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(Message started by: Richard Bleksley on Today at 23:29)

Title: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Richard Bleksley on Today at 23:29
Don't recall this song ever being discussed much, but...

I was listening to it the other night when a ray of enlightenment (or delusion) shone into my aging brain, during the middle-eight bit:

That big-mouthed dude in the flash duds
Preached fighting in the streets
But the crowd of kids held an angel with a knife
Who carved himself a slice of another guy's life...


Now, I'd never really thought about this, except to wonder vaguely what sort of dude in flash duds would preach such a thing, revolutionaries traditionally adopting as they have fairly drab clothing to show their solidarity with the People. But this time I remembered a person with a big mouth (in every sense of the phrase) who once sang: Summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the streets, boy. And he used to wear pretty flash duds in those days. Yes, that's the one: Sir Michael Jagger.

And then I remembered that, at the Altamont concert / disaster, the person who murdered Meredith Hunter with a knife was a Hell's Angel. I also remembered it being said at the time that Altamont signalled the end of the hippie dream of peace and love, which is what this song (though not one of Clive's more accessible lyrics) seems to be about, at least to me.

Q.E.D? Or senile rambling?

Maybe "angel" in the lyric should be spelled with a capital A?

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Rob Spence on 29.04.09 at 08:32

on 04/28/09 at 23:29:56, Richard Bleksley wrote :
Don't recall this song ever being discussed much, but...

I was listening to it the other night when a ray of enlightenment (or delusion) shone into my aging brain, during the middle-eight bit:

That big-mouthed dude in the flash duds
Preached fighting in the streets
But the crowd of kids held an angel with a knife
Who carved himself a slice of another guy's life...


Now, I'd never really thought about this, except to wonder vaguely what sort of dude in flash duds would preach such a thing, revolutionaries traditionally adopting as they have fairly drab clothing to show their solidarity with the People. But this time I remembered a person with a big mouth (in every sense of the phrase) who once sang: Summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the streets, boy. And he used to wear pretty flash duds in those days. Yes, that's the one: Sir Michael Jagger.

And then I remembered that, at the Altamont concert / disaster, the person who murdered Meredith Hunter with a knife was a Hell's Angel. I also remembered it being said at the time that Altamont signalled the end of the hippie dream of peace and love, which is what this song (though not one of Clive's more accessible lyrics) seems to be about, at least to me.

Q.E.D? Or senile rambling?

Maybe "angel" in the lyric should be spelled with a capital A?

You are right on the money, Richard. I think this has been discussed somewhere in the voluminous MV archive. I can reveal that it was one of the lyrics I discussed in a presentation at a conference last year. The audience were amused by the Mick reference. :)

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Nedd on 29.04.09 at 19:38
Rob,
I'm surely not the only Voice who'd be interested in reading your presentation. Is it available anywhere please?

Nedd

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Rob Spence on 29.04.09 at 21:30

on 04/29/09 at 19:38:23, Nedd wrote :
Rob,
I'm surely not the only Voice who'd be interested in reading your presentation. Is it available anywhere please?

Nedd

If I were a jazz player, I'd say I improvised. At conferences, I hate it when academics shuffle up to the lectern and read something out, usually in a dull monotone. They might as well just hand us the paper. So I tend to have a reasonable idea of what I'm going to say in my head, and use some slides as prompts to guide me. I will have a root around to see what remains. I should have something, because I intended to write it up as an article. Watch this space. But don't get too excited.

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Steve Bennett on 29.04.09 at 22:29
I've been on an enforced absence from the MV's and have only returned today, but it is still refreshing to read that the interpretation, and subsequent reinterpretation of the great mans lyrics are continuing.

At some distant point in time I started to compile a song by song list of the contributions of the various MV's and there varied stance on the often obscure minutia found within.

Perhaps I should retun to it as a penance for being away so long.... my profile says newbie but my first posting was in wk3 of the original mv's with MV86 way back in the distant past !!!

To all who remember me Hi

Steve B


Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Gerry Smith on 30.04.09 at 08:57
Hi Steve, yes I remember you. We're still here.  Welcome back!

Best

Gerry

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Steve Bennett on 30.04.09 at 10:56
Thanks Gerry,

the last 18 hours since refinding my self (and especially PA/CJ and this site again) have left me feeling a bit like Sammy Speedball.

A surfeit of Adrenalin, Caffiene and assorted Diabetic medications along with a chronologically correct background of albums has left me wondering will another track make me go bang....

Following a very accrimonious breakup with my partner some 4 years ago, I lost not only my home but nearly all of my possessions, including ALL of my music, vinyl, tape, Cassette and CD.

My children (yes she threw them out as well) and I, after a couple of years at me Mums, now have our own Home again.

