Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Stories Behind the Songs

Twelve artists explain the stories behind one of their hit songs to The Guardian in a sort of short-attention-span, print version of Behind the Music.

The songs discussed include Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)", Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict A Riot", New Order's "Blue Monday", The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?", Sparks' "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us", Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?", and Underworld's "Born Slippy".

A line from Guys and Dolls ("Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have?") inspired the Buzzcocks song, while a more common line inspired Sparks to write "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us." Keyboardist Ron Mael, who wrote "This Town", says, "having a song that was the opposite of a cliche but used a cliched line really interested me."

The story behind "Blue Monday" takes the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" theme a step further. According to Peter Hook, New Order "ripped off" the drum pattern from a Donna Summer B-side (but accidentally lost it, so they had to start over, "and it was never as good.") They also lifted a bass riff from Ennio Morricone, and the title itself from a Fats Domino song (because they "were all miserable" so it seemed "quite apt.")

Gary Numan based "Are 'Friends' Electric?" on a short story he wrote "about a man who calls up for a prostitute and is visited by one." And a "'friend' is an android" hence the quotation marks. Numan had been working on two songs, and hit a block with both, then decided "they sounded all right stuck together." He says this explains the track's five minute length.

Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) (from Buzzcocks, etc.)

Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us (from The Best Of Sparks, etc.)

Tubeway Army - Are 'Friends' Electric? (from Replicas, etc.)


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