Day 146: A song that features a great bass line.
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” – The Police
This is another case where I’m a little surprised that the band in question hasn’t come up earlier. I referenced The Police some time ago, but haven’t gotten around to them. Until now.
When thinking of great bass lines, there are a lot to choose from. There are countless lists on the Interwebs. Most reference a bunch of Led Zeppelin songs. Almost all include “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. Rush shows up a lot.
But Sting and/or The Police rarely appear. Which I find interesting, because Sting knows his way around a bass. Maybe he’s overshadowed by his overtly literate (and sometimes downright pretentious) lyrics. I don’t know.
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I do know that The Police essentially started as a punk-based ska/reggae/rock outfit. So as you might expect, with a reggae influence, that there would be some interesting bass lines floating around.
I also know that the bass line to “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” kicks ass. It sets the pensive mood in the verses, then really lets loose in the chorus. And to me, it really drives that chorus. Good stuff.
So now that I’ve made that point, I’m going to rant for a while.
Sting apparently likes the lyric to this song. A lot. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” appeared on 1981’s Ghost In The Machine (and the single was apparently released October 20, 1981 so sayeth this blog). It contains these lines:
of a thousand rainy days since we first met
It’s a big enough umbrella
but it’s always me that ends up getting wet.
Fair enough. But they show up again in “O My God” from 1983’s Synchronicity. And again in “Seven Days” on Sting’s 1993 solo album Ten Summoner’s Tales (which, incidentally, may be my favorite Sting solo song). What, are these his go-to lines when there’s a space to fill? “Hmm… I need four lines here. Wait! I know! Do I have to tell…” I guess the good news is that it’s been sunny for 33 years, since there hasn’t been a single additional rainy day since 1981.
And as long as I’m complaining about lyrics, there’s this:
A thousand times a day
And ask her if she’ll marry me
In some old-fashioned way.
In thirty years, no one’s been able to tell me if this means he makes the resolution a thousand times a day, or that the resolution is to call a thousand times a day. Where’s the clarity? Inquiring minds want to know. And the follow-up line of “But my silent fears have gripped me/long before I reach the phone” doesn’t help, because I feel like that could apply to either. Maybe it doesn’t matter to some, but to me it makes all the difference.
To what, I have no idea. But trust me, it makes all the difference.