My Favourite Song

date: 12/18/2012 category: features
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My Favourite Song
This is a series I would like others to continue to discuss their own personal favourite song and history of other favourite songs. With music I'm quite meticulous about organization and I like to keep records of my personal favourites. Some people have problems with this because they enjoy different music in different ways and their tastes are always evolving. But I'm a strange guy and I can find some pleasure in listing out my preferences, and I don't see a problem with this as I let the list adapt with my music. Will I have a different favourite song come a few years time? Almost certainly. I'm not looking to objectively state what the greatest song of all time is, just the song I enjoy to listen to the most. I hope that there is no hating on different peoples choices in the comments and future articles, just respect that different people like different music. For the best part of my still young life I would say it was "Bohemian Rhapsody", but a couple a years ago I realised something. I had been pressured by others to choose this song, as it was the one which the least people would express dislike when I said it. Then I had an epiphany. F--k those people. Sure, "Bohemain Rhapsody" is an absolutely terrific monster of a song, but subjectively I realised that there were other songs that I listen too more which I was more drawn to. If people think that there is only one acceptable song choice to have as a favourite, simply put, their d********. There's nothing wrong with choosing "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Stairway To Heaven", as long as if you really search you find that there are no songs that you get more enjoyment from listening to and they really are the song that you come back to more then any others. At the moment my favourite song is "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" by Radiohead. I find it is simply an almost perfect song. The song is split into three parts, and I'll first look at the music behind them before looking at the vocals of the song and why they are so special for me. It opens with Phil Selway clicking himself in for a fast but very conventional rock beat on the drums. The guitars comes in with, as the song title suggests in arpeggi. Arpeggi (sometimes called "broken chord") is when the notes of a chord are played in sequence one after the other. Jonny Greenwood's, Ed O'Brien's and later Thom Yorke's guitar textures play off each other beautifully playing different variations of the same chords. The sequence remains constant throughout the first part of the song. The music swells and crescendos before crashing to earth. A staple part of the song is Ed O'Brien's backing vocals, in between the main lyrical lines. You can hear the fans sing them as substitutes during Thom Yorke's solo shows which really shows great commitment. The second part is a bit like a breakdown. Jonny Greenwood plays a similar arpeggio, but this time on the electric piano to give an ambient sound and apart from Ed O'Brien's guitar this is what's left of the instruments. Quiet strings come in before we are suddenly whisked into the third part by the return of the drums back in full force. The guitars play a different chord progression and arpeggi, and we hear can very clearly some Colin Greenwood bass fills, a rare find in Radiohead songs. Thom Yorke's lyrics are very abstract and have been interpreted in a number of ways. I've heard people argue that the fish are a metaphor for the constant change on this planet, depression and even the nature of cults. But the most common argument, and the one that I agree with it that he's singing about being in love. While no one interpretation can be completely wrong, this makes the most sense for me. "In The Deepest Ocean/Bottom Of The Sea" shows the position he is in with love. He is entirely helpless, in an unamendable situation, or so he sees it. He thinks of her eyes and is tempted but then a thought occurs to him. "Why Should I Stay here?". He could swim to the surface and escape the grip (a thought he returns to). But instead he is turned by her eyes again. He is in love, he would be crazy not to follow. He ultimately doesn't have any other option and couldn't really choose anything else. I imagine him following to the edge and falling off as him manning up an expressing his love directly to her. His falling off is the moment of freefall while he waits for a response. Anything could happen and he naturally immediately regrets telling her, even though it was an inevitable decision. The next part is the most abstract and unclear of the entire lyrics but I think he is rejected and feels "picked over by the worms" as if he is now below even them. But then he realises this rejection has given something definite and he is set free. He need to "Hit the bottom" in order to escape. Now he is no longer trapped in the unknown thoughts of whether or not she feels the same and the response means he can finally move on from the deepest ocean he had been trapped in. I know I have been very literal in my interpretation, but I am still ultimately guessing. The beauty of good lyrics is that you can understand them to mean completely different things and still be captivated and moved by them. In "Weird Fishes" the whole thing just fits together so well, the music and the lyrics compliment each other tremendously and the final products is for me a never-ending source of musical pleasure. For other fans of the song, here are some great versions I would recommend looking at the "From The Basement":
This performance shows a slightly different version of the song. The quality and standard of "From The Basement" is very high, and though this is live this could be a final recording as the sound engineering has been mastered expertly. Another version of the song where Thom Yorke is playing it solo:
This is an interesting take making the guitars sound like a video game track. Finally, here is the earliest version of the song I could find:
It's interesting to see how the song has developed over time, as it was originally much more string heavy and featured the guitars much less prominently. Please respond with your own "my favourite song", giving a detailed analysis of why there is that one song which you just love so much.
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