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Chaim
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xx Bankstatement
« Thread started on: Feb 24th, 2016, 10:02am »

Some random thoughts....

I've been listening to Bankstatement a lot lately. It has always been my least favorite Tony album, but I've realized now that expect for two songs I love this album. There are a few "problems", however, that bother me. It could be an even better album. I think the songs are often better than the production and sounds. Here are the "problems":

IMO the synth guitars - or whatever they are that Tony plays on Raincloud (intro), Big Man (after the WOTS-like intro) and A House Needs A Roof (intro) - are horrible. If those same parts were played on a real guitar or with a different keyboard sound, they would sound so much better.

I'm not a big fan of Alistair Gordon anyway, but IMO he's the wrong singer for a lyric like The Border. I'm not too sure if he's the perfect singer for the Throwback lyric either.

Tony's lyrics on this album are sometimes a bit too simple IMO, even a bit childish. Throwback and A House Needs A Roof could have more depth. Both are too direct IMO - just basically saying "Listen to my lecture about my problems". And it doesn't work for me when a beautiful singer with a beautiful voice (Jayney Klimek) is singing a lyric like "I am always the loser". Raincloud, too, is slightly hollow lyrically IMHO ("who knows what tomorrow might bring").

Those are the only problems I have with the album. Most of the songs are excellent, and even Throwback is excellent musically. I never realized before how beautiful The More I Hide It is. Or I'll Be Waiting. I've always loved Thursday The 12th (it's so good it hurts), Big Man and That Night. Queen Of Darkness has always been ok, but now I love it. I'm glad that Hillage made Tony write lyrics for that music. The Border is a song I never got musically, but it's growing on me.

I wish Tony would re-record some of his solo material (including the middle bit in SITMBS) with better sounds. Replace the horrible synth guitars with real guitars etc. In some documentary Tony was playing The More I Hide It on a piano and it was amazing. It's great on the album too, but the piano version was even better.

Oh, and I have an actual question too. About Thursday The Twelfth. Tony used samples on that, but were they snippets of melody or just sounds? In other words, was every melody we hear composed by Tony or did he sample full melodies - like the intro?
« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2016, 01:01am by Chaim » User IP Logged

onetwothree
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #1 on: Feb 24th, 2016, 2:22pm »

on Feb 24th, 2016, 10:02am, Chaim wrote:
IMO the synth guitars - or whatever they are that Tony plays on Raincloud (intro), Big Man (after the WOTS-like intro) and A House Needs A Roof (intro) - are horrible. If those same parts were played on a real guitar or with a different keyboard sound, they would sound so much better.

I've always wondered what the "synth lead guitar" credit on "Big Man" was supposed to be referring to. I hear nothing in that song that sounds remotely like a guitar, or like anything attempting to imitate a guitar.

on Feb 24th, 2016, 10:02am, Chaim wrote:
I'm not a big fan of Alistair Gordon, but IMO he's the wrong singer for a lyric like The Border. I'm not too sure that he's the perfect singer for the Throwback lyric either.

I think he sounds kind of wrong for "Throwback," but better for the other songs he sings.
« Last Edit: Feb 24th, 2016, 2:25pm by onetwothree » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #2 on: Feb 24th, 2016, 2:56pm »

I think the synth guitar in Big Man is the riff that starts when the drums come in. To me it sounds like a bad imitation of a "clean" guitar. Sometimes a sound that tries to imitate an instrument, but doesn't sound like it, can be a cool sound of its own. It's not always the case with "guitar" sounds from the 80's. grin
« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2016, 12:55am by Chaim » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #3 on: Feb 24th, 2016, 3:30pm »

I've only got the tracks which appear on A Chord Too Far. I'll be Waiting has taken on special meaning for me recently & I really like Throwback. Queen of Darkness is very unusual & I love it. I don't know the other tracks well enough yet. sad
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #4 on: Feb 24th, 2016, 8:51pm »

It's my favorite Tony album. Fun songs, great melodies, excellent vocals.
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 25th, 2016, 12:57am »

on Feb 24th, 2016, 3:30pm, FeelItComing wrote:
I've only got the tracks which appear on A Chord Too Far. I'll be Waiting has taken on special meaning for me recently & I really like Throwback. Queen of Darkness is very unusual & I love it. I don't know the other tracks well enough yet. sad


This is one of Tony's most amazing ballads IMO. Especially the chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPjLwd3rMkg
Beautiful chords (and melody) in the chorus, and I love the duet, especially Klimek.

Thursday The Twelfth is one if his most amazing instrumentals IMO. If you like that side of Tony, I highly recommend it.

Do you have the Soundtracks album? Queen Of Darkness was originally written for a movie, but the Bankstatement producer asked Tony to write lyrics to it, and so it became Queen Of Darkness. You probably knew this already, but it's interesting, because it works really well both ways. I love Klimek's voice, so she makes the other version very special.
« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2016, 12:51am by Chaim » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #6 on: Feb 25th, 2016, 07:44am »

on Feb 24th, 2016, 2:56pm, Chaim wrote:
I think the synth guitar in Big Man is the riff that starts when the drums come in.

