Most of us will recognise the familiar Ten Guitars logo. It’s been nine years since the arrival of the first Ten Guitars compilation, and ten CD’s later they have a nostalgic place in our hearts. Thoughtfully curated and good at finding those tracks you didn’t know you knew, the Ten Guitars discographies have always honoured our Kiwi talent.
Starting with the original Ten Guitars arriving just in time for the Summer of 2009, it was quickly adopted as the soundtrack to the classic Kiwi Summer. Full of tracks from the sixties to eighties, Ten Guitars was a trip down memory lane for Kiwi’s, from the Reggae Band Herbs and Patea Maori Club’s ‘Poi E’ to international artists like Kenny Rogers and the Doobie Brothers. With classics across such an expansive period, there was something for everyone, as well as providing the opportunity for everyone in the family to discover some new favourites. New Zealand takes their Summer soundtracks seriously, and this one hit the nail on the head – Ten Guitars went Double Platinum in New Zealand.
After the success of the first Ten Guitars and with an inventory of old Kiwi hits waiting, round two was inevitable. Once again in time for the Summer Holiday season, Ten Guitars 2 arrived. With more hits from the sixties through to the eighties, Ten Guitars 2 provided another forty-two tracks of nostalgic Kiwi hits. It featured some of the greats, like records from Little River Band, 10cc, Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, and more. Ten Guitars 2 took New Zealanders down memory lane once more. From locals to internationals, songs to make you cry and dance, 42 tracks in total – Ten Guitars managed to go Platinum again.
The series continued successfully, with Two Guitars 3 arriving in 2011 and Ten Guitars 4 bringing the series to a close in 2012. Some of New Zealand’s most well-known songs like Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Slice of Heaven’ and OMC’s breakthrough ‘How Bizarre’ were played over Kiwi speakers once again, bringing tracks like Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ and Tiki Taane’s ‘Always on My Mind’ together.
Putting a country spin on things, Ten Guitars: Heartland was released in 2013 and starred New Zealand’s most beloved country songs. With artists like Dolly Parton through to Lady Antebellum, Heartland featured the old and new, giving fans an opportunity to rediscover old favourites and perhaps find some new ones. The Heartland series was a success, with Heartland 2 arriving in 2014, and the third and final in 2015.
The Best of Ten Guitars arrived in 2016, seven years after the original success of Ten Guitars and the seventh addition to the Ten Guitars CD’s. Featuring the crème de la crème, it distilled the tracks from the series into a select forty.
Their most recent series is Homegrown Heroes. Starting in 2016, it serves as a sequel to Ten Guitars but exclusively features New Zealand artists. With tunes from throughout the years, it stars some old classics like The Exponents ‘I Say Goodbye (Even Though I’m Blue), and forgotten gems like ‘Tears on My Pillow’ from The Parker Project, one of the only CD’s where the track has been found. It seamlessly crosses the bridge from old to new, also starring more recent Kiwi hits from Six60 and Stan Walker.
The follow-up, Homegrown Heroes 2 has just arrived, bringing another forty-two hand-picked tracks from talented artists right on our doorstep as a true celebration of New Zealand’s talented and varied musicians. The tenth addition to the Ten Guitar series spans through different eras, featuring all your national favourites from Tim Finn, Supergroove, The Feelers, The Black Seeds and Scribe. Ten compilations on, Ten Guitars still showcases some of New Zealand’s finest. There’s something for everyone, and with the classic laid-back vibe we Kiwi’s do so well, Homegrown Heroes 2 makes for the perfect soundtrack to your next Summer BBQ or Christmas Season.