A classic 80s pop song, with New Order trademarks such as a super heavy bassline, strong drums and some frenetic guitar work. The lyrics aren't too bad for Bernard Sumner either - it's a touching (if not entirely coherent) story about lost love. A great song which fills me with nostagia.
The exquisite standout of the Virus Meadow album and easily And Also the Trees's best song from its early years, "Gone…Like the Swallows" steers away from the sometimes frenetic vocal intensity found elsewhere on the record it comes from for a more reflective but still passionate approach. Simon Jones delivers his lyric with all the deep-voiced intensity of a student of Wordsworth and Shelley reciting on the hillside to nature (which in some respects is pretty much the point of the song). But Jones isn't explicitly anti-modern — consider the mention of the aeroplane in the sky at various points — while the music is equally ancient and up-to-date in feel. Digital delay on the guitars turns them into rolling, darkly chiming flows and waves of sound, dramatically crashing behind the steady rhythm section and Jones' increasingly intense words. Bass and drums alone wrap everything up on a brief, spare note.
Mike: Sparks have indeed produced some good and some extremely bad material. I may still own - somewhere - this LP, though the most-played track on it was always "This town ain't big enough..."
1974 - yes, an incredible year which also brought us such marvels as the Glitter Band's "Angel Face". geezer: only Sparks could be comfortable with such subject matter there is humour in everything they do like Tryouts for the Human Race a song for sperm everywhere
Somewhere between tacky and slick. The instrumentation on this track is extremely dense, and played at a frenetic pace. There are moments packed so thick with sound, and played at such speed, that it's hard to distinguish all the elements going on. The loungy and somewhat artificial projection of soul in her voice sort of gets to me after a while, but on the whole I think this track storms.
When I hear the opening bars of this song, I can still remember the utter bewilderment I felt as a 16 year old hearing it in 1978 for the first time. It came on a 2 track flexi (the other track being 'Reverberation' by the 13th Foor Elevators) with Zigzag, a UK music magazine. Up to this point I had been listening to mainly melodic pop like Blondie. This completely blew my mind. When Mayo Thompson sang "On the shelf I have six buckets and they are for you. They're full of little things that we can do", I was genuinely scared. This is the song that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that singing in tune is overrated. For me this tops the version on their 1966 'Parable of the Arable Land' version.
With the usual dose of frenetic energy, the Femmes gave us a little "heads up" about the dangers of blindly believing what we are told by entertainers, religious leaders, and politicians way back in 1988.
Who could forget the rousing "woo-hooa-a-hooas" that helped define the Pretenders' 1984 smash hit "Middle of the Road"? In a decade that saw synthesizer-oriented pop music arriving on U.S. soil from England, singer/guitarist Chrissie Hynde and bandmates tear it up on this classic example of pure, unadulterated rock music. The Pretenders' offering successfully maintains a formulaic rock pattern, with drums that beat on at a driving frenetic 4/4 pace and guitar riffs that induce foot stomping by the most conservative crowd. By the time the harmonica solo kicks in toward the track's end, "Middle of the Road" has worked itself up into such a musical romp that it challenges anyone to remain sitting down. There is no technical or instrumental trickery to be found here, no "secret sauce"; the song is very much in your face. Its rollicking music and lyrics that paint a picture of a journey make anyone want to hop into the car and take off for the open road. "Middle of the road, is trying to find me/ I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me." You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't identify with that sentiment. The Pretenders zeroed in on one of humankind's most basic, secret desire — to get up and go — and backed it with an equally driven musical arrangement. And that's what makes this recording a timeless classic.
Another amazing version of this fantastic tune. This features several very different-sounding multitracked guitars, and really is quite astounding. It feels very short at a little under 2 and a half minutes. The opening features an acoustic guitar playing a wonderfully delicate and precise rhythm, accompanied by a nice wall of strings and electric guitar hits. A twangy picked guitar plays the melody, building gradually for about a minute.
The track then explodes into a quite amazing sequence, in which a dirty-sounding fuzz guitar picks out a bassline while a manic and jazzy improvised guitar solo moves around over the top and the strings maintain some solid bluesey chords. The sound is extremely funky, and vaguely reminiscent of some tracks from the late 60s 101 strings album 'Astro Sounds from beyond the year 2000', but ends up being more tasteful. Pure genius!
from Land of a Thousand Guitars (Accent ACS 5026) available on CD - 25 All time hits (Accent)
Totally overdriven, psych-noise power trio rawk. (There, that should satisfy your need for critical cliche.) Seriously, though, this is one of my favorite tracks by High Rise. The band just seems totally in sync here while still going nuts. Especially potent (as always) is Munehiro Narita's guitar soloing. The band puts so much in the song that it really feels longer than it is, and it's still not nearly long enough. Recommended for people who love great guitar solos and just plain fierce rock and roll.