I think people sometimes don’t work on melody enough. It’s a fundamental thing, really… words and tunes, that’s what pop music is all about. So you’ve got to make sure they’re both as good as you can possibly make them. I spend a long time on them both when I’m writing. I’m not the greatest guitarist in the world… it was just the instrument that seemed the most ‘cool’ to me, and I still find it very difficult to play. [David Gedge]
After folding their Reception label, the band signed to RCA, a move seen as a ‘sell-out’ by some, but which in fact only served to make their music more extreme: the fast-paced rhythm guitar attacks of the early period was ameliorated on Bizarro by a stronger sound and longer endings. Additionally, the band’s contract allowed them their own choices of producer and single release, and the option to release singles independently if the company found them uncomercial, something which apparently was never the case. Certainly, it broke them nationally, with Kennedy (FF 1989 #2) reaching number 33 in the UK charts, and Brassneck (FF 1989 #19 and All-Time FF 2000 #21) doing even better, getting to number 24 the following February. Gedge said of his song lyrics:
When I’m writing, I like to pare things down. So after I’ve chipped away all the poetic imagery and metaphor there’s really just a skeleton left…..Most of the stories are true in some way or another. They’re either completely autobiographical or it’s a case of me imagining myself in a particular situation. I draw inspiration from my everywhere… I’m often to be found listening to other people’s conversations on trains… especially if they’re shouting at each other.
A happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.