Cathy Dennis' music is predominantly rubbish. As UK residents know, she is now the writer behind much of the teeny crap that fills the top 40 singles chart every week. But When Dreams Turn to Dust shines like a beacon amongst a fog of blandness. I bought the single for 50 pence from a charity shop in 2000. I thought I'd paid too much. I was wrong.
I was out of work at the time and looking for a job. Dennis' masterpiece is the sound of those crazy job-search days - there was a good two week period when I listened to this song continually. Hard times economically - even tougher times on the turntable...
The song has a king of warped Beatles/Byrds quality. And an amazing minor chord chorus. To top it all, she shifts the whole chorus up an octave in the final eight or so bars and kills the listener with a repetitive and insistent refrain.
Convinced by its majesty, I then bought one of her dance albums from a car boot sale for �1. Never has money been so well intentionally spent and inevitably wasted.
Like all perfect Mogwai's tracks, Tracy is quiet and then loud. However, the track is particularly spine-tingling. Mogwai use sustained reverb guitar and xylaphone to stunning effect. The taped argument between the band, that is added to the fade out of the song, is also cool.