Great music, terrible lyrics...

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Seasicksailor, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    You do understand that Spinal Tap was intended as a parody, right? Hence, the lyrics to their songs, not just Big Bottom, but all of them, are deliberately bad, poking fun at the silliness of a lot of rock lyrics. In the case of Big Bottom, the inspiration, apparently, was Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls.

    Personally, I always liked the line "How could I leave this behind", great double entendre if you ask me.
     
  2. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    That happens a lot. Paul McCartney has always said that when he played Hey Jude for John Lennon the first time, when he got to "The movement you need is on your shoulder", Paul said, "Don't worry about that line, we can change that" and John said "Don't change it! It's great the way it is!".

    And Phil Collins said that he came up with Sussudio while he was just playing around in his home studio, trying to work out the song's vocal melody, presumably, and that just sort of poured out of his mouth. He said he couldn't find anything that meant anything that fit as well, so he had to invent a meaning for the word, and decided to make it a girl's name. David Letterman asked him if he seriously expected people to put down their hard earned money for "made up words" or whatever, and Phil said, "Well, it worked, didn't it?" Dave then asks if he's ever actually met a girl named Sussudio, and Phil replies, "No, but give it 9 months time!".
     
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  3. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Well, I believe that's the lone song in the band's entire catalog that that lives up to the "devil music" stereotype. Songs like After Forever and Heaven & Hell actually had a deeper meaning that went way way beyond "Hail Satan" or whatever the propaganda spewing fundamentalists would have you believe is the whole purpose of rock music.
     
  4. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    The Doors. The "Indians dead on the highway bleeding" schtick makes me roll my eyes.
     
  5. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    That's how I felt about everything by Foreigner. Catchy music but with lyrics so juvenile they were embarrassing for the band and for anyone listening.
     
  6. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    It's what he saw as a child.
     
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  7. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Paperback writer is I think meant to be funny. ‘It’s a thousand pages give or take a few/ I can give you more in a day or two’.

    Look at those thick airport novels.


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  8. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, sure. And his "dead" dad commanded a fleet as a Navy admiral.
     
  9. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    I don't miss it at all. I don't miss the anxiety of having those frelling Kool Aid drinkers a little too close for comfort on the family tree. Apart from several cousins who bought into the propaganda, my brother Frank dated for several years (and was briefly married to) a woman who wouldn't stop preaching at me about that stuff. "Oh, you know, Kiss stands for Knights In Satan's Service, AC/DC stands for Anti-Christ/Devil Child", etc. As I recall, apart from those two examples, she was a bit vague about the rest of it.

    And you had these assholes on TV talk shows playing records backwards, saying "Oh, there's this Satanic message here". To this day, I can't believe nobody thought to ask "Why does the message disappear when you play the record the way it's supposed to be?!". I mean, sounds don't appear and disappear depending on which direction the tape is running. Either it's there or not.

    Then you had parents suing heavy metal bands because their kids committed suicide. I remember this ambulance chaser on one talk show quoting the chorus to Suicide Solution out of context, saying that it was what caused this one kid to kill himself. Dude, the song is about drinking yourself to death, inspired by the death of Bon Scott, and if anything, is an anti-suicide song. Thankfully, the judge (or judges, as I recall this actually came up a couple different times) had the presence of mind to throw the suit out of court, on First Amendment grounds.

    Then you had another ambulance chaser who talked the parents of those two juvenile delinquents in Nevada or wherever it was who committed suicide, into suing Judas Priest because there was supposedly a backwards message on Better By You Better Than Me. And the band proved in court that they didn't plant any such message on the record.

    And as I recall, the local library had not one, but two books listing all these examples of "evil" rock groups. One had a page devoted to listing all the "evil" Eastern spiritual pursuits of various well known musicians, e.g. Pete Townshend's devotion to Meher Baba, Carlos Santana's involvement with Sri Chimnoy, etc. And yes, you had the idiotic interpretations of various songs (not just Hotel California, there were a bunch of others). And I also remember one showed the obviously sarcastic "warning" sticker that Styx put on the cover of Kilroy Was Here, alerting record buyers that the record contained "Backwards Satantic messages".

    And you knew the whole thing was really stupid when there was a CHiPs episode (with Donny Most, Ralph from Happy Days, playing a Gene Simmons wannabe) where a big portion of the plot hinged on backwards messages.

    OK, so I didn't have to ready the two books from the library, but the rest of that dren was shoved in my face whether I wanted it or not. Good riddance to all of it!
     
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  10. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, well, Oasis were pretty terrible, full stop. Another reason I hated the 90's.
     
  11. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Well, said scrutinizing occurred in the 70's, or possibly early 80's. It's not like I was talkign about something that just happened last week or whatever.
     
  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    That always bugged me too. And I loved that song back in the day!
     
  13. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Yes...but THEY actually made a hit song out of it!
     
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  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Some of us know there are recording artists out there with extraordinary and engaging lyrics. And they're fantastic and nobody buys the records. Because the music that sells best is music that people dance to and don't get too distracted by significant literary meaning.

    The lyricist is torn between making a personal statement, and writing something with multiple potential meanings so the record buyer can select the one he likes. Or words that permit the vocalist to demonstrate his range and vocal power.

    I think I listen to, and play music and sing songs pretty much the same way the rest of you do. But lyrics? For better or for worse, there sure is a lot of space between my views and those of a lot of you. For example, harmless nonsense lyrics are for me, nowhere near as deadly as cloying and unavoidably juvenile thoughts - sung in a way you cannot get away from them. Those are the worst.
     
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  15. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Rock music is a Faustian Bargain. You do basically have to set aside your lyrical intentions "for the beat". The emphasis is redirected from the brain and heart ---- to the groin. And so you will never get this:

     
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  16. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    I loved Bobby Darin... especially Not For Me... what a song. Great music, great lyrics.
    I discovered it through my mother's collection of 45s. :)

     
  17. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lol. That’s brilliant. I usually don’t critique non English lyrics because so much is lost in transition and a brilliant lyric might be a clunker in English. But yep. Nothing seems to be lost there.


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  18. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    paperback writer is nothing to obladi-oblada
     
  19. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    A lot of America tunes qualify but A Horse with no Name is a clear winner.
     
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  20. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

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    The entire Atlanta Rhythm Section catalog. They sounded great, the lyrics were ****e. Buie tried to buy himself a hand with hits, but couldn't write.
     
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