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Thursday, May 27, 2010

70. "Linden Arden Stole the Highlights" by Robyn Hitchcock

I thought this one was gonna rilly rilly suck balls, but I like the way it turned out quite a lot. I could tell the story of how it evolved into something totally different from what I'd planned, but here's a totally different story for ya.

Of course this (once again) isn't a Robyn Hitchcock composition; it's a cover of a Van Morrison song. So the first thing I did was to go back and listen to the original. Except for the part where I didn't have the original. I was actually surprised to discover that I don't have, and on reflection must never have had, Van's Verdon Fleece album. Somewhere between knowing a bunch of the songs on it and having seen its iconic cover art millions of times over the years, I just got to thinking I had it. But I don't. And now I'm not sure if I'd ever really heard the original version of "Linden Arden" before. Maybe I did on a cassette dub of some dodgy Van compilation I seem to recall possessing at one point, but it's equally possible that I've only ever heard Hitchcock's version, which is pretty easy to mentally retroengineer into what Morrison's sounds like. I just don't know. In any case, I have the record now, and even used a (heavily treated) sample of the piano on it on my cover.

The most awesome part of this frankly great tune, for my money, is the couplet "Cleaved their heads off with a hatchet / Lord, he was a drinkin' man"... like that explains everything. I snuck a line of my own in there, sort of offhand, but I really like it... rhymes and everything.

Personnel: Rex (except for that piano sample, and I sliced and diced that up pretty good)

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