01 November 2005

the weather prophets - "almost prayed" (from the blue skies & free rides : the best of 1986-1989 compilation, available for purchase here.)

in brief : say a prayer for peter astor.

poor peter astor. he's like dangerfield-in-reverse: lots of respect, but no fame. indeed, each one of his bands was less successful than the last, starting w/ the loft and most recently w/ wisdom of harry. in between, he was the face of the weather prophets. alan mcgee loved them, back when that meant something; alas, he was as successful plugging the weather prophets as he's been w/ poptones. which is a shame, b/c the weather prophets, unlike the paddingtons, deserved it.

"almost prayed" is an ideal walking song, its "waiting for the man" piano keeps the rhythm, while jangly, creedence riff adds the requisite swagger. it just so happens that "almost prayed" is itself a song about walking, about the narrator's pilgrimage, like so many great rock journeys, down to the river. anyone familiar w/ similar treks by neil young, springsteen, and pulp know that it never ends well, but for the weather prophets, it's a moment of revelation, a celebration of the beauty of the natural world. "almost prayed" is itself a revelation; one only wishes that astor had a larger platform. like mt. sinai, say.

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