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Sunday, January 29, 2012

"(I'm) Stranded"

The Saints - (I'm) Stranded (1976)

"...single of this and every week..." Sounds (a U.K. music paper)

Before The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, or The Sex Pistols ever released an album, Australia's own The Saints released this shot across the bow for punk. The song has an interesting set up. It's verse, chorus, verse, chorus, super chorus, verse, chorus super chorus, verse, chorus, super chorus, super chorus. By super chorus I mean it's an expanded version of the chorus, with the instruments playing the same parts as the chorus; but for twice as long while the singer sings a similar, but different part than the main chorus. You could call the super chorus the chorus and the "chorus" a half chorus, but super chorus sounds cool.

Punk is fairly simple in these early days, driving fast rhythms, "buzz-saw" guitars and lyrics about being disaffected youth. This song hits it all. For all those choruses, the song is under three and a half minutes long. There's no overdubbing, and the singer does not play guitar. It's just one guitar, one bass, and a drummer making all that sound. The lead singer was an Irish kid born in Kenya who moved to Australia, and the guitarist was a West German kid who moved to Australia. That just the kind of pulled around outcast kind of feel you need to write a great anthem about being stranded, feeling separated from everything that everyone around you feels connected to.

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