Radiohead - A Punch-Up at a Wedding

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Apparently the version on the CD is much different from the mp3 version I am listening to now. The latter one is my least favourite track on the album. It sounds like an uninspired Sting song. Dragging along.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 13 June 2003 21:24 (seventeen years ago) link

This might be a good place to post my alternate running order of the album, called Ponch Got Blew Out at the Wedding:

01 Sit Down. Stand Up
02 Backdrifts
03 The Gloaming
04 Myxomatosis
05 I Will
06 Where I End and You Begin
07 There There
08 We Suck Young Blood
09 Sail to the Moon
10 A Punchup at a Wedding

It's shorter and makes much more sense to me. The majority of the electronics get used up during the first 'side', then the pianos and guitars take over.

Andy K (Andy K), Friday, 13 June 2003 21:40 (seventeen years ago) link

but Go To Sleep is one of the best tracks!

stevem (blueski), Friday, 13 June 2003 21:42 (seventeen years ago) link

and what happened to 2+2=5, andy? you are leaving out the hail to the thief song there. any political or musical reasons?

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 13 June 2003 22:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I fear the album will sound a little choppy no matter what order you put it in.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Friday, 13 June 2003 22:06 (seventeen years ago) link

and no wolf at the door? wtf? that seems to me to be the best song on the album and maybe my favorite radiohead song yet.

Punch Up at the Wedding is quite good and the final mastered version does, ahem, pack more of a punch than the initial mp3s did.

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Saturday, 14 June 2003 06:05 (seventeen years ago) link

and no wolf at the door? wtf?

Agreed. Great song. "Dance you fuckers."

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Saturday, 14 June 2003 06:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I really like "Punch Up". I think it's one of my favourites.

dog latin (dog latin), Saturday, 14 June 2003 11:23 (seventeen years ago) link

but Go To Sleep is one of the best tracks!

As a stand-along song, I do like it. However, it's the only one with predominant use of acoustic guitar and it really sticks out to me in a bad way -- as if it's just thrown in there. It sure as hell doesn't sound right coming after "Backdrifts," and it doesn't lead into "Where I End and You Begin" all that well.

and what happened to 2+2=5, andy? you are leaving out the hail to the thief song there. any political or musical reasons?

Again, as a stand-alone song, there's nothing wrong with it. I prefer "Sit Down. Stand Up" as the album's beginning. While I was fiddling around with various sequences, "2 + 2 = 5" only seemed right as the first song. So out it went. As I said on one of the other R'head threads, I thought the album was re-starting with a new first song the first time I heard "Sit Down" come after "2 + 2 = 5." Both songs build up and build up and build up and explode near the end, which has to be the second strangest aspect of the actual sequence (after the fact that it all adds up to a 56-minute album).

"Go to Sleep" and "2 + 2 = 5," with minor adjustments, would've made for great non-album singles. I blame a lot of these overlong albums on the death of the non-album single. If a band comes up with an album's worth of material that fits perfectly together, they're pretty much fucked if a couple of the best songs from the sessions don't fit into a good sequence. What are they going to do? Leave them as B-sides for the A-sides off the album? Not likely. Instead, they'll put out a cluttered album like Hail to the Thief. Square pegs, etc.

and no wolf at the door? wtf? that seems to me to be the best song on the album and maybe my favorite radiohead song yet.

The sound of the chorus -- not the words that make it up -- annoys me. Plus, as I went on, I found myself moving "Punchup" closer and closer to the end of the album. By the time I was done, it sounded really good as a closer, much better than "Wolf". Another sequence I found to be almost as fitting had "Punchup" second to last, with "I Will" after it.

Will no one fight for "Scatterbrain"? That's the only song that left me completely indifferent.

The sequence I came up with puts most of the electronics-dominated songs up front on the first 'side'. I do think "I Will" doesn't feel completely at home coming after "Myxomatosis," but as such a spare, quiet song, it works really well going into "Where I End and You Begin."

Admittedly a lot of this re-shuffling and "Where oh where is the 40-minute album?" nonsense makes me sound like a cranky old man. Who listens to albums anymore? Most Radiohead fans will probably just skip around the disc to the songs they want to hear when they want to hear them -- and since there really isn't much in the way of filler, they'll be perfectly content doing just that. We're obviously in a different time and it's less about albums and more about songs and quick fixes, etc. The "album" is such a tired idea, so why not fill out a disc to capacity and have the listener sort through the mess to find her or his favorite songs?

I find it a little strange how the fall of the carefully-sequenced 40-minute album (I suppose it's been happening for well over a decade now), along with the popularity of MP3s, has coincided with the rise of dance music. DJs get criticized for a poor sequence or for not building a good continuous flow ("It wasn't a good EXPERIENCE!"), but many of the same people who expect certain things from a night out would rather have a 70-minute album with a bunch of filler than a 40-minute album with a fitting running order and all the fat trimmed off.

Andy K (Andy K), Saturday, 14 June 2003 12:16 (seventeen years ago) link

Why do people like "The Gloaming" so much?

dog latin (dog latin), Saturday, 14 June 2003 12:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, maybe not the thread for it, but for me it comes down to a very simple pleasure of how the minimal glitch percussion and the swathed-in-echo vocals contrast.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 14 June 2003 12:50 (seventeen years ago) link

This is one of my least favourite songs. Because it sounds like bad Spiritualized. It sounds like Cop Shoot Cop - but without the free drone skronkfest explosion that makes the boring blues piano all worth it.

kate (kate), Tuesday, 17 June 2003 13:41 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...
It has taken me until now to realise that not only is one of the best songs on HTTT, but one of the best of their entire career. And WTF with the Cop Shoot Cop comparison, the two songs are entirely, ENTIRELY different. They're doing completely different things with different instrumentation, a different vibe, and different progressions. UGH.

Hail To The Thief itself is, as I am discovering, Radiohead's second-best album behind Airbag/How Am I Driving, JUST about beating OKC into third, with Kid A really not far behind either. (Respectively, 9.7, 9.3, 9.2, and 8.9, to be Pitchfork about it).

But yeah, back to APAAW. After a perfect intro it slinks into the most laconic of piano/bass grooves, but our expectations are instantly confounded by a chorus of Thom Yorke 'No's. During the verse, the initially laid-back groove is offset by ominous minor-key chords played at the start of each line. This tension is further heightened by the delicate guitar during the chorus, and, of course, the darkly furious lyrics (sung, I have to say, amazingly well). This song's methods are incredibly subtle, but the incremental building of tension is incredibly-managed until an equally-subtle letting-off during the outro (when the mesmeric beat is upholstered with skittish keyboards, accompanied by some quiet feedback squeals and descending Yorke chants, which mirror the NOES of the start). Alongside Sit Down. Stand Up, There There and the last two tracks, we're talking musical brilliance.

You've Got Scourage On Your Breath (Haberdager), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:33 (thirteen years ago) link


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