over and received five further nominations including ‘Best Cover Art’ by Kristyna Higgins and Jan Manby.

The Honeymoon Is Over reached number 4 on the ARIA chart of 1993. That lead to the use of the track Reckless Eyeballin' from the first album, Down Below, being used as the theme for the hit TV show Blue Heelers (1994-2006).

The Cruel Sea released six albums, the most recent being Where There’s Smoke in 2001.

James went solo after the break-up of The Cruel Sea and released his album Hymn For Her in 2002. In 2005 he collaborated with Gyan and Michael Leunig for Billy Boy Rabbit, recorded another record Hello Human in 2005 and then toured with Mick Harvey and Kill Devil Hills.

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