9 July 2017

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Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

As summer began a couple of weeks ago, I presented a cover that cried out against the unbearable heat and light from our day-star. After all, as goths, to paraphrase Darkness from Legend, sunlight is our destroyer! (Such drama, I know, but we ARE a pale lot.) This week's Second Sunday Slowly downtempo cover is only titled along that theme of shrouding our solar enemy. In truth, while perhaps as apocalyptic as My Own Summer in some ways, this track has a very different objective and a far more political meaning.:

You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)

The Police released Invisible Sun in the UK as the first single of their fourth album, Ghost in the Machine, in September 1981. The album concept hinged on ideas inspired in part by Arthur Koestler's 1967 book, The Ghost in the Machine, which explored the human psychology behind self-destructive inclinations. (The phrase "ghost in the machine" is believed to have first been used by British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in his 1949 book, The Concept of Mind, in which he used it to critique the theories of "mind-body dualism" as presented by René Descartes.)
This track of the album was written while lead singer Sting was living in Northern Ireland during the Belfast hunger strikes in a time commonly referred to as "The Troubles." Sting had said the song was about "the lurking violence of those streets, patrolled by armored cars, haunted by fear and suspicion, and wounds that would take generations to heal." Combined with drummer Stewart Copeland's concerns about the bombings that had killed thousands in his hometown of Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, the song's central message seemed to be one of hope in the face of dark times when the light you can not see will come, as Sting put it, "at the end of the tunnel."
It's reported that the BBC banned the song (possibly due to lyrics about the ArmaLite rifle, a weapon utilized heavily by the Provisional IRA) or its video (which included war-torn scenes from the conflicts in Ireland) but since several sources contradict each other, the extent of that ban is unclear. And while the single was not released in the U.S., MTV gave its video substantial airplay.
Needless to say there is a lot of complicated political history attached to the song, which was regarded at the time as the darkest of their tracks thus far.

You Shriek, the Boston based industrial/darkwave trio, released their second full-length album, Unreal Cities, in 2002. It includes their even moodier version of Invisible Sun. The band had started their career with a cover of Bela Lugosi's Dead. Later they did a cover of Joy Division's Warsaw and have since done a cover of Public Image Limited's Ease. In 2012 they released the five-track EP, Hagiography I, featuring covers of deep-cuts from Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, and again, Bauhaus. If they have a particular inspiration for having done Invisible Sun, it may well say so on limited editions of the album which came in handmade, cloth-bound books. (There were only 200 made and despite moving in similar or adjacent social circles as the band, I don't have one to verify.) You Shriek's version strips away the reggae influences that permeate The Police's new wave sound, leaving it starker through the chorus and darker over all.
Given the state of things in our world today, if this is a song meant to remind us that there is eventually an end to hardships, let's hope we haven't only just entered our metaphorical tunnels and are close to the other side.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Our Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century will reveal just what "she" said when "she" came up to the South African model from the 70's or the 80's dub-industrial trio who covered her. Who is "she?" Who is the model? Who are they? Waïte for it... 'cause if I told you now, how could I possibly build the antici..... (pay off on that tease might also surprise you!)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
(You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin late this month and details can, as always, be found on my schedule where I'll also post any changes/additions should they arise. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jul 02 - Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)
Jun 25 - Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)
Jun 18 - Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies

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seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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