[My Gang] Take That - Eight Letters : Reco of the Week 04 Jan 11


Gen 4 2011, 16:19

Track: Eight Letters
Artist: Take That
Album: Progress (Polydor Nov 2010) [ We7 | Spotify ]
Tags: , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, audio upload

Happy New Year!!

You can look back
But don't stare

This morning saw the second of the eclipses, the first of which took place a couple of weeks ago.

Today's was a solar eclipse. The most stunning image to come from it was this by astrophotographer Thierry Legault:

See this blog post for more on the background and what one of those spots is (it's not a sun spot).

So what does it mean, potentially? It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. It's major change. The solar eclipse will affect everyone differently and its influence will last for many months.

You may know what that change needs to be. With this in mind, I chose Take That's closing track, Eight Letters, from their latest album, Progress.

The eight letters could be 'I love you', but they could also be 'I am sorry', or 'I miss you'.

The track is charged with emotion, the tone melancholic though the music is rousing. The push/pull makes it one of the standout tracks on the album and my favourite. Coldplay use the same powerful technique for their music. It makes the music sentimental, leaving the listener feeling moved. It also makes the track nostalgic and memorable. Like Coldplay, it is a piano ballad.

The chorus samples Ultravox's Vienna. Midge Ure and other members of the band are credited. Midge Ure tweeted "Check out Take Thats new song '8 letters' It has been written with a good deal of Vienna in mind.All in collaboration with us.UltraThat!"

And when I went away
What I forgot to say
Was all I had to say
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

The last line of the chorus, 'eight letters, three words, one meaning' reminds me of a similar line from an old classic, but I can't put my finger on the name of the song. If it comes to me, I'll edit this. In the meantime, if anyone knows the one I mean, please post it in the comments. (it's bugging me!)

Produced by Stuart Price (New Order, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Missy Elliott, Scissor Sisters, The Killers, Pet Shop Boys, Brandon Flowers, Gwen Stefani, Seal, Keane and Frankmusik) the album is all electronica and synthpop, recalling other 80s bands, ending on the ethereal 'hidden' bonus track, Flowerbed, which is pure Goldfrapp but with male vocals.

It debuted at number one in the UK, becoming the second fastest-selling album of all-time, and became the biggest-selling album of the year 24 days after its release with one million copies sold. (Wikipedia) It was critically well received and was the Sunday Times album of the week, rated 5/5.
Most hearteningly, Progress will be musically one of the oddest, most experimental No 1 albums in years. Far from complacently hitting the default buttons, Gary Barlow and co sneak bizarre textures - minimal electro-noir, operatic bombast, skewed disco, techno rock - across the threshold on songs such as Happy Now and Wait (both of which Pet Shop Boys would be proud to call their own), Eight Letters, SOS and the hidden extra Flowerbed [...] (Dan Cairns, Sunday Times, 14 Nov 10)
(... cont'd)

I don't have any of their earlier albums, though I grew up hearing the big singles, of course. This is the only Take That album I own. I wasn't sure on first listen, I liked some and didn't like others so much. It took a few plays for it to all come together and for me to appreciate all the elements. After Eight Letters and Flowerbed, Affirmation stands out for being a little odd, Pretty Things for being pretty, and the first track, lead single The Flood which sets the tone.

What kind of year are we in for? My wish was for a nice, quiet, boring one. I was going to pick Radiohead's No Surprises for this week's journal, but then what about special occasions and birthdays? No, that wouldn't do.

From 3rd February, it will be the Chinese year of the Metal Rabbit, which means peace, tranquility and diplomacy. However, the Metal element gives it a competitive, aggressive, cold and sometimes insensitive edge. This is the first Year of the Metal Rabbit since 1951.

Forewarned is forearmed. Tin hats and fluffy cushions then.

Wishing everyone love, luck and of course, peace, for 2011.


- My Gang

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Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 7,434
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 25,081
Position in Last 7 Days: 13 / 1,195
Position in Last 6 Months: 21 / 4,701

Date Added: November 20, 2010
Views: 48,159, Comments: 131, Likes: 135, Dislikes: 0

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 7,754
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 26,381
Position in Last 7 Days: 12 / 1,252
Position in Last 6 Months: 21 / 4,701

Views: 55,286 , Comments: 144, Likes: 148, Dislikes: 0

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  • rwitte

    Sweet article, sweet track, lot's of interesting astronomy and just enough astrology to demonstrate your appreciation of Chinese culture. Many thanks for this, babs

    Gen 5 2011, 20:39
  • Babs_05

    Thanks, rwitte. :)

    Gen 5 2011, 20:41
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