Wednesday, July 25, 2012
They're Gonna Find Us.
The first tape I ever bought - yes, tape - was Soul Deep by Jimmy Barnes. Look, I know that Barnesy is cringeworthy, and his attempts at soul were even worse, but hell, I was twelve years old and I knew that these were songs with substance.
I avoided Percy Sledge for a long time, mostly due to "When A Man Loves A Woman" and a vague sensation that soul should be more bangin' than this, that without the big fat horn section and a pumping bass it was just elevator music. But there's this rad scene in This Is England where one of the guys is listening to Dark End Of The Street and really feeling it, and that changed my mind. Man, I reckon I bought like three new records after watching that movie.
Strangely, I never felt the same resistance to Otis, no matter how tender his ballads. This one, despite its questionable, non-edge subject matter, is one of my favourites. For me, nothing else sums up just how good it feels to stay up late with the person you love, talking about nothing at all, wasting time for no reason other than you're enjoying wasting it.
There's this scene in The Blues Brothers where they put a Sam and Dave tape into the deck, then start driving around as this song plays. It then segues into Hold On, I'm Coming, and before you know it they're driving through the mall. I love how Soothe Me kinda pretends to be a rave-up, but has this mellow guitar behind it - again, the lyrics and the music match perfectly.
I don't care how unhappy he was at the time - Marvin Gaye's work for Motown was killer. It was when he went on to writing his own music that things went horribly horribly wrong. Sure, Let's Get It On is a pretty sexy song, but fuck, What's Going On is nothing short of terrible. I don't care how historically significant it was, it's just a bad song. I've often thought of getting "Can I Get A Witness" tattooed on me, especially in light of this Constantines song, but haven't quite figured out where or how just yet.
Yeah, I've certainly sung this one at the top of my lungs, riding my bike through these streets in the middle of the night.