You've got to start somewhere...

Q&As about collecting and collections, items and value of PSB related material. Discuss new and old PSB collector items.
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Palpatine
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#16 Post by Palpatine »

Neil is right. The backing track is really nice but the lyrics - like 99% of CTH and Nightlife - are crap. The Nightlife era really was the worst for lyrics, wasn't it?

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Drico One
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#17 Post by Drico One »

I don't see any great difference between the lyrics of the Nightlife era and those of the Yes era. Both eras were notable for simple unadorned lyrics - with Legacy the exception that proves the rule on Yes.

Simple lyrics, per se, aren't necessarily a bad thing - it's just that I prefer Neil when he has something to say. Nightlife was a concept album and was closely tied in with Closer to Heaving, so presented its own set of lyrical constraints. Yes seemed obsessed with pop production to the detriment, in my view, of the songwriting. For the first time, I got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Neil had nothing much to say (until I listened to Legacy and wished that were indeed the case).

Neil the perceptive lyricist has always been central to the perception that the PSBs are a cut above common-or-garden poptarts. He wrote plenty of simple stuff in the imperial days - but it often came with a subtext - or at least a hint of mystery. His more complex stuff on Behaviour, Bilingual, and Fundamental had less mystery but more wisdom and experience. That said, it would be a simple task to post lyrics from any of the albums and cut them to shreds on paper. It's not meant to be poetry, but it is meant to work in the context of a song. My problem with Yes is not that the lyrics themselves are often too simple - more that they sound a little trivial from the mouth of a man approaching 60. Like a middle-aged Lothario trying desperately to hang on to his youth, there is always a danger of sounding utterly ridiculous when enunciating the concerns of the young from a position of advanced middle age - especially in the context of pop. This is one reason why commercial success eluded Yes. It was not the simple lyrics or the songs themselves that missed the mark, more the fact that they were performed by the wrong act in the unforgiving ageist world that we live in.

Drico.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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York Minster
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#18 Post by York Minster »

Good post Drico
And tryin' to figure out what happened to 'Germaine Propaine'
"He couldn't have fell off that hard" Ain't no way
"What happened to the way you was rappin' when you was scandalous
That Canibus turned into a television evangelist"
Plus he raps with his regular voice [BOOSH! BOOSH!]
[BOOSH! BOOSH!] (What was that?) Pet Shop Boys

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Dipso
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#19 Post by Dipso »

You've Got To Start Somewhere always reminds me of Ebeneezer Goode...

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-ruu9EcZj8I&hl ... ram><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-ruu9EcZj8I&hl=en_GB&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>[/youtube]

*gurns*
Prick up your ears.

Quicksand
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#20 Post by Quicksand »

Well with a bit more of a kick, and less lyrics I do think it would sound great in a club.....

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Ghost within this house
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#21 Post by Ghost within this house »

Drico One wrote:I don't see any great difference between the lyrics of the Nightlife era and those of the Yes era. Both eras were notable for simple unadorned lyrics - with Legacy the exception that proves the rule on Yes.

Simple lyrics, per se, aren't necessarily a bad thing - it's just that I prefer Neil when he has something to say. Nightlife was a concept album and was closely tied in with Closer to Heaving, so presented its own set of lyrical constraints. Yes seemed obsessed with pop production to the detriment, in my view, of the songwriting. For the first time, I got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Neil had nothing much to say (until I listened to Legacy and wished that were indeed the case).

Neil the perceptive lyricist has always been central to the perception that the PSBs are a cut above common-or-garden poptarts. He wrote plenty of simple stuff in the imperial days - but it often came with a subtext - or at least a hint of mystery. His more complex stuff on Behaviour, Bilingual, and Fundamental had less mystery but more wisdom and experience. That said, it would be a simple task to post lyrics from any of the albums and cut them to shreds on paper. It's not meant to be poetry, but it is meant to work in the context of a song. My problem with Yes is not that the lyrics themselves are often too simple - more that they sound a little trivial from the mouth of a man approaching 60. Like a middle-aged Lothario trying desperately to hang on to his youth, there is always a danger of sounding utterly ridiculous when enunciating the concerns of the young from a position of advanced middle age - especially in the context of pop. This is one reason why commercial success eluded Yes. It was not the simple lyrics or the songs themselves that missed the mark, more the fact that they were performed by the wrong act in the unforgiving ageist world that we live in.

Drico.
Sorry, Drico, but are you suggesting that Yes would have been a commercial success only if either (a) it had been performed by someone younger, or (b) Neil had sung about pensionability, sciatica and incontinence? Obviously not (b), so (a).... but surely the timbre / theme of a PSB album has virtually no impact on sales? I resist the notion that N&C wrote a 'pop' album solely because it was likely to sell more.... it was an artistic choice first, a commercial one second, surely?

