I’m not a real “Artist Plays Album” live show enthusiast, but if Brian Eno would dress up in his ’70s finery to perform this album - easily in my top 5 of all time - in full, I would be there. Price is not an issue.
Came across the Singles Jukebox thread on this enduring number while in a post-Taran Killam ponder, and was amazed how many different emotions and scenarios people pull out of the song. How I hear it: a woman in the early stages of love with a spoken-for guy, soberly - but excitedly - walking through the cliches that have to be expressed before they can get on with their business. She’s genuine and sympathetic to the girlfriend (we don’t know just how serious or on-the-outs that relationship was), but in the long run, she’s in love and can’t pretend this isn’t just some obvious hurdle to hop.
I’ve never experienced anyone stealing away a significant other (or stolen anyone or been stolen, for that matter), and might not be so fond of the track if I had. But I don’t resent the selfishness of it, because, as her voice soars over those Morodery swells, I don’t think she’s getting off on the shittiness of the situation like Lesley Gore vs. Judy, just acknowledging how the collateral damage will be dealt with. It’s twisted, but I have a lot of Randy Newman albums.
The outcome is usually me listening to a ton by a Christmas tree, thinking about how What The College Kids Like has every right to be as baffling as What The Teenagers Like, and how these fools are listening to fools who sound like fools from about 20 years ago, but in an earlier time, my insufferable archetype had to go out and BUY crit-picks for the experience, and probably got a lot angrier. Now I can just click some links, say “Christ, do these people wish they lived in an Adrian Lyne movie or something?” and download a few just to prove I shouldn’t be buried with a Mojo subscription quite yet. Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to this holiday tradition for a while, and I’m genuinely grateful. Still probably going to post one or two WTF pull quotes, though.
“I thought it went into areas where a biographer has no business going, which is to say where he was continually judging a writer’s motives and deciding for himself when a writer went too far, said things she shouldn’t have said, crossed imaginary critical boundaries, behaved unethically. If you want to write a polemic, go right ahead. But when you write a biography, where you’re supposed to tell someone else’s story, then that stuff seemed totally out of place to me.”—Greil Marcus on the new Pauline Kael bio by Brian Kellow. I’m still appreciating the biographical data (there is some!), but I knew the road was getting rougher when I got to this, re: The Way We Were, which I have not seen: “In the end, Pauline seriously overestimated Streisand’s acting ability…all in all, [Streisand’s] Katie seemed slightly self-conscious the work of an actress gunning to be taken seriously.” If the Features Editor of Opera News really can’t just let his biographical subject’s opinion on a film go unchecked, maybe he should quote someone closer to her stature.