A Song A Day: January 20th – ‘The Only Road I’ve Ever Been Down’

20 01 2011

I nearly had to engage the flux capacitor for this post, but it’s first thing on the 20th for me. 1am to be precise, so that counts in my book. I’m going to be out most of the day today – travelling to see my girlfriend, then we’re going to go for a chinese before relaxing and spending some quality time together.

Yesterday though, I read a news story that HMV (the last high street music chain in the UK remaining) have begun to seek financial advice. I fear it could be the beginning of the end for HMV, however I sincerely hope not. If so, it would reflect that progression to digital downloads, which I just don’t get the mass appeal off. I’m not against digital downloads per se, but suffice to say I use them very little. I appreciate the instantainous appeal, but for me, it feels lacking. I only really download the odd song of itunes. Normally, I prefer to buy albums, and for that, going to the record store will never be beaten.

Maybe it’s because I’m old fashioned, maybe it’s because i’m just set in my ways, but for me, buying in a store is all I’ve ever really known. For me the ONLY advantage of online buying is price. The reason I dislike buying albums from itunes is that it’s just there on the screen. Just there… I click it and it plays. For me, there’s no physical connection. No case to hold, I don’t get the enjoyment of opening the case for the first time, and discovering what artwork is on the disc. I don’t get that pleasure of trying to get the booklet out without creasing it. I like being able to look at the case on my shelf, and then when I want to listen to it, taking it off the shelf, taking out the disc, loading it etc. I find with MP3’s — that is lost. You just point, click and play. Maybe you’ll get artwork in the corner.

There’s no rush of going out to get the album from the store, and then seeing it on the shelf like some glowing piece of treasure. A great example of this was the lastest album by The Orb. When Metallic Spheres came out, I knew I had to get it. I remember checking HMV several times but not seeing it. I checked a few supermarket’s also but no luck (but it’s not a mainstream release) – That’s another point, HMV carries alot more choice then the supermarkets. Anyway. I eventually found the CD, and held it in my hands for a second before realising that I had to buy it before I could play it. I got home, and went through the familiar feelings of taking off the cellophane, opening it up, reading the booklet, observing artwork etc. You just don’t get that with a download.

Anyway… *disables rant mode* — todays song came from an album I had a similar experience with, except I was still able to count my age in single figures! This track is one of those turn it up, I’m alive kind of tracks. Taken from a stonkingly good album called Urban Hymns by The Verve. This track is arguabaly their biggest hit. Bittersweet Symphony. The lyrics are wonderful, but the video is a true work of art. I really hope you enjoy this one.

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
But I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no

Well I never pray
But tonight I’m on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now

No change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
I can’t change
I can’t change it

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

You know I can’t change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no

I can’t change my mind
no, no, no, no, no,
I can’t change
Can’t change my body,
no, no, no

I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
That you’ve ever been down
That you’ve ever been down

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: http://bit.ly/eBAhZi — or at the Facebook Fan Page: http://on.fb.me/fszSws

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15 responses

23 03 2011
9 02 2011
6 02 2011
A Song A Day: 6th Feb – ‘The Voice That Calls To Me’ « My 2011 Music Diary

[…] short while back, I had a bit of a rant about digital downloads vs. physical copies and I favored firmly on the side of the physical copy. One of the points I made was the fact with a […]

23 01 2011
The week in other stuff – January 16-22, 2011 « Dischordant Forms

[…] perspective on different songs, whether I ultimately like them or not. I recently commented on his post about The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” and the dying state of the music […]

23 01 2011
djbaroque

Thankyou for the Pingback! It’s appreciated

21 01 2011
Aditi

I agree Daniel.

Like you I am very old fashioned when it comes to books. I love reading and I can actually read same thing 4-5 times. So when it comes to reading, I prefer holding the book in hand and the fragrance of the new edition is amazing: something that i miss when i read on Kindle.

