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Ian Ashleigh
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Posts: 155
Perfect Pop Songs
« : 07.03.09 at 18:33 »
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A perfect pop song is one where the lyric, music and arrangement - both vocal and musical - come together and the musical gods imperceptibly smile down on the song.  Jimmy Webb thinks that this happened when Glen Campbell recorded Wichita Lineman which Webb wrote.
 
I have said elsewhere on these boards that I Have To Learn is a perfect pop song, which set  me thinking and I have come up with five more.  
 
This is not a top five or even a definitive five and I could probably come up with many more and on another day a completely different five.  I have attached You Tube links for those unfamiliar with the songs.  What do other MVs think?
 
Al Stewart - Time Passages  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FwLTrY6do  
 
Slade - Coz I Love You  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8QpO3yVI2Q&feature=related
 
10cc - Rubber Bullets  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdHI3LrAYiE
 
Harry Chapin - W O L D  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l0fH0dRUow
 
The Band - Stage Fright

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YySk8tddfLE  
 
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Alan
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Posts: 6
Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #1: 13.08.09 at 09:41 »
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I don't log on to MV very often but here I am for the first time in ages and there's a reference to Al Stewart. 'Time Passages' is certainly one of his best - music and words perfectly matched, the emotion in the song finely balanced between the unbearable and the pleasurable. See also 'Modern Times' (title track, though it might strike some as over-arranged...
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Murray McGlew
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Posts: 55
Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #2: 14.08.09 at 12:52 »
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Strangely enough I was thinking of this just last week. I was listening to music while driving, and at the same time I was reflecting on Clive's theory on the mixing of vocals and instruments on the PA albums.
 
At that moment, Manfred Mann's cover of The Mighty Quinn came on, allowing me to notice for the first time how neatly they had arranged the vocals and various instruments so that everything was audible but nothing stood out.  Even the singer's voice, while good, wasn't so good that we would think about it too much. The exact words occurred to me, "Is this the perfect pop song?"
 
No doubt there are thousands we could say that about, and the lyrics of this one, while weirdly evocative, are firmly in the cryptic category, but I could still see after all these years what made it so popular back in 1968-ish.
 
Back to the "vocals too far forward" theory on Pete's albums, I can't decide and I doubt if it would have occurred to me if it hadn't been mentioned by someone else.
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colin_boag
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Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #3: 23.08.09 at 08:19 »
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'Love will tear us apart' - Joy Division.  IMO simply the greatest 3m 18s ever recorded.
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Colin
Ian Ashleigh
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Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #4: 23.08.09 at 19:36 »
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Colin
 
You must find the CD of The Oyster Band's The Big Session Voliume 1.  June Tabor takes the vocal for Love Will Tear Us Apart - it is totally haunting and must be one of the best covers of any song ever.
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #5: 24.08.09 at 16:10 »
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on 23.08.09 at 19:36, Ian Ashleigh wrote:
Colin
 
You must find the CD of The Oyster Band's The Big Session Voliume 1.  June Tabor takes the vocal for Love Will Tear Us Apart - it is totally haunting and must be one of the best covers of any song ever.

 
....or if your are into that sort of thing, you can download as a single from here for a pittance.  
 
Kevin Cryan
 
Note to anybody who has not heard June Tabor sing
 
If this cover of the Joy Division song does not move you, then nothing she has done, or is likely to do, will. It's Tabor at her very best.
 
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Leslie Moss
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Posts: 161
Re: Perfect Pop Songs
« Reply #6: 26.08.09 at 13:52 »
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on 07.03.09 at 18:33, Ian Ashleigh wrote:

 
Harry Chapin - W O L D  
 

 
A great song I agree but the perfect song by Harry Chapin must be Cat's In the Cradle - it brings a lump to my throat whenever I listen to it and a renewed fear of turning into the father of the tale.
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