This song comes from the stellar soundtrack to 1968 film "The Lion in Winter," my first outing w/J. Barry. Wow. The whole album edged out all rock music at parties. This song has a lovely rocking boat-on-water undercurrent to it (Queen Eleanor is being rowed upriver in a barge), with soaring turns-taking female /male voices singing in Latin. It has a little, quiet horn bridge to it, but then the waves of sound come back and die out. Gorgeous. Defintely a winter-feel album (the story takes place at Christmas, too).
paper cup is about sinking to the lowest rung of society, having been abandoned by a faithless woman. you know when depressed people sometimes have a flash of an idea that they desperately believe will give them a reason to exist? paper cup's like that - the narrator won't have to worry about the things you need for a normal life "cos i don't really want 'em anymore". combine this notion with the 5th dimensions' upbeat, beautiful harmonies and you have a masterwork of melancholic tension.
from the magic garden available on CD - the best of the 5th dimension
Since I've been recommending on this site for a while, I came up with a new idea in January. A lot of my all time favourites are on here now, so what I thought I would do now is to recommend a track every week that has had most resonance for me over the past seven days.
A bit of background: I've been having an unhappy time at work lately. I sometimes work shifts and don't get in until 11pm. As I have been so stressed with my daily grind, I've been finding it very difficult to wind down at the end of the day.
This song, this week, is suddenly making sense to me. It's calmed the jumble in my head every night by understanding that the world isn't an ordered place. I've been coaxed out of my rigid state by these 17 minutes. It's not my favourite Velvet Underground song - that would be The Murder Mystery - but after years of always thinking Sister Ray was a self-indulgent filler, I think I finally grasp what its purpose is. Or, at least, I now know there are only certain, bloody awful, weeks in which I can find the beautiful oyster inside this track.
I will return to normal service next week with my usual gay disco or girl group love.
from White Light / White Heat, available on CD
03 Feb 05 ·stupidwall: i always thought sister ray was one of their most overrated songs. it mostly just sounds like nonsense. i guess i'll just wait till im unhappy or just in the right mood. 26 Sep 06 ·n-jeff: Sounds like a fairly straight description of some sailors having a heroin and sex orgy with a bunch of transvestites to me.
If such a thing can be said to be straight....
spacy female vocal-based sadpop, perfect for cold weather and sunday afternoons. these guys pioneered this kind of music, if you're familiar with white noise,
os mutantes or even broadcast this album is your jackpot.
it's one of the more calm and mellow tracks on the albums, and one of my favourites.
absolutely gorgeus chorus, totally wide, deep string based arrangement.
..And dig the gentle, almost non-audible rhythm track.