Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ladies and gentlemen: mis-syllable lack

I was, purely by accident you understand, watching a bit of the Take That concert from the City of Manchester Stadium the other day (a lethargic Sunday afternoon on T4, I think), and they did, among many other songs, their legendary early hit A Million Love Songs. This is what we in the music business call a classic "bad salad", and it reached the dizzy heights of number 7 in 1992, pop pickers.

But there's a problem. Gary Barlow must have been kicking himself to find he'd written some lyrics, and some plaintive piano backing, but that one didn't quite fit the other, particularly in the all-important chorus area. So what does he do? Rewrite one of them to fit the other? Hell, no. Just shoehorn an extra syllable in the chorus so it sort of fits, and then release it. Their target audience of confused pubescent girls and raging homosexuals is hardly going to care, after all. So the chorus ends up being rendered as:

A million love songs-uh later
And here I am trying to tell you that I care
A million love songs-uh later
Here I am

Here's another one from back in 1990 (a number 1 hit too, God only knows how). Remember Sacrifice by Elton John? Another "bad salad", video (and single cover, see left) featuring not much of interest except one of the last of the series of bizarre hats Elton used to wear before the hair weave, and a classic bit of "oh, that'll do" lyric-writing (though of course, to be fair, they're Bernie Taupin's lyrics, not Elton's) in the chorus:
And it's no sack-er-ifice
Just a simple word
It's two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it's no sack-er-ifice
No sacrifice
It's no sacrifice at all

Last two "sacrifice"-s deliberately untouched as he sort of sings these properly. The damage has been done by then, though. And by the fact that it's a truly dreadful song.


The Black Rabbit said...

Has the RGL section of the Black Rabbit risen like a firey phoenix from the flames??? Bernie Taupin n all?

Ps. Good luck with the Dartmoor thang. I do hope you don't find a TERRAHAWK in your sleeping bag...

electrichalibut said...

I hadn't thought of that. I suppose criticising Bernie Taupin's lyrics is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, as they're ALL rubbish. These just happen not to fit the music either.

Incidentally "Bernie Taupin" is an anagram of "I be pant urine", so maybe that explains it.