Sunday, October 17, 2010

Result of Touring, The

The amount of touring the band had accomplished had taken a toll on them; they were always off to different and far away places. Rarely did they come home to England around that time.

Soon they would be off to Compass Point Studios in Nassau, which is located in the Bahamas. There they'd record their third studio album, 7.

During the recording of this album, the lead singer Suggs would pen a song about the effect of touring and missing loved ones while away. It would be called 'Missing You' and it would be about the desire of one to see his loved one again while constantly away.

Here, after all this introduction, is my review on the resulting song, by the British group, wait for it, Madness.

'Missing You' is one of those fast, almost rock and roll type songs, with a fast beat and many drums. The drums and style helps to set it apart from most Madness songs, which are normally characterized by fairground organs, a basic, simple beat that's not too fast, and dynamic bass lines. Plus a sax.

All of that was in this song but the tempo was faster and it just sounded different. The bass gets higher, the guitar beeps at the beginning and middle of the measure, and the piano is wacky and fast. In the second verse a tenor sax accompanies the guitar. The chorus sounds like it's filled with desire (from the sound of the bass and piano) and the guitar actually makes me think of a busy, bustling coffee shop.

The bridge has a sax solo (played now by an alto sax) that just gets crazier and crazier. Overall, the song just makes me think of those light rock songs that teenagers play in their garages, from the sound of it.

The lyrics also strike me in some places - I tend to like it when days or months are mentioned in a song. For instance, the second verse begins "Monday crossed your room the day." It suggests that the singer is likely on the other side of the world, with Monday happening where his girlfriend or wife is, and him taking that for note as he thinks about her. Some of the other lyrics I can really sympathize with: "the awesome love I feel for you/to see you now what would I do?/the desperate feeling you're not there/to be with you pull out my hair."

The ending of the song is characterized and focuses on the tenor sax following the bass line and a very bright and fun piano that's different on each measure, almost random, which is what makes this song fun. At the end, the bass, piano and sax go higher and higher (like it does at the end of each chorus) until it fades away.

Generally, lyric-wise, the song is exactly what Suggs was aiming for with the result from touring too much: the singer is always away, and very far away, from home or his significant other, and he can do nothing but think of her, interrupting his thoughts with visions of her face and taking note what day it is where she is.

It's almost a classic Madness song to me, and I really like it.
What do you think?

Music: A-
Lyrics: A-

As an afterthought, here's the song played live, in Germany, in 1981:

Justin C.

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