'This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave"
Neil: This is about a dream, which I've had several times, that I'm back at school in the sixth form block doing an exam and I think (very alarmed) How has this happened? What's happened?" and I get told to get on with what I'm doing. That explains the title, because you wonder where you are and you realize that you're in the place you couldn't wait to get Out of. And also we kind of tied it in with Eastern Europe. Schools are kind of authoritarian places with strange rituals and I just imagined now that dreaming you were back in a communist state would be as bizarre as being back in your school days. The words were written quite recently but the music was written a long time ago when we thought we were going to be asked to do the theme for the James Bond film, The Living Daylights. Johnny Marr plays on it: some feedback guitar and some rhythm guitar.
Chris: There's a vocoder line - that thing that Rubric Hancock used to use like in 'One Of The Crowd" - with me saying "everybody" then "everybody jump to attention". That's me.
Neil: Obviously it was inspired by the fact that we're supposed to be boring or something, and I thought what a good song title it would be. Then I remembered that when I was 18 or 19 all my friends in Newcastle had a party and the invitations quoted this famous Zelda Fitzgerald quote from the I 92()s:
"we were never bored, because we were never boring". I spoke to a friend Dave Rimmer recently and told him about this song and he said "I've got the invitation in front of me" - it was quite a big do at the time, it was called "the Great Urban Dionysia Party's. The first verse is about finding the invitation:
It then says "we were never feeling bored, because we were never being boning". The second verse is about leaving Newcastle to go to college in London. And so one had said to us "the trouble with you lot is you'll have experienced everything by the time you're 18 - you'll have nothing left to experience". And the third verse is me now, just thinking where the people are who I was with then. So it's quite a sad song, but quite jolly too.
"only The Wind"
Chris: This was written during the gales (laughs).
Neil: There were dustbins flying down the street and corrugated iron flying about and it was quite scary. And so the story of the song is that someone's gone round to see some couple and... you know sometimes you arrive at someone's house and there's obviously a major row going on and one of themes not there. And the friend that is there is denying there's anything wrong - he's denying you can hear anyone crying stuff like that, He keeps blaming it on the wind outside. And it's got a fantastic tune -Chris wrote the music. It s also got string on it
Neil: We wrote this in a demo studio. Chris wrote most of the music - I wrote the middle bit.
Chris: It's a Firelight track (laughs). I must have started it in my flat.
Neil: The song's about two people living together and they are totally unfaithful to each other but they both pretend they are faithful and then catch each other out. The first line is " double cross you and you get mysterious mall". There's a bit in the third verse:
"I'm always/roping you'll be faithful but you're not, Suppose we've both given up smoking 'cause it's fatal so Who's matches are those?" Really what it's saying the "so hard" element is - this is the middle bit - "if your give up your affair forever/ I will give up mine / but it's hard / so hard". People get caught. I think very much between their desire to have a permanent relationship and their desire to play around or whatever.
Chris: This uses all really old synthesizers including the Roland 700 series, the old Moog - a really big chunky one.
Neil: The chorus goes Miserablism / is is and isn't isn't". "Is is and isn't isn't" is a quote from someone's father when they died. It was the last thing their father said and it was taken to mean that what is really around you exists and the rest of it doesn't. In the song there's a bare statement of Miserablism: life's terrible - don't even dream of a better future or a better life. As quite often in the middle bit you get the real sentiment. It sounds a bit pretentious, but it says "but if is wasn't and isn't were/you can't be sure I but you might find ecstasy".
Neil: This is based on a very old song which I wrote many years ago except that I could never quite work out the chorus. So I said to Chris what do you think these chords should be?" and he went "oh like that and then like that" and that was it. We were going to do this as a Los Angeles ballad, you know, like Whitney Houston but it sounded so nauseating so we went back to the elector approach. It's about two people. -. when you meet someone and either, depending how young you are, you're thinking: do you kiss them, or will you go to bed with them? It's quite sort of sexy in a way: at the end of the song it's kind of resolved that it's going to happen. It's sort of about sexual trepidation, to be pretentious.
"My October Symphony"
Neil: This we wrote when we went to Glasgow at the end of last year when we wrote "Being Boring". Chris wrote the music. It features Johnny Marr on rhythm guitar I played guitar on the demo.
Chris: This is the track on the album I like most. It sounds the most different from anything on Actually. There's all the different musical styles. It's got the sort of James Brown drums,. then it's got the Balinese String Quartet from our tour
Neil: We asked Alexander Balenescu to write vaguely in the style of Shostokovitch. The song itself is about the changes in Russia, but it\ quite obscure because it's a bit dreary writing songs about perestroika. It was the idea that the Russian Revolution was obviously the seminal event in Soviet Russia and eventually it's being called into question. Since it happened all artists and painters and musicians in Russia have been called upon to produce paintings or symphonies or whatever to celebrate the myth of the October Revolution. In the song you've got some Soviet musician...
