Midnight Voices
THE PETE ATKIN WEB FORUMRSS
Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
This page loaded: 20.11.17 at 23:13 UK
PA
HOME
Pete Atkin home page
MV Home | Short | Help | Search | Members | Login | Register | Shop | PA Home
Midnight Voices Repetition in Clive's lyrics
   Midnight Voices
   Pete Atkin
   Words
(Moderator: Mike Walters)
   Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« Previous thread | Next thread »
Pages: 1   Start of Thread | Latest Post Reply | Notify of replies | Send Thread | Print
   Author  Thread: Repetition in Clive's lyrics  (Read 2241 times)
Secret Drinker
MV Fixture
****



Paul Gunningham, MoM

   

Posts: 207
Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« : 03.08.04 at 19:15 »
Quote

'Danger Don' wrote in the old MV, and I Quote:
 
something that's been nagging at me for a while now about pete's and clive's latest cd 'winter spring': repetition.
   
has anyone else noticed that, lyrically, 'winter spring' contains the least amount of lyric in any pete atkin album?
   
this thought crystalised whilst listening to 'i have to learn' in which, in order to stretch out the lyric to a whole song, the introduction is a complete, languid verse, as is the instrumental break, and the vocal seems to repeat stuff it has just, well, repeated.  
   
(this isn't a complaint, more an observation. i genuinely think that the repetition of  'or' in 'as much as never touching you or...or kissing you' is actually my absolute all-time favourite pete atkin musical moment.)
   
but there's 'so loud i couldn't hear it' when, er, 'so loud i couldn't hear it' gets a good few hearings.   'all he can eat...' comes up quite a few times in 'fat cat', and pete does a lot of doubling back in the opening track 'thought of you' when he repeats the words 'i think/ fooled'/ hold/ i thought' which i'm not sure clive wrote as repetition in the original lyric.
   
(and don't get me started on 'this is/we need a prayer against the hitman'...)
   
has any other mv noticed this? has pete? has it affected the music?  is clive drying up? (just kidding, clive.) is economy of words a sign of a more mature lyricist? has clive's verbosity perhaps been one of the barriers to popularity in the past? has pete asked clive to cut down on the verbiage to help him remember more of the words when singing live?

 
(2nd attempt with subject line this time!)
 
This was posted by 'Danger Don' on the old MV, but I thought I'd reply to it here instead of encouraging continued use of the old MV.
 
It had occurred to me, too, that Clive's recent lyrics have become more economical and streamlined than the older songs. I wonder if Clive wrote all the repetition or whether Pete suggested some of it when setting the lyrics to music? It would be interesting to know.
 
As for the reason, I assume that Clive has honed his craft and knows he can say more with fewer, more thoughtfully chosen words; and that the need to demonstrate how clever he is by squeezing in as many obscure literary references has receded along with his hair (sorry Clive, if you ever read this!)
 
Blimey, I don't know why I'm writing this but at least it's got this board (is that the right term? I get flummoxed with this techie stuff) off to a start. I normally steer clear of all this stuff as I don't feel qualified to comment (well, not much, anyway).
 
And it takes me one step nearer my coveted Junior MV badge  Grin
 
Thinks: I wonder how many postings I need to become a Fellow of the Midnight Voices?  Wink
 
Fingers crossed this time... subject? check...
 
Here goes...
 
Cheers
 
Paul
 
p.s. I know the first version was a lot better Sad
IP logged

Staving off the pressure... by drinking real ale
Pete Atkin
MV Deity
*****





   

Posts: 463
Re: Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« Reply #1: 04.08.04 at 18:27 »
Quote

Danger Don wrote ---
 
Quote:
 
something that's been nagging at me for a while now about pete's and clive's latest cd 'winter spring': repetition.  Has anyone else noticed that, lyrically, 'Winter Spring' contains the least amount of lyric in any Pete Atkin album?  
   
This thought crystalised whilst listening to 'I Have To Learn' in which, in order to stretch out the lyric to a whole song, the introduction is a complete, languid verse, as is the instrumental break, and the vocal seems to repeat stuff it has just, well, repeated.    
   
Has any other MV noticed this? Has Pete? Has it affected the music?  I Clive drying up? (just kidding, Clive.) Is economy of words a sign of a more mature lyricist? Has Clive's verbosity perhaps been one of the barriers to popularity in the past? Has Pete asked Clive to cut down on the verbiage to help him remember?

 
I'd have to say I think that's well observed, Don.  Not all of those questions are for me to answer, of course, but creating a bit more musical space within and around the songs is something I've deliberately tried to do in the more recent recordings, to give the songs a bit more room to breathe.  
 
Listening back to the old (1970s) stuff (which I confess I do only rarely and nearly always only for reference) the arrangements have often struck me as a bit high density, which is not surprising since we were always anxious to get as many songs as possible on each LP.   There are plenty of intros and instrumental passages of course, and keeping some of the tracks really short was always an option we quite relished, but now and again I've thought a track might have benefitted by stretching out a bit more.   It sometimes makes the records seem to me now a bit like super-demos, simply setting out the songs for reference, rather than creating a more fully developed performance.  That's also perhaps partly to do with the time pressure I was under in the studio.    I'm aware, of course, that for many people that was/is a postive recommendation, and that my more expansive recent inclinations may be a cause of disappointment for those people.
 
