As the dying embers of punk faded, this new sound seemed like something we'd been waiting for - the next phase for pop/rock. A big leap forwards while still being rooted in the present.
In some ways, it wasn't really that new. It's a rock record with drums, bass, and guitar. It adds synths, but they weren't really that new, even in the mainstream. We already had Kraftwerk breaking through three years earlier, and dance music soon embraced the technology, e.g. 1977's I Feel Love by Donna Summer. But they were used differently here, and the combination of sounds, the vocal delivery, the visuals and marketing, all combined to make this a massive hit - not only sounding great in 1979, but also sounding great now, over 40 years later.
This isn't the first version of Sweet Jane, of course. It's not even a typical version by Reed solo, or as part of The Velvent Underground. But it is really quite stunning. What really makes this, though, is the intro penned by Steve Hunter - and Hunter's band, which subsequently went on to back Alice Cooper.
Punk was running out of steam by 1979, but for a seventeen-year-old who was into whatever was new, this was as exciting as punk. As I learned more about it, I soon found out it wasn't really that new. But it was certainly still pretty exciting. This is the first of a few tracks on this blog that have a Terry Hall connection.
- Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfionetta : Sun, 10 May 2020 22:41:03
- Far Far Away / How Does It Feel? - Slade : Tue, 5 May 2020 21:44:07
- Heart of Glass - Blondie : Sun, 3 May 2020 00:01:05
- I'm Not In Love - 10cc : Fri, 17 Apr 2020 23:38:11
- Number One Song in Heaven - Sparks : Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:45:43