Despite '2002 - A Hit Song's insistent chorus of "it's gonna be a hit, hit, hit!", by the end you're not convinced, "it's not gonna be a hit is it Free Designers?" "No… I'm afraid not Rum. To be honest it hasn't a hope in hell. Oh yeah we're bitter, of course we are, but, you know, when you're in the idiom of soft rock you can't get away with angst, you've got to maintain this 'pleasing' façade, so that's why we sound so jolly, so 'up' on this song. But yeah, it's hard..." Yes, they may, as they sing, have "sealed it with a kiss" but the cracks show. And it's that that makes this song particularly memorable. It's fascinating to see the rips in their Peter Pan wonderland, a place where they usually spend their time flying kites, blowing bubbles, befriending dolphins. And so this palpable excitement you hear in their heady harmonies is not fuelled by a surefire optimism of success but by an almost delirious desperation, "hit, hit, hit, sure to be a hit, hit, hit, gonna make a hit, hit, hit" they sing, panting, shaking nervously, craving that big fix. The track is a flip-side to the Byrds' 'So You Wanna Be A Rock'N'Roll Star'. Both are bitter recipes for pop success but whereas the Byrds are pissed off that any talentless buffoon can follow their recipe to success get a hit, the Free Design are pissed that "We did all this last time, and it did not work!". I guess you have to suffer for your art, and maybe the Free Design were having too happy a time. Or maybe their hair didn't swing right or their pants weren't tight.
10 Feb 05 ·olli: heh..brilliant commentary. 11 Feb 05 ·konsu: Wow. I never thought of that song as such an exploded schematic. But it does shed light on their own self awareness even if unintentional at the time.
I love the "New Light" album by the Match. Such a perfect example of soft pop. I think these guys, along with The Small Circle Of Friends and The Free Design, are the perfect example of what harmonic soft pop sounds like. This track, with that great trumpet line, is just one of 14 classics on this album. I had heard some label in Korea was supposed to be re-issuing it but that was a long time ago.
The minor key, pedal bass, double-dotted theme, and piano and orchestra scoring create an atmosphere which I find very enjoyable. I only have an edit of the original, which I think was available as them adn variations and various suites, and would like to hear the rest to see how/if Legrand develops the material.
09 Apr 07 ·delicado: Just listening to what I assume is the same version of this (mine is on a cheapo Bell compilation from the early 70s). Fantastic track indeed!
I'm always suprised by this group. The freshness of this song is hardly questionable, mainly because the soundtrack is a hidden gem recently unearthed. And for Cyrkle fans like me, it's a dream come true. The song is a spare bossa-tinged affair, done as sort of a stripped down folky interlude. But the track stands on it's own amongst their better known tracks like "The Visit", of which it bears a resemblance. It sounds like Tom Dawes took the reigns on this project, arranging and producing the whole thing to make one of the more memorable and interesting soundtracks I have.
This song has a nice, creative intro with psychedelic sounds and such including the sitar, and then, just when you think the song is done Mariska chimes in and sings beautifully above some enticing backing vocals.