Johnny Marr once said that he wanted to write a song with an unforgettable guitar intro, like Eric Clapton's "Layla". He was, at the time, talking about the penning of the Smiths' "How Soon is Now?" The Chameleons' "Swamp Thing" does everything still that "How Soon is Now?" did for me when I was 16. Difference is, I haven't popped in a Smiths mixtape since I was 20.
There's somthing very romantic about this song. I've never really paid too much attention to the lyrics of this particular Chameleons track, although Mark Burgess' oddly peotic songwriting skills on other tracks have haunted my mind years after I had heard them. This tune is led and driven by the chord structure more than just the delayed, jangly guitar, or the powerfully precise drumming. Midway into the tune, the song goes from minor chord structure to major chord structure, even though the lyrics remain as bleak as a Manchester weather report.
Whenever I hear this song, one word always pops into my head, "pretty". That's what this song is. Pretty.
Raw Stylus effortlessly combined british acid jazz elements with sophisticated, elegant Steely Dan-esque american jazz/soul/funk. In fact, like on this track, the music sounds very much like a Steely Dan backing track with warm Fender Rhodes keyboards, precise horn section, funky rhythm section and jazzy guitars. Which really isn't much of a wonder when looking at the credits of the album. Let's see: The album is impeccably produced by the Dan's producer Gary Katz, features an incredible amount of fine session musicians including Steely Dan regulars (like Bernard Purdie, Randy Brecker or Hugh McCracken), has even Donald Fagen providing synths on "37 Hours (In The U.S.A.) and they even embedded some chords of "Josie" in the song. Unfortunately, despite the talent, Raw Stylus remained a one album band to this very day, kinda sad actually...
Another song that needs no introduction. This is a classic rock ballad known to all, by one of the greatest bands ever. The music has this grand, anthemic feel to it which I really like. I don't think it's trying to be pretentious at all, as some people might think. It's a great ballad that uses orchestral music, with an amazing guitar running through it.
from Use Your Illusion Vol. 1 (Geffen GEFD24415) available on CD - Greatest Hits (Geffen)