100 Days Project

Michael: Saving the languishing lyrical gems of modern pop

My aim is to trawl through my memory, my "record collection" and quotation references to unearth great pop poetry, drop it in, shine it up, make a comment or two as to its origin and personal impact. Enlighten? Hmm. Entertain, amuse, I hope. 100 times.

Day 52:

Nothing Here Remains

No one much bought the Psychedelic Furs' sixth album, Book of Days. After what singer Richard Butler described as "the Hair-Gel years", reinventing "Pretty In Pink" for Americans (clue: make it obvious) and other sins, they returned to their dark roots and bashed out an album of beautiful shadows. Narrow in range and less tuneful than their previous efforts (apologies for over-selling it) there were diamonds in the dust, both musically and lyrically.
It came out when I was in New Jersey/New York for six months, and I bought it at a music store in Wall St and played it inecessantly on my Walkman during what proved to be the coldest winter in the tri-state area for 75 years.("Good morning! And it's minus 15 degrees in downtown Newark!"). The music fitted perfectly.

This slow burning title track takes a while to unfold, but it's worth every aching minute:

"The air here tastes like poison
The traffic moves on broken roads
The river runs like silver
My own feelings let me down..."

was as if he were describing my landscape... and then comes the lethargy...

"She's 14 and she's fading
There's a wasted year for every train that passes
She is leaving someday
Someday never comes

This road is poison
Walk me to the wheels, I fear for my life
This road is poison
Lovers coo goodbye, singing, 'Don't forget me boys'"

 

Tired of waiting in the cheap seats
She is haunted by her failure here
The river runs like silver
My own feelings let me down

She's 24 and feels it
Like a wasted year for every day that passes
She is leaving one day
One day never comes

In Monday morning houses down
Through gravel yards and dirty smoke
To somewhere on the skyline
What I feel is still the same

She's 40 and afraid that there's
A wasted life for every town that passes
She is leaving here but
Nothing here remains

This road is poison
Walk me to the wires, I fear for my life
This road is poison
Lovers coo goodbye, singing, 'Don't forget me boys'"

The album "peaked" at 138 on the Billboard 200. They played CBGB while I was there...and God forgive me but I didn't go. Having one more Absolut in the Stuffed Shirt in South Orange, I suspect.  "Missed chances and the same regrets" as Paddy Prefab would have it.

mIcky