Educating Peter # 31

January 20, 2013

This week Michael has sent me yet another song I’ve never heard before (as far as I’m aware).

The song is “I Need To Know” by British band Bleeding Hearts, and it’s apparently the B-side of their 1980 single, “This Is The Way…O.K.”. (The Internet knows all.)

The page I found that information on calls it “cool powerpop”. We shall see.

Another page called it a “Great stomping sing-along”. Maybe.

OK. Enough of this idle chit-chat. Let’s get down to it.

Bleeding Hearts – “I Need To Know” (1980)

Link

0:00-0:06 – A ringing guitar in the left channel as an introduction. Okey dokey.

0:06-0:14 – Either my headphones don’t have much bass in them (they do), or this recording is very light-on in the bass department. I like the trebly bass guitar sound, though.

0:06-0:26 – This is the verse, and I don’t mind it at all. The vocal melody is a simple one, as is befitting a punk/power-pop/skinny-tie song from 1980, but I like it. I don’t mind the singer’s voice (although he does sound a little weak in the second half of the verse, going flat from 0:21-0:23), but because the bass guitar is pretty loud in the mix (as a bass player, I say “More bass!”) I’m having trouble focusing on anything but the doyng doyng doyng doyng of the bass in the song.

But I’m not minding the song at all so far.

0:26-0:37 – This is the bit before the chorus (a.k.a. the bridge/refrain/bit before the chorus), and it’s pretty basic. It sounds like it was written specifically to be played live, and for people in the audience to stamp their feet and shout out “No! No! No! No!” (even though the word is “know”).

Doyng doyng doyng doyng goes the bass guitar.

0:37-0:49 – Now we have the chorus. It sounds singularly uninspiring to me.

Doyng doyng doyng doyng.

Minor diversion: The way the singer voices the word “to” in “I need to, I need to know” at 0:41.224 sounds to me like he’s pursing his lips – or to be more accurate, pouting in the recording studio. The sound of pouting reminds me of Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses At Night”. Now, there’s a man who could pout on record. (And I might suggest that phrase as an album title for a band: The Sound Of Pouting. I’d buy a record called The Sound Of Pouting.)

Also: I may be imagining it, but that guitar part from 0:43-0:49 sounds very familiar. Something way back in my brain is telling me that it’s in an Australian television advertisement. No, I’m probably imagining it.

0:49-1:02 – This is the second verse, and it’s just like the first one except the singing’s a bit worse.

Doyng doyng doyng doyng.

1:02-1:12 – Another bridge. “No! No! No! No!”

1:12-1:25 – Another chorus. (See above.)

Doyng doyng doyng doyng.

1:25-1:38 – The guitar solo. As with the rest of the song, it’s pretty basic. And as soon as it had finished I’d forgotten it.

1:38-1:51 – Another verse. I can’t really think of much else to say about it, other than “it’s another verse”.

Doyng doyng doyng doyng.

1:51-2:01 – The only thing different about this bridge from the other ones is that the singer’s first “know” drops out after the “n” sound (at 1:51.880). So it’s sort of a quick “n…oh”. Maybe the singer is dropping a very subtle hint that he’s a fan of Noh theatre.

“No! No! No! No!”

What’s that clicking sound on the offbeat at 1:55, 1:57, and 1:58? Is that the drummer getting fancy with his drumsticks?

2:01-2:14 – This is the last chorus before the song (mercifully) finishes.

I’m sure I’ve heard that guitar part somewhere else.

2:14-2:26 – A little instrumental flourish before the end of the song, and it instantly reminded me of “I Fought The Law“. Actually, last week’s Educating Peter song had a part of it that was reminiscent of “I Fought The Law” as well. And Michael suggested last week’s song too. I have a feeling Michael likes “I Fought The Law”.

2:26-2:30 – I find this very odd. This is the last big chord to end the song, but for the band it ends in a non-unified way. After hitting his chord, the guitarist in the left channel lets his guitar ring as it slowly fades away. The bass guitarist lets his note ring. Even the drummer lets his cymbal ring. But… the guitarist in the right channel hits his chord staccato. In other words, he hits the chord and stops it immediately.

For me, this poses some questions. Was there a disagreement in the studio about how to end the song? Or did the guitarist in the right channel forget his last chord was supposed to keep ringing?

Either way, it’s a bit of mystery to end the song with.

***

Now that I’ve heard “I Need To Know”, I can say that for me the most memorable part of it was the bridge, with its shoutalong tune. That was catchy. (“No! No! No! No!”) But the rest of it I barely remember.

Although overall I’m not enjoying the songs Michael is flinging at me for this series, I’m having fun writing about them.

Keep ’em comin’, Michael!

***

As stated at the beginning of this post, “I Need To Know” was the B-side of a 1980 Bleeding Hearts single.

If you’re interested, here’s the A-side:

Bleeding Hearts – “This Is The Way…O.K.” (1980)

Link

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