I realise you didn't like Yes that much, but aren't you tarring all the songs with the same brush? There's all Neil's customary shrewish wit and social commentary in Love etc... even in Beautiful People... certainly in Building a Wall and King of Rome - just as much as, say, Girls Don't Cry (to pick a recent song you're on record as liking).

Yes isn't 11 slabs of More Than A Dream....
Firing verbal shots.......like a Tommy Gun

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Ghost within this house
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#22 Post by Ghost within this house »

Incidentally, before you start penning an even more prolix response, I'd just like to let you know I won't have time to get into a dialogue... not much time to post these days, but just interested in the blanket rejection of Yes by you, and Steve PSB, when in fact it's a much more diverse album than that....
Firing verbal shots.......like a Tommy Gun

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Drico One
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#23 Post by Drico One »

Ghost within this house wrote:Incidentally, before you start penning an even more prolix response, I'd just like to let you know I won't have time to get into a dialogue...
Don't worry, I'd sooner be a bollix than prolix and so won't bore you to tears other than to say [prolix="Drico One"] I haven't rejected Yes or its bonus tracks out of hand at all, I love many of the tracks from this era, and am expressing more of a subjective personal opinion rather than trying to prove that this subjective view is anything anybody else should agree with. [/prolix].

Drico.

PS Damn, despite turning off the prolix code I can't seem to stop it affecting everything else I post...
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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Undertaker
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#24 Post by Undertaker »

Yes was always going to sell the amount it sold. Their albums and singles all sell roughly the same. The challenge for an old act like PSB is to make sure their sales don't fall and they have achieved that.

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glennjridge
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#25 Post by glennjridge »

nightlife wasnt a concept CD in any sense of the term I can think of.lyrically nightlife falls WAY short of the requirements of a concept CD.

a proper concept CD would have been if the CD detailed a whole night out or something.
as it is, it sounds like a bunch of disjointed tracks lyrically that are a concept simply by the powers of persuasion of neil and chris saying it was a concept CD.

closer to heaven was a proper concept CD. you had a sense it was following a set group of characters.

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Drico One
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#26 Post by Drico One »

On reflection, you might have a point there, Glenn. I remember Nightlife coming out in the dark depths of November, so I've always associated it with the night. It's not a great leap to see each song as a staging post on a journey through the night and Neil and Chris probably added to that perception in the PR campaign of the time.

I'd contest your claim that the lyrics don't suggest it's a concept album, though. "For your own good, call me tonight, Don't you think you should call me tonight?", "Tell me now you're coming home tonight", "What a performance tonight, Should I react or turn off the light?", "Night in the city, New Orleans pretty", "The night was long now the crowd has gone", "Then when the evening falls, you can return its calls", "like a vampire, working at night, sleeping all day", and "Whenever trouble comes around or lonely nights lead underground" among others certainly convey a nocturnal ambiance if nothing else.

Sequentially, it works as a concept too, in my view. But as I said, that's just my interpretation and I'm sure plenty disagree with me.

Fundamental is another one that always struck me as a concept album, but again that may be down to my own processing of the record at the time rather than any deliberate strategy on the writers' part.

Back on topic, I recall Joemoz eulogising You Gotta Start Somewhere back in 2001. I've never really been able to consider it in anything other than the context of Closer to Heaven. Many of these songs are nice enough but, in my view, lack an edge. Some of us are very hard to please. :snooty:

Drico.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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mole973102
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#27 Post by mole973102 »

I would really like to buy a demo album. Demos can be really good. :)
I like the original demo mix of Bright Young Things and be nice to have some other new leaked songs in a clear sound... YGTSS is fine as it is. An excellent demo...
Disco 5. :)
You gotta have fun!

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York Minster
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#28 Post by York Minster »

I have the demos album Tennantively.

Anyway, perhaps the issue is that they are not unpop now. They are going for full pop?
And tryin' to figure out what happened to 'Germaine Propaine'
"He couldn't have fell off that hard" Ain't no way
"What happened to the way you was rappin' when you was scandalous
That Canibus turned into a television evangelist"
Plus he raps with his regular voice [BOOSH! BOOSH!]
[BOOSH! BOOSH!] (What was that?) Pet Shop Boys

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Greendrake
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Re: You've got to start somewhere...

#29 Post by Greendrake »

glennjridge wrote: Mon 07 Jun 2010, 5:19 am some of those lyrics are a bit cringeworthy. "so express yourself to impress..."I'm on your side!"
well thats just swell neil.
Must be due to my non-native English but I don't really get what is so cringeworthy about that line. It sounds just great to me. What am I missing?

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