It was with some surprise that an old friend from Slough turned up a couple of weeks ago, in the back of his car were boxes of mine and the childrens stuff, that he had "liberated" from our former home and kept safe until we were re-housed, included was All of my Music and Books, he must have virtually emptied the place, no wonder she hasn't been in touch since we left, she must have thought it was me....

My enforced absence was a result of to many memories of what we had done together and the way everything seemed interwoven with musical memories, luckily time is a great healer (or perhaps just a slow acting soporific taking away the pain but leaving memories)

But I'm back, older, wiser, more cynical perhaps, certainly more wary., but suprisingly no longer bitter, how can you hate someone who gives you wonderful children..........

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by sjm on 02.05.09 at 12:45

Coincidentally, this week's Guardian Readers Recommend is songs about revolution.....


Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Rob Spence on 02.05.09 at 19:37
Well, you did ask. Here's the bit where I talked about this song:
In a song from the 1974 album The Road of Silk, “An Array of Passionate Lovers”, James chronicles the decline of the idealism of the sixties, in the figures of the hippy generation who are conflated with the retreating troops of the USA in Vietnam. The title perhaps recalls the prints of the eighteenth century Japanese artist  Utamaro, featuring lovers reconciled to death.
The opening of the song hovers helicopter- like over both armies:
The troops of love are pulling out - you can see it from the air
A slow retreat you couldn’t call a rout
But they’re whispering what they used to shout
And even the stoned have a thoughtful stare
There there
There there, it’s all over
The children of the dream are coming home.

James boldly demonstrates the commonality between the two ostensibly opposed representatives of American youth, and blurs the distinction, using their drugged state to show both groups’ inability to fulfil their opposing dreams. The narrative voice coos in motherly fashion, using the formulaic “there there” as soothing reassurance to these grown -up children. But these grown-ups have to deal with the brutal reality that will replace the dream:
You’ll have to run in special lines
To call the next of kin
Get the blankets off the trucks
Hang the plasma bottles on the hooks
The revolution’s coming in.

It is not just the medi-vac’d soldiers who will need the blood transfusions, however. As the summer of love dissipates into the fractious factionalism of the late sixties, and the ideals of the counterculture are subverted by capitalism and commercialism, the troops of love as well as the troops of war are in danger. James locates the point at which the idealism of the sixties became irredeemably lost at the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont. Typically, he approaches it in oblique fashion:

That big mouthed dude in the flash duds (Sir Michael Jagger)
Preached fighting in the streets
But the crowd of kids held an angel with a knife
Who carved himself a slice of another guy’s life
And the blooms of blood unfolded from the buds
And the bad karma came down in sheets
And the troops of love got wise
They were paying too much for their seats.

The violence of Altamont, where, incredibly, Hell’s Angels had been appointed as security men, one of whom killed a crowd member, is given a terrible beauty in that “blooms of blood” and the tired hippy cliché of “bad karma” is reinvigorated in the pay-off at the end of the verse.

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Richard Bleksley on 04.05.09 at 10:17
Rob,

Excellent stuff, mate. Wish I could do a song analysis with such style.

Rob, Steve,

Surely a slight adaptation of this would make a worthy addition to the annotations on the website?

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Rob Spence on 04.05.09 at 12:58

on 05/04/09 at 10:17:44, Richard Bleksley wrote :
Rob,

Excellent stuff, mate. Wish I could do a song analysis with such style.

Rob, Steve,

Surely a slight adaptation of this would make a worthy addition to the annotations on the website?

Thanks, Richard- that's very kind. I spoke about "All the Dead were Strangers" and "Hill of Little Shoes" as well, in a paper which managed to refer to Jarvis Cocker, Theodor Adorno and T.S. Eliot- pretentious, moi?
If you want to find a corner for this, Steve, I'm happy to work up this material, if only so that when I do my next list of publications, I can add a reference to peteatkin.com.

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by S J Birkill on 04.05.09 at 14:36

on 05/04/09 at 10:17:44, Richard Bleksley wrote :
Rob,

Excellent stuff, mate. Wish I could do a song analysis with such style.

Rob, Steve,

Surely a slight adaptation of this would make a worthy addition to the annotations on the website?


on 05/04/09 at 12:58:44, Rob Spence wrote :
Thanks, Richard- that's very kind. I spoke about "All the Dead were Strangers" and "Hill of Little Shoes" as well, in a paper which managed to refer to Jarvis Cocker, Theodor Adorno and T.S. Eliot- pretentious, moi?
If you want to find a corner for this, Steve, I'm happy to work up this material, if only so that when I do my next list of publications, I can add a reference to peteatkin.com.

Definitely, Richard! Yes please, Rob -- I'd be delighted to place notes of this quality amongst our annotations, as many as you can muster. E-mail them to me and I'll organise the HTML formatting.

Steve

Title: Re: An Array of Passionate Lovers
Post by Nedd on 05.05.09 at 19:49
Rob,
Thanks very much. I look forward to reading more .
Nedd



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