Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered...

Prince videos are few and far between on youtube, but he pretty much owned the 80s with his intros. His biggest, most bombastic album Purple Rain is basically a series of throat-grabbing intros, some of which seemed to have had songs added on later as an afterthought (though to be fair, a good few end rather spectacularly too, especially the epic title track). Love him or loathe him, and despite the various production tricks he used, you knew who it was as soon as you heard the first bar, until his mojo started to slip after the release of the hideous Batman soundtrack. In some ways, he's kind of like Martin Scorcese is to cinema: Even if the song itself is a disappointing dirge, chances are the flamboyant intros will pack a punch at the very least. The calling card of the consummate showman.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Just saying, but the song from where this blog gets its name has a pretty evocative intro.

Equally killer intro as demarcation of genre move. There's one other song by the The Cult that I like but can't for the life of me remember what it is at the mo. Rain? Goth always felt a bit of a need to announce itself innit, part of its melodrama/pretensions to high art and concomitant desire not to take anyone too much by surprise in case they kick its head in at the bus stop. ludicrous/sublime levels of Steinmania in the intro with this farrago of course... not strictly an intro, more of a foreshadowing/pre-empting
Really appreciate both those Frankie albums these days too, this is a classic intro innit, especially in terms of the below-mentioned gearing up the dance floor for the big tune back before there was such a thing as rave.

In fact intros were, in a pre-House/rave era (or at least in terms of the uneven geographical development of said genres) a necessary breathing space/ preparation pause/ energy generator/ opportunity to get off the dance floor and have a pint asap. In a sense they fulfilled a myriad structural/social uses.

In fact the dynamics of djing in the now sadly defunct Scorpio 1 in Barrow-in-Furness, the town's main nightclub in say, 1996, when I was a drunk and basically terrified 16 year old goth, (in a Cramps t-shirt), for that rowdy, sexually segregated amalgam of rockers, metalers, mods, new romantics, punks, casuals and soul boys and girls was probably miles more artful and aware than beat matching seven hours of identikit techno for some monged out self-selecting gang of gurners ten years later.

Ah, the lost art of dj-ing.Back then, back there, you would get your fifteen, twenty minutes worth of tribal songs (if memory serves for us it was often The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen that announced our "alternative" slot was coming up, and people used to take records in to have played too, New Model Army's No Rest and The Bolshoi's A Way along with The Sister's Alice being big faves, if I recall correctly). You would be left unmolested to do your thing. U2, The Alarm, The Waterboys, Then Jericho were universals, The Smiths less so, anything disco-y or SAW-y was girl's stuff. Then we had a few hip hop or northen soul specialists in smart suits who really danced.

Funny.

Anyway.


meanwhile


fairly convinced once you add up the dance, rap, pop, metal, and electronic stuff the 80s tops the best decade for intros by a long way.


unlike riffs, the intro has more of the capacity to be inherently populist - the bit where everyone on the floor clicks and ups their game/where everyone in the pub strikes up. it's also the portion of the song most likely to recieve attention from execs and studios: if you have a great riff it might never be noticed if you opening falls flat, ending up with no units shifted. an intro has little potential for wanking is what i'm saying.