Sunday, 18 July 2010

‘E=mc²’– Big Audio Dynamite (1986)

“Ritual ideas, relativity
Only buildings, no people prophecy
Timeslide place to hide, nudge reality
Foresight minds wide, magic imagery.”

Guitar lessons got a lot more interesting after I was taught this song. Before that it had been all text book tablature. Nothing more modern than the ‘House of the Rising Sun’ or The Beatles. Then one Saturday morning, my guitar teacher (possibly sensing I was losing interest in strumming ‘Yellow Submarine’) asked me what I’d been listening to that week and if I wanted to learn it. This was a revelation. In the last five years, I’d never thought about actually asking to learn something I liked.

So I put this record on. And after the first verse and chorus, my teacher was playing along. And after the second verse, I was following his lead. (Listening back now, I can only smile at how rudimentary he must have thought this song was, with its two basic chords and six-note melody.) By the next lesson I’d mastered the bass riff to ‘Ghostbusters’. There was no stopping me now.

Most importantly, songwriting suddenly didn’t seem as daunting as before. By deconstructing these songs, I’d been taught how to construct my own. I’d already won the ‘Young Musician of the Year’ contest at school (hurrah for me!) with a song that I’d written but quickly disowned. It was about how rock ‘n’ roll would never die. Yes, I’m groaning too. You can see why I disowned it. (But to be fair, I found out a couple of years later that Neil Young had written a song with the same sentiments, so who’s laughing now? Oh, you are. Fair enough.) Now I felt ready to transcend those initial immature songwriting fumblings. Now it was time to write my own ‘Ghostbusters’. I’ll let you know how that worked out another time. (Clue: The fact you haven’t seen my name in the charts may suggest I never quite achieved this lofty ambition.)

Spotify linky:
Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2


  1. Pleeeease share the lyrics of the song with us! Promise I won't laugh, I wrote some howlers at school.

  2. I'll share the chords with you too if I ever dig them up.