Thursday, March 14, 2019

About pop lyrics

DJ Taylor muses about the fact that Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays fame has had his lyrics published in book form by Faber, which leads to all sorts of chin-strokery:
But what are we — the critical, interrogative we, that is — to make of Wrote for Luck, in whose elegant presentation and chaste Faber typeface there lies the hint of something deliberately provocative?
I thought we’d done this to death decades ago, when Christopher Ricks pondered the relative merits of Keats and Dylan, and possibly the more interesting question is how “the critical, interrogative we” is constituted; who’s in, who’s out and who decides? In any case, isn’t Faber renowned for pulling such stunts? As far back as 1983, they gave an editorial job to Pete Townshend, which prompted exactly the same scale of pearl-clutching. And never forget TS Eliot’s heartfelt threnody to the music hall legend Marie Lloyd.

Maybe by “provocative”, Taylor just means that, amidst the white noise of Brexit, Faber knows exactly what it takes to grab a few shreds of publicity from the ether. And it seems to have worked.

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