Song Of The Day #14.

This is an odd choice for me…

The Beatles – Things We Said Today

I am not the biggest Beatles fan in the world – in fact I’d be the first to tellĀ  hardcore fan who starts warbling on about how they’re the “greatest band in the world” to fuck off. Mainly because said fan would tell me I have to like them too, because this fact is so obviously fact. *cough*

However, that’s not to say that The Beatles are bad musicians or a crime against rhythm at all – indeed, they have some absolute tunes, including ‘Eight Days A Week’, ‘Lady Madonna’, ‘I’m Looking Through You’ and maybe some others… But it REALLY puts me off something if I’m told to like it. Just because everyone else does.

That aside, check out this apparently little-known track from the third studio album ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, released in 1964 –

I think I like this song better because I didn’t know it was by said Beatles until I looked it up.


Mezzo Forte Monday, Pt 2.

The Meaning Of Music

Did you know the playing time of ‘The Holy Bible’ (original 1994 release) is a mere 56 minutes and 17 seconds? ‘Ok Computer’ being 53:27, and ‘Rumours’ only 39:03. Looking further back, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ ends at just past 30 minutes and ‘Elvis Presley’ only 28:03. Not that this is a comparison between the length of songs/albums in different decades, but it is amusing to contextualise sometimes.

Anyway, the point was that while the playing time, out of context of the fact it is an album, seems quite small, the meaning can be huge. Huge! And if it’s a good album, it frequently is. Songs hang around for days in my head, usually cropping up at the most unlikely of times, and if it’s a song that “grabs” me immediately (Kraftwerk’s ‘The Man Machine’ and Delays ‘Tonite’ being recent examples), I will listen to it repeatedly until I can’t anymore. Idiotic I know, as I potentially ruin some amazing songs. At least there are others out there.

Being in physical form, music will also be visible for years, and giving you the ability to handle it. Artwork adds a lot to each album, which is why it’s quite a shame no one buys hard copies anymore, unless it’s a really special occasion (like a new Sea Power album). I feel this sort of diminishes the value of music – as a package I mean – as sometimes you get the lyrics, sometimes pictures, sometimes just some detail that is intrinsic to the album itself, so as a majority the fact that most music comes (or is available) digitally is a negative thing, but the silver lining could be that it means you scrap away the outer layers and get to have an uninfluenced version of the music, unbiased from the artwork surrounding the album. And it really is about the music then, and nothing much else. It certainly is more convenient coming in digital form, seeing as technology is all geared towards that nowadays, but it is much more pleasant having a slice of vinyl to play rather than an MP3 file or similar. A shame but that’s how things seem to rock at the present moment.

Obviously the digital format leads to the illegal downloading argument, which is a huge other topic to cover – not now – but while the artist should be concerned with “what they are owed”, should they not also be concerned that music is an art form, and therefore the money is just a secondary bonus and not something to make music for? It is a very good thing that people wish to listen at all, the fact some want to pay you money for it is even better. And if they really like you, I’m sure they will. Which is why you end up with Lily Allen stating how bad file sharing is (clearly no one wishes to pay for her god awful excuse for music…), and then people like Ed O’Brien saying the opposite, and urging people to “Move quicker” to get over such an issue. And yes I am aware of Radiohead being a huge band and therefore it is unlikely they will ever be struggling likeĀ  small band at the moment.

One of my favourite things about music is when you inadvertently are listening to it a-plenty at some significant moment, or on holiday or with a particular friend or something – and whenever you play it after, it reminds you of the feeling you had at the time. I don’t think anything else does that in quite the same way music does, which makes it even more special.

I suppose it really depends how much music means to you – whether you don’t care at all, whether it’s something just to have on in the background to break the silence at an awkward supper, or whether it near enough consumes your life and it’s always there. Even so, in twenty years time, if you play ”, the likelihood is that everyone will remember, and it will be sticking around for a lot longer than the 3 or 4 minutes it took you to play it. Music has longevity, so perhaps we should not be so illegal with it.