“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”
- – Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who, among other texts, wrote Poetics. Poetics looks to address various types of verse, design, and division, in its segment parts. He characterizes verse that tries to address or copy life, through character, feeling, or activity.
In college, the area where I held up under scrutiny was theatre, and I learned a maxim that a little foolishness is genius, but too much foolishness is madness.
For the thirty-first of January, blogger Jim Adam’s prompt is the words, “Even/Odd.” Either of these words, in a song title, or the lyrics of a song, is the clue. I think this is the sixth time I’ve joined in Jim’s Song Lyric Sundays, a blog hop to share music.
Divided Exactly By 2 – A Unique Title For Me (wordpress.com)
About poetry, the word “even” is in the lyrics of “You’re Still Beautiful,” a 1990 song by the Aussie new wave band, The Church. New wave envelops various styles from the 1970s and the 1980s. The lyrics of “You’re Still Beautiful” indicate to me a kind of despair between man and woman, who perhaps are struggling to reconcile, after spending time apart.
The song was part of the 1990 LP Gold Afternoon Fix, and the third of three singles for the LP. It was their second album by the band for Arista Records, after several earlier albums, those ones on Parlophone, I think.
It was the start of the nineties, and the days of The Church as a big, big rock band were coming to an end. That said, Gold Afternoon Fix featured another anthem: the song Metropolis.
Yet The Church guitarist Peter Koppes didn’t think You’re Still Beautiful was a good song. I like Gold Afternoon Fix, but we’re talking about the word of Peter Koppes, who did a record album as recently as last year, as did Steve Kilbey.
Also, the other guitarist for The Church, Marty Willson-Piper, years later, in his blog, dismisses Gold Afternoon Fix. In 1990, the going drummer for The Church, Richard Ploog, left the band, after doing the percussion for only four of the songs of the recording sessions. A few years later, Nick Powles joined The Church as their drummer.
Willson-Piper asks in his blog:
How did we go along with this approach with all our knowledge and experience? How did this come about when we were always so uncompromising when it came to our music? What the hell happened?
- – Marty Willson-Piper
on 15 January 2021
I am not sure whether Ploog provided his talent as a drummer for You’re Still Beautiful, or whether the beat of the song is the drum machine. If I listen again more closely, perhaps I can hear the difference.
The Church was a band I began to appreciate when I saw them on TV, and I thought about their music. When one of my uncles introduced me to the net, not too long after, searching for interview material with the band and that kind of thing was what I immediately thought to do. I was pleased to think, as a high school kid, I could get music like the songs on Gold Afternoon Fix.
I enjoyed their album Priest=Aura, and I liked Heyday, too, and other albums of theirs I had on compact discs I quite liked, such as Of Skins and Hearts. I listened to The Blurred Crusade quite a bit, too. I found it charming, contenting.
Starfish in 1988 was exemplary. The lead-in single is a classic hit, but all ten songs on Starfish are great. Steve Kilbey sings eight of them, I think, and Koppes one song and Willson-Piper one song.
Gold Afternoon Fix is similar, with the band’s singer Steve Kilbey singing most of the songs and the two aforementioned gentlemen singing a couple of the tunes.
Willson-Piper in his blog discusses how grunge in 1990 was the writing on the wall. Singer Steve Kilbey was soon to evidence personal problems, and although the next Church record Priest=Aura was perhaps more inspired than Gold Afternoon Fix, Kilbey had no easy time of it, given his taste for what you might call debauchery. The word “even” is employed in You’re Still Beautiful this way: “You’re still beautiful, baby, even when you fall down that way.”
I assume the lady in the song is an alcoholic, or some kind of otherwise out-of-control personage, as Willson-Piper explains, in 2011, in his blog. I like the reference to Dorian Gray in You’re Still Beautiful. Dorian Gray is a Gothic and philosophical character, invented by Oscar Wilde, in the nineteenth century.
I wrote a high school essay about The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The character Dorian Gray remains young while growing old.
Peter Marks for Smells Like Infinite Sadness wrote NOVEMBER 1, 2015 an article titled Albums Revisited: The Church’s ‘Gold Afternoon Fix’ At 25. “The guitars sparkled, the bass seduced, the drums throbbed and the words remained absolutely timeless; the faithful so often tend to forget this one as it is sandwiched between two juggernauts in their discography and I’ve never quite understood that.”
My younger brother had bought me The Blurred Crusade, and Priest=Aura, too, when I was realized I would become absorbed in listening to the their music. It was like having an interest in poetry without seeming effete, or at cross purposes, for what that’s worth. The Blurred Crusade, I believe, was a Top 10 album ,in Australia, in 1982.
In the months of the pandemic, I turned my attention to watching a venerable Steve Kilbey play his songs on guitar, on Instagram. Reminded me how I felt about them, I brought up Gold Afternoon Fix on WordPress for a Song Lyric Sunday, oddly-timed somehow, as it was about the time Kilbey withdrew from doing his weekly performances. Obviously, it would be decent the off chance he were to get back to Instagram.
What I gathered from Kilbey’s chitchat is that a considerable number of songs by The Church are drawn from genuine encounters, which I’d imagined already. It is the thing that gives the melodies a relatability. Kilbey’s current album has the name Eleven Women.
In college, I had a compact disc edition of Steve Kilbey’s 1988 album Earthed, which came with a small book of poetry Kilbey wrote that I had given a read. My school schedule for English writing incorporated a presentation into how the verse of a poem is perceived. Kilbey’s were similar to the sort of thing I had read in secondary school.
The explanation for the Steve Kilbey LP given the title Earthed is that the records tends to be combined with his record Unearthed, likewise a decent record. Like Gold Afternoon Fix, these two solo records are full of drum machine beats. Earthed has essentially no lyrics at all; Unearthed does.
In 2014 Steve Kilbey reunited with bandmate Richard Ploog, when the drummer, formerly of The Church, rejoined Kilbey, and with Mark Gable of The Choirboys, for a “one-off.”
I can’t clarify my interest much beyond saying that it’s an unusual thing, and the music contents me when I need something akin to retro rock music to get feeling good.
Steve Kilbey is now in his sixties. I’ve read Kilbey’s blog “the timebeing” from time to time, over the years, and I have learned a lot about both the band The Church and about poetry in general. He last put up new writing in 2019 http://thetimebeing.com/
Kilbey continues to be active on Twitter, while The Church as a band has gone their separate ways. Here are the lyrics for You’re Still Beautiful.
You’re Still Beautiful
Your mirror finally broke
Your little bunch of followers turned you into a fool
The butt of all their vicious jokes, screaming
You’re still beautiful baby
Nobody can take that away
You’re still beautiful baby
Even when you fall down that way
You turned up backstage at the palace
We thought you was wearing a mask
I felt so fucking embarrassed
When you looked at your reflection and asked, you asked
Are you still beautiful baby
Nobody can take that away
You’re still beautiful baby
Baby don’t believe what you see
Once upon a time I would have killed for you
I’m sorry that you got in this mess
But you’re the walking picture of Dorian Gray
At least it’s artistic I guess
Read more: https://muzikum.eu/en/123-5355-385510/the-church/youre-still-beautiful-lyrics.html#ixzz6kZakpNda
One thought on “MCMXC #feelbadafter”
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