Songs Of The Day 11/6/2014: The Adverts - "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" vs. Hall & Oates - "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)"



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Song Wars! Finally got rid of the voting mechanism bugaboo that plagued the first two days of this feature: Yesterday's blog got a whopping three votes, all of them for the puppet pirates. Good work, team.

Today's Song War subject is Getting Possessed By the Souls of Serial Killers. Not just songs about serial killers, or songs that serve as biographical sketches of certain serial killers (Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska," for example). But songs featuring someone absorbing the impulses of a serial killer through whatever means they happen to have around at the time. I'm not hip to how these guys work. Kind of a blessing, if you must know.

So our first deviant contestants are The Adverts, one of the original wave of London punk rock acts in the mid-70's. Their hit "One Chord Wonders" remains one of my favorites from the era. But they charted in England with "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," a fantasy sequence about a patient who receives an eye transplant, receiving the peepers of executed American psychopath Gary Gilmore. Apparently Gilmore really did want his eyes to go to a real-life transplant patient because they were the only part of him he figured was at all useable. And allegedly his corneas did go to an actual transplant patient, who let's hope has remained in the dark about the whole I.D.

And because I haven't written about them in almost six months, let's throw Hall & Oates' skittishly creepy track "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" in the other corner. This song played on a couple of musical inspirations of real serial killers, like Charles Manson's infatuation with the Beatles' White Album. H&O tread on some slightly dangerous territory in that regard, since they cite Son of Sam who was apparently driven to violence by Hall & Oates' own "Rich Girl." Reference is made to that in this track, whose protagonist is driven to homicide by the mysterious quest, the restless pulse, the purpose-driven beat of "Duke of Earl," whose quarry remains a complete mystery more than fifty years later. If anybody's figured out what the hell that guy wanted, please drop me a line.

(My online poll app keeps timing out, so just leave your preferences wherever. Comments if you like, though nobody uses the comments.)
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