What do you consider to be the weirdest song by Steve?

  • I think any fan of Steve would agree that a number of his solo tracks are just plain weird. Which one would you consider to be the weirdest?


    My vote would be "Why?" from WILD ORCHIDS.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • Oh, to have the weirdness back again! I agree, they are many and varied, and one of his real strengths, making his recent "safe", formulaic approach all the more upsetting. Wierdest? Off the top of my head, Down Street, also one of his best. I may update this soon. ;)

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • The tracks mentioned above are ones from the era of his work I'm not familiar with. I agree that the most recent stuff is as far from weird as possible and, as I'm always up for some weird, I shall have to investigate.

    Abandon all reason

  • Recommended weird tracks to investigate (not mentioned so far):


    Carry On Up the Vicarage

    The Ballad of the Decomposing Man

    The Optigan (live)

    The Silk Road

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I know the first two; I wouldn't classify Vicarage as weird - I don't like it and it comes across to me more as "I'm trying to be funny". I think I like Ballad, it's so long since I heard it I'll have to remind myself of it. I shall check out the other two and the ones mentioned earlier.

    Abandon all reason

  • That would be my choice as well. The second half always reminds me of Dire Straits, but the first half is just wacky.

    "Let's have a truly Mexican welcome for... Ronnie and the Romeos!!!"


    Steve's ability to do comical voices seems to be underrated. "Why?" is another fine example, and the ending of "I Know What I Like" (Genesis Revisited) always cracks me up. ("We want you to feel those vibes... b-r-r-r-r-r!") I'm sure there are other examples I can't think of at the moment.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I've listened to all the suggestions listed above. First thing that occurs to me is that none of them are what I'd classify as weird, at least not on my personal weirdness scale, but clearly they are the kind of stuff he absolutely is not doing now.


    Why reminded me a bit of Sentimental Institution

    Down Street is very frustrating because the music is really good and has a very nice vibe but the voiceover spoils it

    As soon as Ballad started I remembered it. Of his somewhat contrived 'comedy' songs this is by far the best for me

    I found Optigan forgettable and already have no real memory of it but enjoyed the live Tower it segued into

    Silk Road is again not weird at all to me but is very good, probably the best of this bunch and I'm glad to have been led to it

    Marijuana - another that comes under the category of "trying too hard to be comedic", but some of the individual segments are quite good

    Abandon all reason

  • << none of them are what I'd classify as weird, at least not on my personal weirdness scale >>

    Can you name any Steve songs that you would classify as weird?


    << Why reminded me a bit of Sentimental Institution >>

    Yes, I can see that.


    << Down Street is very frustrating because the music is really good and has a very nice vibe but the voiceover spoils it >>

    I agree.


    << I found Optigan forgettable and already have no real memory of it >>

    I always thought that one would be amusing if taken completely out of context -- this jokey, hokey, old-timey music (surrealistically getting bent and distorted)... with a big audience enthusiastically clapping to it!

    The Seat Bunny!

  • The Optigan, only ever performed live, is in fact merely an excuse to use the instrument of that name, made by Mattel (the Barbie/Hot Wheels people) which was like a really cheap mellotron, using optical discs to extract samples, and with a speed control (a pitch wheel, if you like) to create the "slowing down live music" effect.


    Sentimental institution uses it, as does Circus of Becoming, the effect wheel on that one is called "Champagne Music", and was also used by Paloma Faith on her hit, "Upside Down".


    One of the reasons I got into Steve's music was because of that track, played at the Reading Festival in 1979, and played on radio 1 by Tommy Valance. I figured anyone who could do that live had something going for him. See him play it here (from the "Spectral Mornings" live DVD), he uses his right hand for the pitch wheel.


    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life