The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Musical Hare & The Tortoise …
August 9, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Music has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

Some of that change has been great, some has been less so.

Much of this change has been driven by the influence of technology.

Suddenly the ability to make and listen to music has become easier … more accessible.

Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is open to interpretation … but one thing that I genuinely believe is a negative is that thanks to things like iPod/iPhone/iTunes [Sorry Bazza], the way we consume music has changed.

Nowadays, if a track doesn’t ‘grab you’ in the first 5 seconds, you can – and often do – move on to another song.

Nowadays, if you like a particular artist, you can choose to own just the tracks you like, rather than experience the whole song, let alone whole album.

It’s resulted in many artists changing how they write music.

Trying to grab the attention from the first note.

Creating the musical equivalent of a Michael Bay movie … all bluster, not much substance.

Some of that is good, but it also means ‘music appreciation’ is evolving/devolving into nothing more than track acknowledgement.

That’s why I really liked it when AC/DC refused to sell their music on iTunes.

They said their albums were created to be experienced as an entire piece, not to picked and played with.

Of course, when they realised how much cash they were missing out on, they quickly changed their mind, but the reason behind their initial stand is absolutely with merit.

But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about a band with the greatest hair since Joey Tempest of Europe.

Yes, I’m talking about one-hit-wonders, Flock of Seagulls.

Listen to this:

Yes, it’s their 1982 hit, “I Ran” … but the thing I love about it is that there’s 1 minute 32 seconds of musical intro before the lyrics come in.


Christ, that’s longer than some songs these days.

And I love it.

I love that it pulls you slowly into the adventure.

Preparing you for the moment it all kicks in.

And I honestly believe it wouldn’t be so powerful if it didn’t have that intro to the song.

Which leads to the bigger issue …

In these days where everyone seems obsessed with finding the shortest route to awesome, the sad truth of the matter is that by looking for shortcuts, you’re automatically running the risk of stopping awesome from ever truly happening.

Or said another way, if all you do is fuck, you’re missing out on the emotional satisfaction you get from seduction.

Yes, that is the worst analogy ever written.


OK, with that disturbing image now in your head, I think I’ll leave you to your weekend.


23 Comments so far
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I’ll remember this post when you come begging again Robert.

Comment by Bazza

didnt you get the imemo baz? everyfuckingthing wrong in the world is your fucking fault.

Comment by andy@cynic

So I’ve been told.

Comment by Bazza

acdc. europe. flock of fucking seagulls. sex tips. this is the most fucking disturbing post youve ever written campbell. are you on lsd or something? what the fuck?

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Billy Whizz

To be fair to me, I did say on Monday that today’s post would be weird – even for me.

Reading it back, it’s not as bad as I first thought, but it’s still got moments of strange.

Story of my life.

Comment by Rob

trust me campbell, its fucked up.

Comment by andy@cynic

and no mention of fucking queen. are you ill?

Comment by andy@cynic

I bet the radio mix didn’t have that. Oh look You Tube reveals it didn’t. It was only 3’58” You planners and your selective evidence.

Comment by John

they still fucking made it though didnt they. thats bad enough. fuck me, what was the 12″ remix version. except every fucker on here is so young they think 12″ is the length of campbells best friends donkey cock. on the slack.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

You’re right John, the record companies mix of the track for radio play did cut the intro of the song right back … and that’s my point, because it’s no where near as powerful as the version the band originally recorded or wanted to be released.

This obsession with ‘efficiency’ is often done for business reasons rather than for giving the audience a more immersive, meaningful experience … and so while some can sit back and say “it’s more profitable”, I’d argue there’s countless examples where a piece of creativity that nurtures the audience and takes them on a journey, resulted in a far more powerful and profitable end result.

Comment by Rob

It’s still an appalling, soul-sucking intro inspired not by music but by owning a Korg synth.

Comment by John


Comment by Rob

There was a shorter version of the FOS song. The intro was only about 20 seconds but I get your point and it’s a good one.

Didn’t Queen’s record company want to edit Bohemian Rhapsody for radio? There is no way it would have achieved the same impact but the starting point for many is to be as efficient as possible rather than explore the potential of the bigger opportunity. Editing is important but it should never be at the expense of the emotional impact. Unfortunately people tend to think “what the public don’t know, can’t hurt them”, but that means they’re starting point is to never explore what something could be and ultimately, that means everyone loses.

I like this post Rob.

Comment by Pete

Rob doesn’t mention queen and you do. Are you his wingman?

Comment by DH

I don’t think Rob needs a wingman. A lawyer maybe, but never a wingman.

Comment by Pete

I wonder if Bieber fans would shit themselves if they read this. Probably not, they’re not old enough to read for a start.

Comment by DH

But now we understand why your posts take so long to get to the point.

Comment by John

Good post. Good song. Alarming analogy.

Comment by George

Yes, even I feel a bit dirty for writing that. Sorry.

Comment by Rob

Begging and seduction are different things?,

Comment by John

Phil Spector just lied about how long the track was on ‘you’ve lost that loving feeling’. It ran 3.50, but he changed it to 3.05 on the label so that radio stations would still play it.

Your reference to ‘seduction’ is valuable – Ted Horton also used to use a similar analogy about commercials that tried to be ‘all orgasm and no foreplay’. Can’t be done.

Comment by Ian Gee

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