The lyrics to "Glass Onion" are pretty terrible.

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JGriffin
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Post by JGriffin » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:03 pm

sad iron wrote:
Brian Brock wrote:
All right. Back off there buddy. R No. 9 must not be disparaged.

Can you imagine the guts it took to put that kind of sound into kitchens and bedrooms across the world?

Besides which it sounds awesome.
All right! This is a good point. It's easy a lot of the time to apply 21 century sensibility to stuff that happened 40 (that's right, 40) years ago. These guys were pulling shit out of thin air and the public was right there with them. Or so it seems. It's hard, nigh impossible, to do anything that's genuinely NEW these days and Rev 9 was definitely one of the first times the masses ever heard anything like that.

I wish I had a way-back machine so I could go back and watch the looks on folks faces as they spun that track....
Having heard a lot of BBC Radiophonic Workshop stuff now, I wonder if maybe Rev9 caught more Americans by surprise than British folk. Them in the UK had heard similar stuff on TV for years, though perhaps Rev9 was the first time it was contextualized on a pop album.

Then there's Tape Music and Musique Concr?te, which had been around for 20 years by that point...but again, how many Beatle fans were into that kind of thing?
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Post by bluesman » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:30 pm

I always liked the way Helter Skelter is slightly out of tune, but not painfully so, kind of like a record that is spinning off center in a very hipnotic way. For me it added to the overall scary mood of that song. I feel the same way about the rooftop stuff from Let It Be, in particular One After 909. Paul's bass was either out of tune or had wacked intonation...either way, it was good stuff & very endearing IMHO...very rock n roll. They were poineers & definately had the balls to step away from a tried & true hit formula time & time again. The Beatles always persued uncharted territory & always made it chart!
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Post by visible cow » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:51 pm

dwlb wrote:
visible cow wrote:I get annoyed by the self referential aspect of the song. But I wasn't around when people were picking apart Beatles lyrics to determine if Paul McCartney was alive, so maybe his snottiness was justified.
Do all self-referential lyrics annoy you? You must really hate hip-hop then. And a lot of blues. And country.
No, all self referential lyrics don't annoy me, just when they're not done very well. In this case I find Lennon to be a bit of a prima donna and condescending. But don't get me wrong, I like my rock stars to be angry assholes! Maybe it just doesn't hold up as well against the other classics on the album.

What's interesting is that I like the Ballad of John and Yoko a lot....hmmm.

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Post by chris harris » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:44 pm

sad iron wrote:It's hard, nigh impossible, to do anything that's genuinely NEW these days and Rev 9 was definitely one of the first times the masses ever heard anything like that.

I wish I had a way-back machine so I could go back and watch the looks on folks faces as they spun that track....
Get a bunch of friends together for a Zaireeka party. You wanna see a room full of people just freaked the fuck out by sound, that's a good modern way to do it.

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Post by JGriffin » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:08 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:
sad iron wrote:It's hard, nigh impossible, to do anything that's genuinely NEW these days and Rev 9 was definitely one of the first times the masses ever heard anything like that.

I wish I had a way-back machine so I could go back and watch the looks on folks faces as they spun that track....
Get a bunch of friends together for a Zaireeka party. You wanna see a room full of people just freaked the fuck out by sound, that's a good modern way to do it.
Yeah, that's a good one.
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Post by Jay Reynolds » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:09 pm

dwlb wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:
sad iron wrote:It's hard, nigh impossible, to do anything that's genuinely NEW these days and Rev 9 was definitely one of the first times the masses ever heard anything like that.

I wish I had a way-back machine so I could go back and watch the looks on folks faces as they spun that track....
Get a bunch of friends together for a Zaireeka party. You wanna see a room full of people just freaked the fuck out by sound, that's a good modern way to do it.
Yeah, that's a good one.
I have a vague recollection that you can do the same thing with Moloko's "Do You Like My Tight Sweater". Not that I've heard it on the 4 boom-box thing. I think I heard about it, tho.
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Post by fossiltooth » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:38 pm

This was fun.
sad iron wrote:
suppositron wrote:I think that cd is garbage as far as the beatles go.
that's the kind of hard-hitting, in-depth analysis we're looking for. Well done, shecky!
^ I think this one was my favorite exchanges so far.

My original title was going to be: "The White Album really could have used a Producer. Don'tcha think? Discuss." Would that have been better? I thought this was more cryptic and more fun.

