Monday, March 26, 2007

It's not who you think

kbade pointed me to a series that Stylus Magazine has begun to run. It covers their choices for the top 50 one hit wonders. Don't know if the Cardigans will make it, but Love and Rockets did.

47. Love and Rockets – “So Alive”

Evidently it took Daniel Ash a whole decade to completely unlearn the lessons he was taught during his tenure with Bauhaus, but the wait was worth it. Love and Rockets’ “So Alive” is as great a song as “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” but for the exact opposite reasons—“Bela” was unbelievably chilling and distant, “So Alive” became a monster hit because it was so immediate and warm....Ash’s slithery moan, complemented by “Walk on the Wild Side”-borrowed backing vocals and the smokiest production set to wax since Marc Bolan first crawled out of his cage, lists a cadre of some of the darkest come-ons of the 80s, but the song is still best summarized in the four word chorus—“I’m alive / So alive.” Somehow, I think Bela would’ve approved of the sentiment.

I never thought of Love and Rockets as a one hit wonder, since KROQ was playing at least one other song by the band (a song that I have since forgotten). Ironically, when I first heard "So Alive," I didn't even think it was a Love and Rockets song - I thought it was Prince's new song for the Batman movie. (Frankly, it's a lot better, and fits better in the movie, than the song that Prince DID write.)

Around this same time, I thought that U2's "Mysterious Ways" was a Talking Heads song. I especially admired Tina's bass playing and Jerry's guitar solo.

Now do you understand my alternate universe, in which Brian Eno is Slim Whitman's illegimate son? Sometimes it's better than the real thing.


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