Captain Misery's Miserable Mishaps

It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Electronic – Getting Away With It

Whilst I still have the chance to do so I shall continue my oversupply of blog writing that no-one wants to read. And for this entry I shall return to the world of music and for what I see as one of the best pop songs ever written, and for that I will accept no argument. The song – Getting Away With It by Electronic.

Electronic started out as a solo project for Bernard Sumner as he was frustrated with New Order’s lack of reception to his synth and programming ideas. Deciding not to go it alone, he but enlisted the help of Johnny Marr (The Smiths) with whom he had previously worked. Signed to Factory Records, who Sumner was already signed with New Order, the first creation of their collaboration was Getting Away With It.

It was released in 1989, a full 18 months before the debut album. It was written by Sumner, Marr and Electronic’s occasional collaborator Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys). Sumner and Tennant wrote the words, Sumner and Marr wrote the music. It received critical acclaim and was certainly popular, selling around a quarter of a million copies on its initial release. There were many versions of the song on a multitude of formats – different 7″ and 12″ vinyl versions and CD versions were available with remixes and instrumental takes of the song, scattered here and there. Two different videos were made, once of which you can watch at the bottom of this page. Don’t go there just yet, I haven’t finished boring you! Get back here! Thankyou.

With lead vocals sung by Bernard Sumner and backup vocals from Neil Tennant, it is quite a simple song with a piano and synthesized bass intro with live drums kicking in a moment later. Johnny Marr adds a lovely bit of understated rhythm guitar, and also gives us a rare guitar solo. The production is very glossy and is pretty typical of late 1980s/early 1990s. There’s also a full orchestra on the record, conducted by Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley. It has to be said though that the song and its sound has dated very well indeed.

It’s also got pretty dry lyrics too. As mentioned previously they were written by both Sumner and Tennant, but the story goes is that they are an attempt to parody the public persona of Marr’s old musical collaborator, good old fun-loving, smiley-smiley Morrissey.

So, we’ve established that it’s a pretty simple pop song with simple ingredients and dry lyrics. But that’s what makes it so compelling. I’ve played this song so many times since I first heard it and I have never, ever grown tired of it and never likely to. The verses are memorable and the chorus makes you want to play the song over and over. Which I do, probably to the annoyance of everyone around me but I’m not particularly arsed about that. Listen to it once and I defy anyone who won’t sing along with this song, or have at least the chorus stuck in their heads for weeks, maybe even years after. I still am twenty years after I first heard it.

The version to listen to is the original version. Don’t bother with the remixes, although the instrumental version is good to just hear the music. Original is best, so here it is ladies and gentlemen (why I’ve pluralized there I don’t know, that should read “so here it is my one regular reader”), the video for Getting Away With It. Enjoy…


May 17, 2011 - Posted by | Music

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