Not many can understand this feeling but i felt what you wrote about digital download, its just that the whole process is just not that exciting :)

I am proud to say that we are old fashioned people who still love spending bucks on physical dimension of the object. :D

(BTW, thanks for such a nice comment on my page about the painting, u rock)

21 01 2011
djbaroque

I get the idea of the Kindle, it’s basically a load of books in a tablet shaped device, but I never got the appeal of it. It’s not that different to your normal traditional book. I’d rather have the book, like you say. It’s the smell of the paper, folding your page over when your a bookmark down, holding the book with one hand whilst you drink your cuppa in the other. If it’s anything like me, you’ll start reading at night and you’ll fall asleep with the book open on top of you, which 9 times out of 10 results in you awakening when you hear the thud of your book hitting the floor, usually loosing your page. I don’t think I’d want to drop a kindle.

I’m proud to be oldfashioned also. I’m opening myself to a potential barrage of comments and viewpoints here also!!

Besides…. A real book won’t run out of batteries just as you get to the good bit.
Thankyou, Aditi, for all your comments and compliments!

20 01 2011
Marianne

I agree Daniel. It’s a shame to see the music/video stores closing down due to the internet. I have a friend who has a video store. She’s noticed a huge drop in sales in the last few years. She is considering closure.

I liked the song. The video was great too. The tune in the last blog post wouldn’t work for me so I couldn’t comment. The message said it wasn’t available in my country.

Cheers! Enjoy your day!

20 01 2011
djbaroque

Drat — Sorry about that, marianne – Not a lot I can do – That’s annoying. I try to choose videos whereever I can which are embedd friendly, and don’t send you to youtube. I know though one day I couldn’t help it :(

Thanks for commenting!

20 01 2011
Elaine

Great tune, I remember it well.

Funny your comments about HMV. I was thinking about them last night before I went to sleep. Specifically, that they’d really missed the boat as far as selling music online was concerned. Apple have filled the gap to an extent, but there are plenty of people out there who won’t buy anything from Apple on principle. Amazon also does it a bit, but they’re not known for selling music.

Another random thought – why is there no imdb equivalent for music?

Enjoy the day, sounds like it’s going to be a good one!

20 01 2011
djbaroque

HMV joined the digital download party, but way later then they should of done. iTunes has the market somewhat monopolised – Im one of these people who is an apple fan somewhat. My iMac is useful, and I worked on them exclusively throughout college and uni.

IMDB Equivalent. I think the nearest is discogs – and if that not then Wikipedia???
It was a good day, about 8pm, and Ive stolen my gfs laptop — the chinese meal was great!

20 01 2011
20 01 2011
djbaroque

Will check out shortly…

20 01 2011
Russ

I never got deep into The Verve, but I love this song – it never gets old. I picked up Richard Ashcroft’s first two solo albums after they broke up, and the first one, Alone with Everybody, is an album that I can listen to from beginning to end and think that every song is a hit.

It does suck that physical product, particularly in music stores, is going the way of the dinosaur. It’s disappointing to me – we just had a very small chain of stores close locally, meaning that the best places to buy music “around here” are now, literally, only iTunes or Amazon.

I’m not happy with buying digital-only copies, because I like to have the whole experience, but I am starting to make concessions when I’m only interested in the single, or if it’s an old song that I want.

Not the happiest time for fans of albums – but then, it hasn’t been that way for a decade now (at least here in Anywhere, USA).

(oh and I fixed my user name issue – woo hoo!)

20 01 2011
djbaroque

Hey Russ, congratulations on fixing your link issues! I was never into the verve outside of Urban Hymns, mainly the singles really. I remember hearing Richards first (IIRC) solo album whilst during my school days. It was found in a CD player there so I spun it whilst I did my work. Pretty identifiable as recall – not a far cry from his verve stuff.

If HMV closes near me, the nearest trip to a record store is about a 20 mile journey in either direction from my town. I tend to buy older records more then newer stuff, and the new stuff isnt available in the supermarkets. I’m pretty sure I’m unlikely to see the latest Satch release in Asda. Nice to read also that i’m not alone in liking the ‘whole-experience’ as you put it. Downloads are great for the odd song though.

Thanks for commenting.

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