Part Of Steel

This song was one of the first songs I ever wrote.  I was living in a squat at the time near Regents Park in a Crown Commission property, an old Carriage House.  My manager at that time, Paula Adams, was friends with Poli Palmer and persuaded Poli to give me time in his home studio in Fulham, London.  I recorded 5 demos at Poli’s place.  There were some difficult songs in my repertoire then, but Part Of Steel was one of the better ones.  Poli was a very gracious guy, both he and Mitch Mitchell  gave me great support in those early days.  Part of Steel was one of the songs Simon Draper at Virgin Records heard that got me a recording contract.    I don’t really know much about writing this song, it just happened, seemed to work live, and by the time we got to record it at Advision Studios, Dennis MacKay, Laurence Diana and Evan Hughes made the recording shimmer with outboard gear like this Eventide Harmonizer.

Here is the lyric:

behind a piece of glass
out of this world i’ll pass
they will annihilate
darling don’t seperate
oh my emotion
slide down to the ground
my lonely frame
exterminating change

i’m going to crash inside
when lovers eyes are wide
i’ll play my part of steel
rolling with fortune’s wheel
for vanity to break up little me
my devotees just love the very sound

i sing a lonely song
i sing it all night long
here comes my broken cup
my love we’ll patch it up

i’ll play my part of steel
rolling with fortune’s wheel
i’m going to crash inside
when lovers eyes are wide
oh my emotion
slide down to the ground
my lonely frame
exterminating change

they will annihilate
darling don’t seperate
here comes my broken cup
my love we’ll patch it up
for vanity to break up little me
my devotees just love the very sound

i sing a lonely song
i sing it all night long
sometimes i’m tired of it
and when i’m tired of it
it just goes..

Copyright © 1979 EMI Virgin Songs Inc

Wish

 

This song was written in Bow, East London in 1978.  Inspired by Bertold Brecht plays, this song brought it’s own discord and dissonance.  It always went over well with live audiences, a tornado of melody and angst.  We usually used it to close out shows.  It was recorded at Advision Studio and appeared on The Original Sin album.  We’d completed recording the basic tracks and were doing overdubs when Keith Levene came with his Travis Bean wedge guitar to record on this track.  Watching him standing on the couch in the control room thrashing his way through this track was a sublime experience.  Dennis MacKay was producing and Laurence Diana engineering the session.  His take was both at odds with and now part of the track.  Dennis solved the ‘how to make it fit’ problem nicely.  He bounced the take down to two track, reversed the tape and then flew in the reverse parts in the break down of the song, while using the original take in selected parts to taste.  The experience that Dennis brought from Trident and other studios over the years was huge.

Footnote:  The  Travis Bean guitar used by Keith on this track was later lost in New York now reported owned by Vincent Gallo.

Here is the lyric:

there’s nothing in this world
i would wish for
that could mean more to me
than you
nothing!
i’d wish for nothing

some things in time
you can reach for
but there’s sometimes
you can’t let go
of nothing!
i’d give up nothing
for you

even if they asked me
to exchange
one little part for
all their gold
there would be nothing
i’d give them nothing

so let this picture take you
and read in between the lines
depend on nothing
i would do nothing
for you

there’s nothing in this world
i would wish for
that could mean more to me
than you
nothing!
i’d wish for nothing

some things in time
you can reach for
but there’s sometimes
you can’t let go
of nothing!
i’d give up nothing
for you

nothing!

Copyright © 1979 EMI Virgin Songs Inc

Thrash

This song was written on a Wasp synthesizer, a hybrid digital / analog synth.  The Wasp synth was one of the band’s primary synths, at first when gigging, Evan Hughes’ keyboard rig was a Farfisa organ and a Wasp stacked up, later on we managed to get an Oberheim X, but that was much later, and we still used the Wasp!  So, this little touch sensitive synth with a sustaining pulse wave forms the basis of this tune.  A step up from the Stylophone!  While the Wasp synth was providing the bass pulse, Jimmy Hughes bowed his bass to produce a long bass sustain and further thicken the low end.  In the mix, Producer Dennis MacKay used a few Kepex to tighten the pulse of this track.  Moby cites Thrash as a perfect pop song in Mojo Magazine #278.  

Here is the lyric:

when everything
is not together
i’ll put my arm
around your shoulder
the words they say
won’t mean anything
now change the face
change everything
and we’ll
thrash
thrash
thrash

there’s not one little thing
that i would regret
spending my time wildly
remember don’t forget
the words they say
won’t mean anything
now change the face
change everything
and we’ll
thrash
thrash
thrash

Copyright © 1979 EMI Virgin Songs Inc