08 March 2006

wild swans - "the revolutionary spirit" (from the incandescent lp, import available for purchase here.)

ian mccullough once slagged off u2 (once?), saying that they made music for plumbers and bricklayers. by contrast, the bunnymen were and "oceans and mountains" kind of band. paul simpson and the wild swans probably would've thought that his sights were too low.

this is the original mix of "the revolutionary spirit," the one w/ lots of echo, so to speak. i mention this b/c, unlike the "u.s." mix, it keeps one from hearing the lyrics. lyrics that refer to "blood relations" and saint sebastian and the delta of venus--all of a sudden, oceans and mountains seem pretty small. it's all a bit silly, to be honest, but there's nothing silly about the song, taken as a whole.

john peel knew this, as he knew so many other things : "the revolutionary spirit" at number 10 in his 1982 festive fifty, ahead of such songs as "town called malice," "party fears two," "come on eileen," "pillar to post" and "should i stay or should i go." "the revolutionary spirit" has a momentous sweep that even the likes of u2 and echo could only dream about at the time; one wonders if those bands had a hand in the swans seemingly falling off the face of the earth.

or perhaps they flew from the face of the earth, gravity a force too weak to contain their ambition. here they are, though, at their pinnacle, w/ one of the great fogotten singles of the last twenty-five years. just don't google the lyrics.

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