God…that opening synth! It could go on for minutes! I’d be very happy if it did.
What a FAB drum and bass groove come in! Then…wow, such screeching awesome guitar from Charlie. Quite a nod to hero Mick Ronson, actually.
Lyric wise, it’s all Kerr ambiguity and abstraction. The lines denote ANYTHING BUT a “Love Song”. Take, for example, the second verse…
Flesh of heart
HEART OF STEEL
So well, so well
I cut my hair
Paint my face
BREAK A FINGER
TELL A LIE
So well, so well
Not exactly romantic lines there…from a “Love Song”. If anything…this song is the ANTITHESIS to a love song. Well, not the absolute antithesis (as the antithesis to “love” is “hate”)…but it is dark, and slightly menacing…and sinister. Moody! Enigmatic. I think it does a VERY fine job at summing up aspects I see (as a mere observer) of Jim’s personality.
It has that juxtaposition down pat! That “Dark light” I refer to with Simple Minds songs of their early period (in particular). Such a fabulous groove! It makes you want to dance your butt off….and that is joyous! But woven into the fabric is unnerving synth sounds, screeching guitar chords and those oh-so-dark lyrics.
And instead of making it romantic as the title would suggest…it makes it (forgive my language) fucking SEXY AS FUCK! Love Song? No. Sex Song?! Fuck Song?! Hell yes!!!
Many fans diss Simple Minds for their output of music videos…but, genuinely…this song could NOT have been storyboarded BETTER for that music video.
Jim recently, when sharing his notes he has for his musical queues said Love Song was triggered by “Hellfire Club”. Unbeknown to me, he was obviously referring to a Glasgow night club that existed at the time (possibly where the music video was recorded? This I must check for “swotting” purposes!) – but because I was unaware, I wondered if he’d meant the rather notorious “society” clubs (where debauchery beckoned) of the 18th century.
The music video certainly shows…loutish behaviour. Boys, on the lash, out to make a ruckus and menace of themselves. Well, you can watch it for yourselves…
The biggest irony of the clip? Jim is removed from the chaos ensuing around him. But, as the boys all leave, he’s the first to bust through that invisible barrier blocking the patrons’ exit. Before that, he gives a final cursory glance around to those patrons cowering in fear by the seemingly blocked exit with a look that says “Yeah…see you plebs later. I’m off for some better fun elsewhere.” And that final look from those two woman, as if to say “what a mysterious man he was. I would! Wouldn’t you?” Yes, ladies! I would! In a heartbeat! (We can but dream, eh girls? Although I bet you two “had a go”! Lucky ladies!)
I digress! A little.
On Silver Box there is a demo version. That all-familiar synth intro isn’t there yet…and there are other, almost…jungle sounds on it. The lyrics are mixed round to how they end up on the Sons And Fascination cut…and Jim ad libs other vocal bits in that version (I do find something exceedingly sexy about those “ba ba ooooh” lines) – but for a demo version, it’s flipping good! I listen to it just as much as the final studio cut.
Another favourite version is the remix done for the Glittering Prize “best of” compilation in 1992. So much so, I tracked down a vinyl 12″ single copy of it…and I was in seventh heaven listening to it! Now a much prized possession…as nearly all my Minds Vinyl is. (Sadly, I could not find a video clip on YouTube or elsewhere of the full 1992 Gregg Jackman mix, so you’ll just have to put up with my snippet of the subtle musical difference.)
In summary…it’s the groove of the thing! The sex and menace of it. That so wonderfully storyboarded video to it. The screeching guitar…those sexy, aloof, cool, ambiguous, abstract lyrics (Jim Kerr, I could kiss you for those lyrics. I could kiss you FULL STOP! “Get arf me, woman!” he says. Lol).
And that is why I luurrrrve…Love Song.