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Friday, August 15, 2008

I Owe It All To Ace Of Base

Have the spent the last night or two working on a song that had been nutting around in my head for a while. It's a YouTube-themed song and is done in the style of Kelly Clarkson/Pink/The Veronicas. But with me instead. :p

Anyways, this new one is alright. I'm doing it in a weird way - I have the backing track of guitar and midi drums, bass and strings. But I've had no lyrics - just the title. So, I'm writing a verse and a chorus at a time, then picking up the microphone and recording it over the top of the track. Then I doing the backing vocals where I feel it needs it. So what I'm working with is the patchiest and most unnatural songwriting procedure ever. But it seems to be working.

As an experiment, I muted the midi track and the song sounds really good like that as well (if not better). So when I finish it, I'm going to do a version with the drums, strings and bass, and then mute the track with those and call it the "De-Spectorized Mix". Or "Acoustic". Whatever.


People take up the guitar for various reasons, but most of the time, they've done it because they love a particular player or song. In music class in high school, it seemed like every boy in the class didn't give a shit about playing Louie Louie, never mind that it was three simple chords and a basic one to learn for beginners; they wanted to play Wonderwall or Smells Like Teen Spirit straight off the bat.

But for me? The song that made me want to learn guitar was not a traditional guitar hero song. It was not Hendrix or Marley or Cobain or Gallagher or Clapton.

It was an acoustic version of Ace of Base's "Lucky Love" on my cassette copy of "The Bridge".

It's an unorthodox inspiration, but it's the truth. It's an average pop song and one that most people don't remember (even though it went to number one throughout Europe).

So why Ace of Base? They of the woman who only wants another baby, seeing the sign and days of not for working but "a day for catching tan"?

Because I was a fan of Europop in the early-to-mid 90's (and we all were to some extent). Particularly within the Europop craze of the mid-90's, there was an extravagant emphasis on synthesized music. When I voted for songs on the Hot 30 with Stuey and Zoey, I'd vote for the song I knew would be the most popular of the night so I could have a better chance of winning the prize, but if I really wanted to, I'd often vote for the latest Ace of Base track. :)

So I got The Bridge cassette for my birthday and on the second side, they'd included an Acoustic Mix of Lucky Love. Intrigued I skipped to it.

Suddenly I heard a real instrument on a track I was already so familar with on the radio. That steel TWANG of the strumming of the opening chords pierced through the haze of the synth and electronica that came before. Then a real bass. And a real drum kit and shakers. And the guitar kept twanging and plucking, the shakers kept shaking, the keyboard kept tinkling.

It was an instrumentation I wasn't used to with Ace of Base, and it had an effect on me.

And that's the moment I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.

Unorthodox yes, but true.

So when I muted the track with the midi and synth tonight, of all the thoughts that could have come to me, Ace of Base came back into my memory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear ya sister!

No one could seriously suggest that AOB (Ace Of Base) hasn't stood the true test of time!

Worldwide everyone agrees that Ace Of Base is ace and Roxette Rocks!

Don't be ashamed - embrace your inner ACE OF BASE!

Astor Terrace.