As I passed the link onto friends, we laughed and contemplated the albums we would dissect. We offered up the recordings that we knew absolutely, the ones which have become so thoroughly familiar that they course easily through the veins with every repeated listen. Every solo, every harmony, every lyric can be predicted and yet it manages to induce an unassailable rush of endorphins.
But what to chose? Queen I or Queen II? The Great Escape? The Innocents? Friendly Fire? Logic Will Break Your Heart? Mai god, Happy Nation (US Version)! There's just too much, too much...
When I considered what it would be like to assemble a 40,000 word manuscript, I wondered how analysis would alter my pre-existing attachment to a terribly significant recording. Would I feel that same charge, that same rush of endorphins having ruthlessly dissected every aspect of the creative process? Would such an endeavour interfere (or even damage) the personal value of these recordings?
There are resources available to the listeners who are interested enough to explore the history and development of a recording. There are endless interviews with artists, producers, technicians and teaboys. There are sketchy demos on Casio keyboards which trace the development of a single song. In the instance of the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, there are even artists who go about recreating the entire recording process. Same studio, same equipment, same engineer, everything.
Yet to my mind, the recording of an album appears to be a largely intimate process. After all, only few were privy to the goings-on of those small sound-proof rooms in North London, New York City and Gothenburg. We can only get so close to understanding the creative process of another person. That understanding seems to be diminished especially when it touches upon the creation of something that we hold in considerably high esteem.
Perhaps I am alone in my failure to imagine the creative process. The truth is that I love these recordings to such a great extent that it floors me to imagine rehearsals, arguments or lyric sheets. Perhaps it is a foolish admission, but for me, it is as if these songs are so perfect that I cannot even imagine them being conceived. Perhaps if I could imagine it, I could believe and maybe even anticipate that potential that exists in us all: the potential to create something meaningful and significant to a great many people.
Inasmuch as I fear the prospect of growing weary of these terribly important recordings, I cannot help but think that the only way to answer this conundrum is to commit to that one album and start writing. I can only hope that whatever propaganda, knowledge or damage that may result will be worth it, and that my words may be strong, truthful and effective enough to faithfully honour these silly songs which tend to mean so much.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Indiepop Podcast #40
The Stills - Changes are No Good (Grand National Remix)
Eugene McGuinness - Lion
Jay Reatard - In the Dark
Ra Ra Riot - Oh, La
Alpine - Villages
Real Estate - It's Real
Sea Wolf - Black Dirt
Sean Lennon - Would I Be the One?
Download (44.7 MB)