Perhaps, but even if that's meant to be a synth "guitar," it would technically be a "rhythm guitar" rather than a "lead guitar."

Anyway, it had occurred to me that that sound was supposed to be a "guitar," but I hoped it actually wasn't. As someone once said, "It's as far removed from the real thing as a simulated space flight."
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #7 on: Feb 25th, 2016, 08:58am »

on Feb 25th, 2016, 07:44am, onetwothree wrote:
Perhaps, but even if that's meant to be a synth "guitar," it would technically be a "rhythm guitar" rather than a "lead guitar."

Anyway, it had occurred to me that that sound was supposed to be a "guitar," but I hoped it actually wasn't. As someone once said, "It's as far removed from the real thing as a simulated space flight."


I don't think of it as a "rhythm guitar"part . It's not a solo either. It's somewhere in between. And it sounds like every one wasn't written beforehand like he was improvising on a certain idea. Anyway, I can understand that they mentioned a "lead guitar", although perhaps it's more like "leadish guitar". smiley
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #8 on: Feb 25th, 2016, 2:50pm »

on Feb 25th, 2016, 12:57am, Chaim wrote:
This is one of Tony's most amazing ballads IMO. Especially he chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPjLwd3rMkg
Beautiful chords (and melody) in the chorus, and I love the duet, especially Klimek.

Thursday The Twelfth is one if his most amazing instrumentals IMO. If you like that side of Tony, I highly recommend it.

Do you have the Soundtracks album? The Queen Of Darkness was originally written for a movie, but the Bankstatement producer asked Tony to write lyrics to it, and so it became Queen Of Darkness. You probably knew this already, but it's interesting, because it works really well both ways. I love Klimek's voice, so she makes the other version very special.


A Chord Too Far is all I have at the moment. It seems I may find myself buying all of Tony's work as I have done with Genesis & then I will have to move on to Mike, Steve & Ant. I am just taking it slowly as once I have finished playing ACTF I have to go back to early Genesis.

I like That Night so I'm now playing Big Man. He knows how to write a song. I can't analyse the music like most of you seem to - I just know what I like ..... (ahem).
« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2016, 2:55pm by FeelItComing » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #9 on: Feb 25th, 2016, 2:53pm »

Can't see the problem with the synth guitar sounds. I like them, maybe that's because I'm a keyboardist myself.

I never really got into Thursday The Twelfth. The strings sample bothers me with its constant outside notes.
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #10 on: Feb 26th, 2016, 12:54am »

on Feb 25th, 2016, 2:53pm, Schrottrocker wrote:
Can't see the problem with the synth guitar sounds. I like them, maybe that's because I'm a keyboardist myself.

I never really got into Thursday The Twelfth. The strings sample bothers me with its constant outside notes.


Were the string samples individual notes or were there bits of melody too that Tony sampled from some record?
I'm Finnish, and I have to ask, what is an "outside note"?
« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2016, 12:55am by Chaim » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #11 on: Feb 26th, 2016, 06:22am »

on Feb 26th, 2016, 12:54am, Chaim wrote:
I'm Finnish, and I have to ask, what is an "outside note"?

I'm from an English-speaking country and I don't know quite what's meant by that either. Maybe odd notes that don't seem to belong?
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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #12 on: Feb 26th, 2016, 06:29am »

If an "outside note" means a note that doesn't fit the "tonality" of the piece, then the outside notes are part of the charm of Thursday the 12th IMO. Especially the fast string notes in the background on the E flat chord (appears for the first time at 1:07 mark in this clip): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHh3KUPzaq0

I have always loved this song, but I have never checked out what's happening in terms of notes and chords. A day or two ago I did that and noticed that well chosen "wrong" notes have been used brilliantly in this song. It's a bit like the out-of-key "overtones" in Tony's keyboard part in Tonight Tonight Tonight. Very atmospheric stuff.
« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2016, 06:33am by Chaim » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Bankstatement
« Reply #13 on: Feb 27th, 2016, 1:20pm »

on Feb 25th, 2016, 2:53pm, Schrottrocker wrote:
Can't see the problem with the synth guitar sounds.

Actually, the real problem is: did Tony actually think the "guitar" sound was so convincing that he had to point it out in the credits as being a "keyboard lead guitar"? rolleyes
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 27th, 2016, 5:39pm »

Yes, outside note means a note from a different scale. A "wrong" note.

on Feb 27th, 2016, 1:20pm, onetwothree wrote:
Actually, the real problem is: did Tony actually think the "guitar" sound was so convincing that he had to point it out in the credits as being a "keyboard lead guitar"? rolleyes


Well, it was the 80's. Synths could do anything in these days, they could replace drums, bass, guitars, brass, strings...
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