Monday, September 01, 2008
Découvrez F.R. David!
For such a luminous wordsmith, I can sometimes have a problem with WORDS. (Well, for starters, it isn't easy PLACING the always-judiciously chosen words and always-biting ones at the right places and at the right time - not when you're always being interrupted throughout your speech or, worse yet, when people simply don't want to hear what you have to say, for whatever reason it may be -usually not wanting to hear the Truth! Another aspect of the problem is also related to the audience, as it isn't always attentive, or it only gives you a few seconds to deliver those WORDS, see? How can one be expected to deliver BIG WORDS - with such conditions prevailing? The exact words, fit for EACH audience, become IMPERATIVE then - and that is not always so "easy" to find, indeed - not in the spur of the moment, no.)
A problem akin to F.R. David's problem, as you can surely assess already, which came to prominence a whopping 25 years ago in the Year of our Lord 1982 (okay, it's 26 years ago now - I missed the 25th, mea culpa!) when his song climbed the charts, peaking at number 2 on North American soil. However, this timeless song reached the very top in several countries across the Big Blue only in 1983, so it is fair to speak of a 25th anniversary here instead, after all...!
F.R. David a.k.a. Eli Robert Fitoussi, in a Tunisian-born "one-hit wonder" as they call those fortunate or unfortunate enough to have met with massive approval only ONCE in their careers... Those illuminaries, the likes of Eli Robert, have been blessed with knowing what "success" is - and, verily, twice-blessed too because they have been fortunate enough to see just how ephemeral it is RIGHT AWAY... Way before it got to become too much and it started to ruin them irremediably, like so many others among those "artists" who've had more, er, "sustained" careers...? But those are other (sad) stories - sad stories of another kind.
Like a handful of other great songs in that blessed year of 1982 (and, overall, blissful Eighties) "Words" stood out immediately. As far as "soft rock" goes, it cannot get any better than this; other fine examples from the same era include "Cruel To Be Kind", "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime", "You Could Have Been With Me" and "Cool Night". All of them are pretty much mid-tempo tunes that got top rotation playing time during those years, having hit the airwaves at just about the same time indeed. All of them represent a trend, collectively. A trend I can only hope to see the return of! All of them, unquestionably, have that certain "je-ne-sais-quoi" that can be instantly recognized and categorized as "catchy" and "with potential" too - for success as a single release. All of these extraordinary songs came about in a sort of mini-boom of creativity and sensitivity that simply amazes - for it could have not been at all! Remember that this is barely past the "disco era" - and the only dancing that can conceivably be done with this material is (very) slow dancing! They are not your average sappy love songs either; the five that I lump together here and the few worthy contemporaries to be found nowadays are true timeless gems, songs that stand on their own merit no matter what is deemed "in", "hip" or "cool" at whatever time in the history of music that we can think of. And their uniqueness is further emphasized by the lack of continuity in this vein... They just don't make them like that anymore - not in any kind of "sustained effort" they don't, that is for sure!
These songs have a two-fold strength that just can't be beat - the melody is simply unforgettable, for one. But the lyrics are the true treasure each time - the WORDS (and that is always my focus too, incidentally, as logic would dictate...!)
Simply listen, listen closely, to any one of these songs, and you will agree as well: these songs are timeless wonders due to their WORDS, not simply their enchanting, rapturous melodies...!
Luminous words they are indeed - that each and every single one of us can relate to, at virtually any moment of our lives...
And it sure is preferable, also, to listen to just the song - without any video to deconcentrate thee! Still, to please everyone that does drop by here, I've provide more than a few links for thy video-craving each time out.
Eli Robert has continued to make music all these years, encouraged and spurred on by the huge success of "Words". Of course, he was never to repeat such success - so far, anyways. Some songs are just PERFECT the first time around, hence his huge hit has only been covered by another artist ONCE - that is another rather disappointing aspect of the whole thing, considering that so many downright AVERAGE songs get to be redone over and over again, by a neverending succession of up-and-coming new and allegedly promising artists... "Words" -as any other of the five I mentioned here- deserves to be repackaged, re-recorded and re-interpreted over and over again; by as many diversified singing voices as possible too... Perhaps it isn't happening so frequently due to the practically flawless nature of the original songs, hmm? Such perfect creations intimidate any wanna-be cover artist - and with good reason too!
Maybe they'll get to it NOW though... Since most are into SAMPLING these days!
Now that the 25th anniversary of "Words" reaching the number one position in Germany, among other places, has come... And gone... It is time, I say!
Even that didn't come easy, you know...!
Nothing ever does...!