I feel this was never given the reception it deserved. After the massive success of singles of their first two albums, this felt like a radical departure. The sound is super slick and almost sounds like some kind of attempt at late 90s chart dance. Given that aspect it’s no surprise the song didn’t do so well on radio.
The video, however, is another matter. It was directed by Peter Serafinowicz and it’s mad. It has a boy band come on with typically “Serafinowiczian” names like Octavian and Popeye who then meet gruesome ends. It also features this dude from Britain’s Got Talent.
Somebody reminded me of this song today.
It really is a beautiful song. Reminds me of when I lived in France. I started going to “guitar club” which was basically me and this other dude meeting up to mess about on guitar. He was a massively talented multi-instrumentalist and I am me so with the disparity in ability it bascially became a personal tutoring session. I think I spent about two months trying to master this song which has basically two patterns and three chords.
When I came back from France I bought decks.
Anyway, the song is about a man called Paul Robeson who was also phenomenally talented. He was a qualified lawyer, all-American college football star, professional NFL player, celebrated actor, civil-rights activist and all-round good dude but his legacy was long-forgotten due to his outspoken support for socialism and communism during the cold war.
I can’t have coined that title but it’ll do.
This is a pretty lovely little mashup of Grizzly Bear’s advert-friendly Two Weeks and Biz Markie’s “one hit” (?!) Just a Friend.
I’m not sure if it improves on either but it’s fun enough. Thanks to Alexandre Wallace of Halifax, Canada for that one!