For my part, I've certainly noticed the greater conciseness in Clive's more recent lyrics.   I Feel Like Midnight is perhaps one of the best examples of a lyric which seems utterly simple and straightforward, even minimal, but which depends on the skill and experience of a lifetime to achieve.   I know Clive himself would say that the show-off, bravura stuff is much easier my comparison.   So, yes, I think economy is a sign of a more mature lyricist.  And I wouldn't dream of asking Clive to "cut down on the verbiage"!    
 
You seem to be saying, Don, that 'I Have To Learn' isn't a whole song. You may be right, but I'd like to think, here as elsewhere, that the non-vocal sections are in their way as much a part of the song as the vocal bits, but if you feel they're just padding then obviously I haven't made my case.   And yes there are repetitions, but they're not exact repetitions, and their inexactness is deliberate.
 
But I do have to take a major responsibility for some of the other repetitions.  Clive has always been open to suggestions about how I might want to move stuff around or repeat stuff once the song starts to take on a musical life of its own.  The repeat of the very beginning at the very end of "Empty Table" was entirely my suggestion, for example.   (Now you'll go and listen to it and think it would have been better without it.)
 
The bit you quote, though, the repetition of "or" in "As much as never touching you or ... or kissing you", is just me on the spur of the moment in the studio, a performance thing.
 
I'll leave the other questions for other Boarders.
 
Finishing off with an irritatingly long playout . . . . . . . . .
 
Pete
IP logged
Carole
MV Fixture
****





   

Posts: 115
Re: Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« Reply #2: 09.08.04 at 16:47 »
Quote

I have to say that the repetition in the new songs doesn't work so well for me. I can understand what Pete means about room to breathe and I would love to hear 'new' versions of some of the old songs, as long as that doesn't automatically result in slowing everything down Smiley. Some of the new songs are lyrically sparse to start with and giving them breathing space just seems to make them appear to have little to say. Anyone else got any views?
 
Carole
IP logged
Secret Drinker
MV Fixture
****



Paul Gunningham, MoM

   

Posts: 207
Re: Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« Reply #3: 17.08.04 at 10:08 »
Quote

It was interesting to read Pete's comments on the repetition, the new economical lyrics, etc., and can understand how liberating it must be to be able to expand songs without the pressures he was under in the early days (expensive studio time, no money, etc.!)
 
I suspect that many of us were attracted to Pete's music in the first place largely because of the complexity of some of Clive's lyrics, as an antidote to some of the banal stuff that was around at the time (and indeed still is) - even though I may not have fully understood them or recognised many of the literary references. Of course, Pete's music also contributed a huge amount too, with his melodic and inventive settings of those lyrics, resulting in the outstanding songs we know and still love today.
 
So I can share Carole's feelings to some degree, that maybe some of the new songs don't have as much to say as the old ones. But I can also see Pete's viewpoint. These are songs and not just poems - it's been commented before that some of the early songs seem more like poems set to music - and with the luxury of being able to expand, allowing repetition, instrumental breaks, etc., the lyrics become perhaps less important to the whole, and a more well-rounded song might be the result.
 
While I do enjoy listening to songs with strong lyrical content, I also appreciate that many great popular songs don't have 'good' lyrics (this has been discussed before in the old MV) but that doesn't stop me enjoying them. And of course there's a lot of wonderful instrumental music of all genres where the lyrics aren't needed at all! However I don't wish to give the impression that I'm lumping Clive's inspired lyrics with these lesser writers Wink
 
I suppose I haven't really got any conclusions, but I thought Carole's comments deserved a reply from someone - a pity I'm not well qualified to comment on these points, but maybe my remarks will at least act as a catalyst for someone who knows what they're talking about!
 
Cheers
 
Paul
IP logged

Staving off the pressure... by drinking real ale
Nedd
MV Friend
**


forty year fan

   

Posts: 22
Re: Repetition in Clive's lyrics
« Reply #4: 25.08.04 at 22:21 »
Quote

I hadn't thought that "I have to learn" was repetitious, but the one that does slightly irritate me in that regard is "Daughter of the sun".
 
When I first heard "Wiseacre" I liked the music so much I was slightly surprised when the lyric came in - hadn't realised there hadn't been any words up to then. I don't think there are any that have more "non-vocal" than I want to hear.  
IP logged
Pages: 1    Start of Thread | Latest Post Reply | Notify of replies | Send Thread | Print
Return to Top « Previous thread | Next thread »
MV Home | Short | Help | Search | Members | Login | Register | Shop | PA Home
Midnight Voices is not responsible for comments made by its members. All opinions expressed are entirely those of their authors.
Midnight Voices » Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.1!
YaBB 2000-2003. All Rights Reserved.