A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[MUSIC] Utah Saints, “Something Good”

Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting”, first released as a single in 1985, is another one of her brilliantly dense songs from the Hounds Of Love era in the mid-1990s. At one level it’s an exploration of the theories of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, his belief that all life possessed orgone energy which could be manipulated to save lives and change the weather, and his eventual suppression by the American state. At another level it’s an exploration of the relationship between child and parent as seen from the child’s perspective. At still another level, it’s a brilliant video featuring Donald Sutherland. “Cloudbusting” is a bit too stately for my tastes and isn’t one of my favourite songs by Kate Bush, but it’s still a good song.

But every time it rains,
You’re here in my head,
Like the sun coming out–
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.
And I don’t know when,
But just saying it could even make it happen.

The Utah Saints‘ 1992 British hit single “Something Good” is built around a sample of Kate’s voice, the line “Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.” Part of the efflorescence of house music in the late Thatcher and early Major eras, the first big hit singles of the Utah Saints did feature vocal samples taken from the previous decade of British hit singers. I can’t speak as to what has been done with these other songs, but Kate Bush’s vocals the Utah Saints make just another sample, the “Ooh, I” portion reduced to a level almost as abstract as any synthesized melody. They’ve been likened to the KLF, and when I listened to the KLF and their album The White Room I noticed them playing with the same sort of abstraction at the level of their total performance.

I’m not sure about the artistic merits of “Something Good,” if only because of the great yawning gap between that song and “Cloudbusting.” The beats are quicker, the song’s opened by guitar, crowd noise is spliced in, the song seems to get faster and faster as it speeds towards its end 3m29s after it began. I do know that I like it. There’s something sublime about its simplicity, I’m sure.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 28, 2006 at 9:00 am

Posted in Assorted

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