Song Of The Day 5/16/2015: Chromatics – “I’m On Fire”

Quarterly Covers Report: The last cover of this week is from Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the U.S.A. album. That’s the album where a lot (not all) of my Bruce-loving friends jumped off. One of my friends had a total distaste for synthesizers. Many of my other friends at the time liked music that was practically all synthesizers. Being a piano player I was caught in the middle, a place I find myself far too often in these kind of affairs. I didn’t mind synthesizers when they were used for coloring purposes. Another big album for me at the time was Thomas Dolby’s The Flat Earth, which used synthesizers, I thought, in exactly the right way. But this was also around the time that men who used Vidal Sassoon volumizer would blow their advances on big fat Roland Junos because after all those years of intimacy their big fat electric leads were no longer sufficient to convey their orders for big fatness.

Loving Bruce’s album The River as I did (still do), hearing the measuredly deployed synths on “Dancing in the Dark” was a minor shock, but hearing the photocopied patriotism of carpet bomb synths on “Born in the U.S.A.” was jarring. I never really cared all the way for “I’m on Fire,” even though according to my manuals it used the synthesizer in exactly the way it should have. It had a nice little bit of country guitar picking going up against it as well. Not sure why I didn’t care for it after all these years. I must have had a six-inch valley in the middle of my skull or something. Here’s a version of “I’m on Fire” from the Chromatics, a very good band from Portland. Oh, and I’ve since learned to stop worrying and love synths now. But mainly German ones, like Kraftwerk. A lot of domestic synth players still haven’t washed the Vidal Sassoon out of their hair yet.

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