Songs: Things'll Be Different When I'm In Chargenotes / gigs / releases
From Dylan down to Guthrie, Bobby G and Billy Bragg
Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
When Blur took what they thought to be the completed version of "Modern Life Is Rubbish" in to their record company they were told to go away and write some HITS. Damon Albarn went away that night and wrote "Chemical World" and "For Tomorrow", both of which went on the album and came out as singles.
I don't know why, but I've always liked this story and wanted to do the same. Similarly I love the idea that when people said to Martin Carr "Go on, write a hit record!" he said "Right! I bloody will!" and wrote "Wake Up Boo". THUS when the rest of The Validators thought we had finished this album it was almost inevitable that I would tell MYSELF to go and write some more songs, then make THEM record them. There was a large BLOCK of songs written during the GRATE SONG BUNG DEBUNGING of October 30th 2001 (see "Further Information" for details), but this one was written specifically to be the Extra Hit on the album. Just because I am a Grown Up doesn't mean I can't fall PREY to Rock Star Fantasies every now and again.
It was written in June 2002 (after five months of writing no songs, and followed by over six months of not writing any more) after reading a Julie Burchill article about how people who DO the Actual Work get paid a fraction of the amount paid to the people who try to sell it to you. In a roundabout way that drove me round to thinking about how DJs are LAUDED far more for putting a slab of vinyl on a turntable than the people who MADE the damn music in the first place, and the song EVOLVED from there.
The title, like so very many of my song titles, was something that, at the time, I went around saying a LOT, and seemed to be the sort of thing OTHER people might enjoy going around saying (c.f. "You Will Be Hearing From My Solicitor", "Everything's Turning Out All Right", "One Last Party" etc etc), in fact most of the lyrics were things I went around saying a LOT, except for that idea about improving A&E, which Charlotte was going around saying a LOT. Credit where it's due! The chorus was always meant to be a SOFT ROCK exercise, but I can never get my guitar to make SOFT ROCK noises, which I guess is just as well really. Meanwhile, the call and response bit in the middle is, like the bit in "Easily Impressed", me trying to build HOOKS into the songs for the audience to join in with. If it's good enough for Young People's Rap Musicians, it's good enough for me!
The recording was pretty easy, I seem to recall - I told Tim i'd like it "Motowny" (and OH! if only those pioneers knew how OFT their name would be taken in vain in this fashion!) and Tim played it in the very un-Motowny but very TIM way he always does when I say that. I'd also made a demo of the song which featured a rather nice bass line left over from "It Could Have Been Me", which we'd tried out a few times but never got anywhere with, and HANDILY The Mighty Rhythmn Section took that and IMPROVED it immeasurably. Well done everyone! Similarly Emma took my rather STRANGULATED idea for backing vocals and made them GOOD, and Tom managed to translate my DIRECTIONS (waving my arms about going "Like chalk on a blackboard! But DISCO!") into the strings you hear before you now.
Once it was recorded it seemed fairly obvious to me that it should begin the album, and I originally intended to stick a HIDEOUS GUITAR SOLO on at the start, because I LIKE that sort of thing. However, by the time we got round to doing this I'd moved to London and really couldn't be arsed to somehow collect Rob's guitar from Derby (I don't have my own electrical guitar) just to record 20 seconds of YOWLING, so instead borrowed a KORG from Kev. You can't necessarily HEAR the result without concentrating, but it makes ALL the difference I reckon.
An Artists Against Success Presentation
Maintained by MJ Hibbett & The Validators