Sunday, March 06, 2011

Solos (pt 5 of __)

ha! Aaron had already pipped me to the post with "Gypsy"

Pere Lebrun aka W. Kasper and Zone Styx Travelcard both almost pip me to the post with my next nomination, but both instead opt for "Little Johnny Jewel"

What can you say about "Marquee Moon"?

Well it's a good point at which to broach the subject of the relationship between the guitar solo and orgasm.

In heavy metal, this rather often tends to be an onanistic frenzy of scalar nonsense

With "Marquee Moon" though, what you get is a perfect sublimation, literally a sublimeation of the carnal into the spiritual

That slow slow build, the countdown or count-up to ecstasy. And then that moment--that fluttery space of silvery shivers, sounds never before heard heard in rock ... not so much the afterglow as the Orgasm's Orgasm

Television are the band that peaked too soon, on Track 4 Side One of their debut album. No wonder Adventure sounds so spent, with only "The Dream's Dream" coming close, and even then with nothing of the tension or dynamism of Marquee Moon, a wraith-like after-image

During the riff-wars I compared "Marquee Moon" and "Free Bird" and that is even more apt with the solos... in both, the solo section is longer than the song proper. With the studio "Free Bird" the five minute long solo is played by Allen Collins; Gary Rossington has a kind of co-starring role, just like Richard Lloyd with Tom Verlaine... the supporting players operate somewhere at the intersection of rhythm gtr and lead, and provide indispensable counterpoint/support... with "Free Bird" the feeling is cameraderie, Three Musketeers style... when I listen words like "derring do" and "swashbuckling" always spring to mind...

here there is no climax, just endless ascent, glory upon glory... a bliss that doesn't exhaust itself, that keeps spending and spending

the song can't end, it can only slow fade

"Free Bird", for seemingly no reason, was released in the UK as a single in the summer of 1982. It actually got to Number 21 and I think was even played on Top of the Pops. This would have been the first time I'd heard Lynyrd Skynyrd and I must admit, the song disgusted me, just on a pure sonic level, the obese swagger and drawl of it(at that point i don't think I ever heard the second half of the song, the solo(s)). If you'd told me then that this tune would one day become one of my absolute favourite pieces of music ever...


Meanwhile, Carl riffs on the whole-song-solo before taking a break

Potential future topic: great great guitarists who seem like they'd be eminently capable of taking a solo but never quite seem to, as such...


Next Instalment: Solos goes collective with readers's suggestions