For the record, I think "Julia", "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and "Bungalo Bill" are epically awesome. Since I grew up disliking the Beatles I guess I'm able to come to them with detachment of age. Incidentally, I also grew up thinking that "A Day in The Life" was probably the best pop song ever recorded in the history of the known universe. Go figure. Thanks for the lively debate!

"You heard me talk about Strawberry Fields.... Well here's another place you can go-o". I mean, C'mon. It's doubly unfortunate, because aside from all the singing, it's a pretty cool track.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by RefD » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:13 pm

*is still working on that sodding dove-tailed joint*
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Post by honkyjonk » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:00 pm

Okay, for everyone's benifit, here's the lyrics copied off of the first google link I found:

I told you about strawberry fields,
You know the place where nothing is real

(potentially interesting, a continuing commentary concerning his childhood. Not off limits to me to return to the strawberry fields)

Well here's antoher place you can go
Where everthing flows.

(Filler. Makes me say "uggg. let's see what's next," not, "ohh, what's next?")

Looking through the bent backed tulips

(the point of view of looking through a pedal of a flower is interesting and so is the forshadowing concerning trying to see through a murky or distorted object, but this line doesn't flow that well, and it reminds me of the indie rock tendency to mention things that are broken because that is somehow aesthetically cool. Jack White anyone? Not that he could forsee the most recent indie idiot writing and avoid resembling it, so . . .)
To see how the other half lives (This is what the song should have been about. Peering through a glass onion, a new take on the train tracks devide, even potentially more than just a class/race devide, an age, awareness, consciousness divide, who knows. But it has potential, especially if kept surreal.)
Looking through a glass onion.

I told you about the walrus and me-man
You know that we're as close as can be-man. (Pretty lame. You and Paul are tight. Hooray)
Well here's another clue for you all,
The walrus was Paul. (Who knows how into deciphering the Beatles I would have been concerning the Paul is dead thing if was around. This seems like a context thing, whether or not it bears any validity)
Standing on the cast iron shore-yeah, (I like this line. Just good classic one-additional-step-removed surrealism)
Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet-yeah. (More filler)
Looking through a glass onion.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Looking through a glass onion.

I told you about the fool on the hill,
I tell you man he living there still.
Well here's another place you can be,
Listen to me. (More boring recycling)

Fixing a hole in the ocean (This is kind of interesting, just it's reference to the water that get's into the hole in the original song being something more than rain. hmmm. . . )
Trying to make a dove-tail joint-yeah
(This just sounds like he was done writing the song, and wrote one more lyric that has nothing to do with anything other than what he felt like doing instead of finishing a song)
Looking through a glass onion


My first reaction to this post was that it was blasphemy, but since I basically, given the mood I'm in, think John Lennon is God in terms of lyricists, am partially in agreement with the original posters sentiment. There is a bunch of throwaway stuff here. Not that Lennon throwaway stuff is necessarily bad. But it seems like it was written in about 20 minutes to half an hour.

I think it just is what it is. When compared to Happiness, I'm So Tired, Strawberry Fields, A Day in the Life, a number of others I'm not thinking about right now, this doesn't measure up. But we tend to hold people to their best work I guess. On the other hand, compared to a lot of rediculous modern indie rock bullshit nonsense lyricism that gets worshipped around here, this is still head and shoulders better.

But I do think the self-referential stuff is the worst part of the song, but not because it's self-referential, just because it's lazy riffing off of better prior songs. Just bad choice for recycling.
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Post by visible cow » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:30 pm

What he said!

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Post by fossiltooth » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:37 pm

visible cow wrote:What he said!
Yep. Honkjonk pretty much sums it up right there. Your comments were right on in my book as well mr. cow.

Damn. I love it when I don't even have to say anything myself. Thanks!

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Post by lysander » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:36 pm

I mean, C'mon. It's doubly unfortunate, because aside from all the singing, it's a pretty cool track.
Have you ever heard the extended introduction? It's so amazing I can't see how they edited it out.

You can hear it here.

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Post by lysander » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:50 pm

My take on the lyrics is it's John writing a shaggy dog story for all those people who were obsessed with finding some kind of deeper meaning in his work, trying to look through the layers to find what was really there.

It's easy to forget that the Beatles were saddled with some of the highest audience expectations and hopes of any artist in history. It's amazing that they always stepped up and delivered, every album.

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Post by cosmog » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:53 pm

you know, the place. Where nothing is real

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Post by RefD » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:11 pm

for some reason this thread makes me think about every Styx song i have ever heard.

and that's most of them, i'm afraid.
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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