THE STORY OF A SONG.
"I'm not connected, so you got no power"
“In Recovery” is the title track from the Maxx Silver album just released. And there is a story to tell about this song.
It all began, surprisingly, with a death...
Mark E Smith passed in January 2018 and maybe like some others, it was only then that I started investigating his music. It was the same with Bowie, though with Bowie I found a lot in his back catalogue to treasure.
With The Fall I have a memory of John Peel championing them and me liking the music at the time, but not raving about it. It was the usual thing, I didn't "get" his voice. But I wanted to try again.
Anyway, faced with a trawl through hundreds of songs I discovered a song called blindness. It was quite by chance. I had recently become monocular after suffering an issue with my eyesight. I was meant to be
on the way to NHS direct as I was fearful of a second episode. But some algorithm put me to the video I share on this page.
So I was listening to this song, not really feeling the vocals, or the lyrics about someone standing on one leg, but engaged with the music. The live version gradually developed into an all enveloping monster of a track. Beautiful noise in the same way as Boeing 747 has a fantastic engine note. An absolute masterpiece hidden behind shards of attempted self destruction.
I thought, could I try that? Well Mark had a unique way of delivering his songs. John Lydon of PIL has a way of shouting and half singing. With Mark you drop the half.
So when the idea for “In Recovery” came into my mind the initial idea was for me to not sing. I would land on a phrase and then move the tone lower. I would be John Lydon in "Rise" It didn’t work. I'm no more John Lydon than I am Lady Gaga, But I was left with the notes I could have hit. So I then had to hit some notes which made the melody.
For the backing, I decided the synths would deal with the rhythm but guitars would also feature. I rigged up 3 acoustic guitar parts and one mandolin. I was then going to unleash a wall of guitars after the chorus to get an atmosphere like the fall track.
But it didn't happen. The song was now much more gentle and more poppy. It went to the opposite destination it was meant to go towards. It actually is quite a catchy tune. The idea of noise and cacophony didn't fit. So I moved this idea to "Overactive Mind" another track on the album which was where the idea worked better..
The lyrics mean a lot to me. When you go away to have time with yourself you can think about anything that has been weird or strange within a relationship. In the case of the song, I'm talking about someone who had a hold on me. Not wanting to leave. Tolerating narcissistic behaviour. Finding someone who did not care about the other person. These are hurtful, difficult thingss. The song documents how " you are not connected so you got no power" And that is how a release from being trapped in a bad relationship happens. Don't let a bad person control you. Don't allow someone to belittle yourself as a person.
So the lyric "I'm better off without you in my life" is a real one. It is sad, but some people don't have a soul to search or indeed any interest in you. I love irony and it pleases me that this is such a cheerful song
about something that isn't cheerful in itself. It is schizoid because looking back it is sadness, but looking forward it is happiness. It is about being released. The whole album is about that, one way, or another!
I recommend anyone in a relationship takes the test on the attached video on personality traits. Understanding psychological personality types is crucial to working out people. Nobody better than Dr Les at this.
I know of other people who looked at his videos and really learnt why things were so bad for them in their lives.