Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spandoos and don'ts

A bummer on the station today was the displeasing sound of Spandau Ballet’s song ‘Gold’. This is just part of the appalling passing show of course and every day the music being played on PT, in supermarkets, cafes, etc is there solely and wholly to remind me that I am a middle-aged person and part of some spending demographic. The only thing worse than hearing shitty songs like ‘Gold’ and ‘Walking on Sunshine’ is, I’m sure, the day when these songs stopped being played in favour of other, later songs I have never heard before, or at least, I heard them but they were not part of my youth so hearing them again I am not reassured about my importance at the world because capitalism no longer needs me to be.

‘Gold’ is a ghastly song, and I am really surprised that market forces believed that people might buy it. The fact that some did, and it apparently still has some currency (no pun intended, because you see gold is not currency) on 19 March 2008, is pretty amazing, because it’s really bad. It’s clunky, proggy and poncy. It prances around like a robot drunk on… argh, I can’t even be bothered. On my hateometer I would say:

the you’re untouchable bit = 8/10
the always believe in your soul bit = 7/10
the sax solo = 9/10
the overall (lack of) rhythm = 5/10 (despite myself I’m impressed by its plodding nature; it seems quite adventurous, to dabble in the possibilities of making a horrible song even more horrible by giving it this extra handicap)
Tony Hadley = 3/10
The breathy repetition of ‘gold!’ bit = 10/10

That’s overall pretty high on the hateometer.

Spandau Ballet (remember when no-one knew how to say their name and said ‘Spandoo’?) had two good songs. One of these, ‘Chant no.1’ was a really, really good song, as the group had the momentary good taste to steal the essence of it from Pigbag (as did The Jam with ‘Precious’ and a bunch of other people probably as well). The only bad thing about ‘Chant no. 1’ is the crappy horn line. The rest is gold! (gold!). The last time I heard this song played in a supermarket was in 1981 when I was courting a young lady who worked part time in Coles New World, Glenferrie Road Hawthorn. 'Chant no. 1' came on the radio and I said, 'I like this song' (or words to that effect). I would still say that.

The other good song, which is really only quite good, is ‘True’. I mean it’s just a pissy ballad but within its confines and boundaries it’s really pretty fine, particularly the oomph Hadley invests in really crapola lines like ‘I bought a ticket to the world but now I’ve come back again’. I suppose the one lyric bit I am impressed about is where he wonders why he finds it hard to write the next line – that’s where he’s really putting his balls out (I once had interaction with a good independent record company person discussing switching my band’s allegiance from another, bad, independent record company to his, and he said that the bad independent record company guy had ‘put his balls out’ in taking my band on, a phrase which had conjured up so many awful thoughts I didn’t really think I could ever use it, but it’s only with brave work like that one line in Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ that I think I can probably justifiably do so).


Whereas with ‘Gold’ they were just putting their bins out. With lots of copies of ‘Gold’ in it I hope!

PS Your challenge, should you choose to accept...


annabel said...

Welcome back carp-a-lot.

Just when you were walking on sunshine about the 401 and all. Shame.

I always heard the song's title in RP accent/Brothers Gibb "oh". Classy pronunciation for a classy metal.

lucy tartan said...

you're indestructible

David said...

Sir Carp-a-lot thank you. And yes, I am indestructible (gold!). Stop it, I'm starting to like it.

Annabel said...

There is nothing chivalrous about your carping.

It is a hilarious song. Loosen up daddio.

Wayne said...

I'd take Gold over True; however, Chant No. 1 should restore (or initiate) confidence in the power of the Ballet.

Emily said...

I am surprised to see there's no rating on your hate-o-meter for the intermittent bongo-playing.