Here is my latest YouTube post. This happened quite organically. The song just popped in my head and I proceeded to dig it out and listen to it a couple of times. My Ex-Factor was out, ready to be played. It seemed as if it was begging to be played. I decided to give it a go.
The bass performance was recorded quickly – two or three takes. The rest was quite comical. First I ran out of juice on my trusty Creative Vado. Of course I didn’t notice. I finished one of my monologues that I thought went quite well only to realize it wasn’t recording at all anymore. I switched to my digital camera. Guess what? Then I saw the dreaded “Memory Full” mid-take. Then there was the take when I never quite activated the record button. I tend to be very driven and stubborn about getting these things done. Yeah, I stayed up til 3:45am. Sleep is gonna feel quite nice tonight.
I’ve always loved this track. Warren’s arpeggio guitar line and the almost hypnotic chord movement paired with the super simple, super effective bass line by John work so beautifully together. Add in Simon and Nick and you’ve got a stellar track. It should have been a single! I also love that it’s short and sweet like a great Smiths song.
I’ll elaborate on the chord movement just a bit. The chord structure is arranged in a pattern of three. The song does not have a triplet feel, it just eschews the standard pop pattern of four chords. I believe this is what gives it that drone-y, hypnotic feel. The bridge lets you of the hook a bit because the D chord is repeated twice, giving you the familiar sound and feel of four chords to a phrase. Try and listen for it!
You will hear the Kubicki’s amazing 36″ D string in the bridge section. In the words of my old professor Craig Kupka (when referring to the bass guitar notes below E), “It’s the voice of GOD.”
I would love to know what was in Warren’s effects chain. It’s such a cool sounding guitar part. He is someone who knows how to play his effects as if they were a part of the guitar itself. Oh, and let’s not forget that Simon really delivered too –
Time will see we’re not searching for a wild excuse
To put emotions back on hold
Too much has gone down we know what you’re doing
But do you feel the same way
You look sharp inside your pointed shoes
I have this picture hanging in my room
And I refuse to take you down or shake you down
We could bring you gently round if that’s what you choose
For a point of view coz words like sand just get blown away
All those things we’d like to say
Those first two lines really hit home for me. I was certainly running for a while there. It’s coming back to me now. Music is meditation. Talking is therapy and good friends are more valuable than ever.
I would like to dedicate this one to Phillip Kubicki who passed away earlier this year. He may be best known for creating the Ex-Factor but let’s not forget that here was a man who once built a custom rosewood Telecaster for George Harrison. The following is taken from the Fender website:
“I remember when I saw the guitar for the first time in the Let It Be film. I was so thrilled I almost jumped out of my seat.”
Thank you for creating such a wonderful instrument. You will be missed.