Chris: He's basically had to scrap his October symphony.
Neil: He's written this symphony but at the same time he's pleased, and he's thinking how to salvage it. In the chorus he asks whether he should rewrite it or change the dedication 'from ,revolution revelation". So it's really about the end of the myth of the Russian revolution The trigger of this song was reading about Shostokovitch - for some reason that made me think what it would be like to see these changes from the inside. Because the person singing this song is a communist, or has been one. He \ someone who's compromised himself to survive.
"To Face The truth"
Chris: It's an old one but it sounds dead contemporary. It's got the softer edge that most of the album's got. It sounds quite black. It's otherwise known as "the Gloria Estefan track's
Neil: It's very very sad. Heartbreakingly sad. When we do it live I'll probably burst into tears at the end. I shall leave the stage and have some smelling salts. It's a bit of a highlight of the album, this. It started off as a song I began writing on the guitar one Sunday morning lying in bed in the King's Road and I though it sounded like Everything But The Girl. This was 1984. Then I played it to Chris in its original mega-wimp form and he changed the timing of the chorus.
Chris: And a middle bit's been added since. This used to sound like "Juicy Fruit" by Mute. Neil: The words are almost the same as "Jealousy" -it's about lying in bed and your lover's somewhere else. "The truth" in the song is to face the fact that the person you're in love with is not in love with you. But you can't face up to it.
Neil: You wrote the music, Chris, a very long time ago. We now travel back 8½ years to the dining room of the Lowe family household in Blackpool. Chris is up for the summer holidays
Chris: I can't really remember it. It's my mum's favorite track ever.
Neil: I can remember Chris coming back from Blackpool, about June '82, and he'd actually gone to the bother - astonishingly enough - of putting it on a cassette. Obviously I nearly dropped down dead at this point. I thought, "It's really good I'll write some words to that". And they haven't been changed, unless I change them when I do the vocal. For lyrical content, see "To Face The Truth". When I first knew Chris, other friends, particularly one very old friend from Newcastle, was jealous that Chris and I used to spend a lot of time writing songs and that I didn't want to go out and play as much. And it was kind of, not about that, but inspired by that.
Chris: There's some good lyrics in there, like "you didn't 'phone when you said you would". You know when you stay in and they say they're going to phone at eight o'clock and they don't phone all night and you go absolutely bonkers?
Neil: I'm not quite sure why we haven't put it on a record before. I think when we did the first album we were a little bit insecure about our early songs. We thought that because we wrote them a while ago they can't have been very good. When we did the second album we decided that Ennio Morricone was going to arrange it and there was that convoluted thing which ended with us writing "It Couldn't Happen Here" with him. So "Jealousy" didn't goon the record. Row Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" Neil: It's about loads of pop stars. In the lyrics there are at least six major pop stars mentioned in it. I'm not telling you who.
Chris: We were trying to do a Bobby Brown track, crack the American market (laughs).
Neil: It was that whole shuffle thing.
Chris: It's got a guitar on. (Despairingly) You know, readers, there's a guitar on nearly every track.
Neil: The words are about the aspirations and porn-posity of pop stars and it just lists all these things that pop stars do and at the end it says "how can you expect to be taken seriously?" It's got a bit about supporting charities in public and about meeting the Royal family and-my favorite bit-"do you think they'll put you in the Rock 'n 'Roll Hall of Fame?" That's this appalling thing you have in America now where, if you're some aged rock'n'roll star, probably really talented, you get nominated into the rock'n'roll Hall of Fame. When I was writing the song Chris said "do you think you should make the words nastier?" because actually the words at the start were a bit airy-fairy. It hadn't occurred to me suddenly I thought "oh, it should be really horrible?' It's a bit of a "You're So Vain" concept really. The things that really annoy us about pop stars are the Prince's Trust concerts, the telling-us-what-every- primary -school-child-already-know s-about-ecology, which they've just discovered ten years after everybody else. The word "longevity's not in there at the moment but I might put it in.
This hasn't got any words yet, but it's a really gorgeous tune, elegiac
but danceable. Even Chris likes it. We haven't really got the concept
for the song yet because Madonna and The Beloved have ruined the concept
for it - a list of famous names: (sings to the tune of "Paninaro")
"Monroe, Dietrich and DiMaggio... living legends... oh-oh-oh".
|This web site, including all text and images not otherwise credited, is copyright © 1997 - 2012 Markie Price No part of this web site may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the Webmaster.. All details are believed to be accurate, but no liability can be accepted for any errors.|