Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Day 57: Enter the Twilight Zone.

Today's song is a belter from This Nation's Saving Grace, which is fast becoming one of my favourites, this song is named after an episode of The Twilight Zone, a science fiction/fantasy show that has run in sporadic fits and bursts since 1959. I can see how the show fits with MES's world view, it featured interesting, off-kilter storylines and underwent crazy plot twists. I really must seek out the DVD compilations.

This song's Twilight Zone episode is about a salesman who can sell people whatever they need before he or the person buying whatever the item is know they need it. I'd say that Mark's lyrics here are very little to do with the episode, but take the theme of giving people advice or guidance and pushes it relentlessly.

Song: What You Need
Album: This Nation's Saving Grace
Year: 1985

So this song has some amazing instrumentation in it, a walking bassline courtesy of Steve Hanley and some great keyboard work from Simon Rogers, it almost sounds like the incidental music you hear at American baseball games, very original. The lyrics are delivered in this great way, the band backing MES up all the way through with group vocals, quite a rare thing, but it works, it gives it an unhinged, manic aspect. Mark's lyrics almost become a call and response later on, he makes lists out of lines all the way through, the band cutting through this with their collected shouting. All very impressive. I'd say the lyrics are a response to advice or things people have mentioned to MES and he is simply ignoring their advice, the backing vocals almost act like a backdrop, they could be the people telling him what he needs and his solo vocals could be the reaction. I like the references to The Brothers Copeland and Iggy Stooge, The Fall have many influences and The Stooges is one that comes up all the time, maybe this is either an acknowledgement or a refusal to accept that comparison. As ever it's very open to interpretation.

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