LCD Soundsystem - 'Drunk Girls'
Sometimes you just KNOW when something is right, within seconds of your first experience of it. It arrives through a sensory organ - the eye, the ear, the skin - tickles the crikey synapses, engages the yikesial cortex and generally causes havoc among the whoah! centres of the brain.
It helps if the thing you're experiencing carries echoes of other things you have experienced which had a similar effect at first, and then grew to even bigger heights of brainial stimulation. But it has to bring its own visceral thrill too, and no amount of standing in front of a much-loved good thing and pointing at it can achieve that.
By which I mean...CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULES, PREPARE YOUR PETS, OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING!
(Here's the video. It's the best video ever made. No messing.*)
Now, I'm not going to waste a lot of time describing why this is amazing, not when there's a perfectly good link up there with fantastic fun at the other end of it. But what I will say is this: messy call-and-response backing vocals are ALWAYS a good idea.
They're a good idea because, done properly, they sound like a party. You've got your lead singer doing his or her thing, acting out the doomed poet or love-octopus or whatever, and then you've got this gaggle of laughing chimps behind them, half celebrating and half mocking whatever it is they are going on about.
It always sounds like the most fun you could possibly have in a recording studio. There's an Iggy Pop song called 'Success', in which his backing vocalists - including one D. Bowie, I might add - repeat back to him everything he sings, in blank mockery. Even when he starts freestyling, even when he starts yelling "I'm gonna hop like a frog!", even when he signs off with a brief, but well-placed swearword, they're there.
I cannot tell you how much I wish I was one of those people, how much listening to that song makes me wonder if I will ever have as much fun as that. It's THAT intoxicating an experience. And incidentally, 'Drunk Girls' and 'Success' have both suffered the sniffy damnation of people claiming they're just throwaway fun: as if this is a BAD thing!
So, in tribute to the glorious yahoo of the messy call-and-response backing vocal, I propose we make a joint playlist of the best examples known to music. Here's a selection from history:
'Money' by Barrett Strong / the Beatles
'White Light/White Heat' by the Velvet Underground
'Somebody To Love' by Queen / Glee
'Success' by Iggy Pop (warning: not safe for school)
'Boys Keep Swinging' by David Bowie
'M.O.R. (Live At Peel Acres)' by Blur (live version)
Any more for any more?
Pretty Much Amazing says: "Almost everyone agrees that 'Drunk Girls' is as fluffy as LCD Soundsystem songs come."
Drowned In Sound says: "At the very least you can pogo to it drunk and repent at your hungover leisure."
The Singles Jukebox says: "'Drunk Girls' (like 'North American Scum' before it) will get a lot of flak for being loud and immediate and shouty and dumb."
* Actually there is quite a lot of messing, as you will no doubt have seen.