Chris Thompson sang the demo version of "You're The Voice" and planned to record it for a solo album he was working on, but his publisher talked him out of it, telling Thompson protest songs were old news. The demo made its way to Australia via co-writer Andy Qunta, who was working with the Aussie band Icehouse (he co-wrote their hit "Crazy
"). That's where John Farnham heard the song. As "Johnny Farnham," he was a teen idol in his native Australia and took over as lead singer of The Little River Band from 1982-1985. Chris Thompson knew Farnham from his 1967 novelty song "Sadie The Cleaning Lady" and wanted him nowhere near "You're The Voice." He had to be convinced that Farnham was now a legitimate singer and could do the song justice.
After Thompson relented, Farnham made it his first release under the name "John Farnham." After a careful promotional campaign to sidestep the stigma of "Johnny Farnham," the song picked up airplay in Australia and took off, going to #1 and winning the ARIA Award for Single of the Year. Farnham's album Whispering Jack
was also a mighty seller, spending 25 weeks at #1. He became one of Australia's most popular performers.