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November 3rd, 2005

Song of the Day @ 10:45 am

onebadkite:
I'm currently hearin: The Playboy Mansion

 

"The Playboy Mansion" from Pop

A nice, groovy little track.  Unfortunately, paired with "If You Wear That Velvet Dress," it makes me sleepy.  Not bad sleepy, more of a... drowsy, I suppose.  It's described as a 'gospel song for white trash.' 

The opening is almost like a descent, "Come hither, I have something to tell you."  I can almost imagine a camera movement paired with it, down a staircase, into some lofty basement of a club or something like that.  Bono, in Into The Heart, describes it as Prosperity as a Religion.  There's a reason they're called Haves and Have-Nots, not just Rich and Poor.  The tone of the song changes toward the end, and it's as if our narrator realizes how fake it all is.   In fact through most of the song Bono is talk-singing, but once we come to "Then there will be no time for sorrow" his true voice emerges.  This is where we move on to the gospel of the song. 

Edge's backing vocals, starting with just "aaahs" in the fifth verse, are sublime.  I have a special affinity for songs without choruses, I don't know why.  I guess I just don't like repetition too much.  Here, there's only the refrain of "Love, come on down" and "Then there will be..."  I'm not usually a fan of slide guitar, but it's perfect here.  Adam's bass is melodic, and as always, carries us during guitar-gaps.


The Playboy Mansion

If Coke is a mystery
Michael Jackson... history
If beauty is truth
And surgery the fountain of youth
What am I to do
Have I got the gift to get me through
The gates of that mansion

If OJ is more than a drink
And a Big Mac bigger than you think
If perfume is an obsession
And talk shows, confession
What have we got to lose
Another push and we'll be through
The gates of that mansion

I never bought a Lotto ticket
I never parked in anyone's space
The banks feel like cathedrals
I guess casinos took their place
Love, come on down
Don't wake her, she'll come around

Chance is a kind of religion
Where you're damned for plain hard luck
I never did see that movie
I never did read that book
But love, come on down
And let my numbers come around

Don't know if I can hold on
Don't know if I'm that strong
Don't know if I can wait that long
'Til the colours come flashing
And the lights go on

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
And though I can't say why
I know I've got to believe

We'll go driving in that pool
It's who you know that gets you through
The gates of the Playboy mansion
But they don't mention... the pain to reach

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame

Fave Lyrics:
But they don't mention... the pain to reach.

 
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Comments

 
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From:bonoffee
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Ah, this is one of the very few I can't get into. I keep planning to go back and try again but then I always want to listen to something else, and never get around to trying again. The first few lines always put me off; I don't like those lyrics and I can't get past that. I will have another go some day though, because I hate when U2 songs defeat me! I like to like them all, y'know. ;)
From:nonsvch
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
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i love songs without choruses. my favorite songs are the ones that tell stories, and i think that those stories are often told the best by songs that are sans-chorus.
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From:zoostation
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
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I recently started to love this song. The title threw me off and I scoffed at it for a while. But when I reheard the lyrics and figured that is was more than just Hugh Hefner's house...love.
My favourite is the last bit 'Then there will be no time for sorrow...'
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From:sapphires13
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC)
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You know, I was listening to it a month or so ago, and it suddenly hit me that the music (especially at the beginning of the song) is PORN MUSIC. I finally noticed it, and I just started laughing at how perfect it is.
It's my least favourite song on Pop, but by no means a bad song. I like it, I just don't listen to it as much as I should/could.

I like randomly reciting the first two verses, because they make people pay attention. Especially in my house, you know, because we're white trash ;P and we can relate to it XD
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From:mtheu2nut
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
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I think this is my favorite song from Pop. I'm sad that it doesn't get the love.

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame

It's just so... beautiful.
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From:dizzy_duck
Date:November 5th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC)
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I agree with you. I've loved this song since "Pop" came out. I'm glad to see someone else giving it love. :-)
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From:arcmorality
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)

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Without doubt the most underated U2 song of the 90s! Superb tune.
From:leelee_cakes
Date:November 3rd, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
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*raises hand* Self confessed "Pop" lover here, so beware, as I think the album is absolutely BRILLIANT all over.

This song is wonderful-it touches on so many things that made the 90's absurd-the celebrity worship, the consumerism. I love (what I feel is) the comparison of the Playboy Mansion to Heaven-have you got what it takes to get in? In our times, in a culture of consumption, sex and celebrity, what else would symbolize Heaven than the Playboy Mansion?

Genius.
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From:dizzy_duck
Date:November 5th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
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*proudly raises hand too*

"Pop" is their most underrated album. I've always loved it; in fact, it's one I listen to consistently, whereas I haven't played "October" or "Zooropa" or "Rattle and Hum" in eons.

And I love your icon. :-)
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From:specialcamper
Date:November 3rd, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I really like this song. I don't know if I can explain why. I just really do.
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From:beowulfjones
Date:November 3rd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Crazy great song. Such a strange reinvention of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" -- Oh yes, you can most definitely sing the verse of one over the other!
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From:mtheu2nut
Date:November 5th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
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I never realized that, but it's totally true. Weird.
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From:claudiathefish
Date:November 3rd, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
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This is the first song I really liked off of Pop, even though it did make me feel lazy, and drowsy, I suppose.
But, I never did understand the "We'll go driving in that pool" lyric. Maybe I'm just dumb...
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From:mtheu2nut
Date:November 5th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
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Maybe it was supposed to be diving in that pool and Bono forgot what he was singing somewhere in the middle... ~giggle~
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From:whatsername_31
Date:November 3rd, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
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I hate to admit this, but I am not really crazy about this song....I mean it is not that I totally hate it, but it is one I tend to skip over when listening to the CD...

I can not put my finger on why I dislike it.
From:sabneraznik
Date:November 4th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
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Don't know if I can hold on
Don't know if I'm that strong
Don't know if I can wait that long
'Til the colours come flashing
And the lights go on
Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
And though I can't say why
I know I've got to believe


This is beautiful, and I love the pop culture rundown. When I first heard it, it was great. Like they were making fun of American culture and how it makes it more difficult to get to God. Oh, and great bass line for Adam.
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From:canadanne
Date:November 5th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
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Not a *bad* song, but one of my least favourites on Pop, and tends to get skipped unless I'm actually playing the whole album. I've always found it a bit weird to hear U2 sampling a Lightning Seeds song (that I loved for a good couple of years before I discovered U2), so that's sort of distracting - it makes it difficult to form an opinion on the U2 song in its own right, if that makes any sense?

I'm not overly keen on some of the lyrics. It's weird for "Michael Jackson" to randomly pop up in a U2 song. TPM is the second song in a row to feature the word "surgery", which I don't find to be very poetic. And the "OJ is more than a drink" / Big Mac couplet is kind of crude as well. I've never entirely understood what point Bono is trying to make with some of these real world references, they just drag it down and make it hard to become emotionally involved in the song. It's a bit like the overload of dodgy metaphors in Mercy, come to think of it. Not really to my taste - I prefer my lyrics a bit more subtle and elegant.

That said, it gets better and better as the song progresses. After the clunky first couple of verses, it seems to pick up momentum and just generally sounds more pleasant - I enjoy singing along to the rest of it. My favourite bit of the song is the transition from "'Til the colours come flashing, and the lights go onnn" to the falsetto section "Then will there be no time for sorrow...". It's fun singing a harmony over that part when it repeats at the end. :)
(....Is that *Edge* singing on it there?!  I've always heard that as female vocals, but listening more closely with headphones, the voice suddenly sounds more familiar!!)

"I never did see that movie / I never did read that book" - ha, that is so me. I never get round to doing anything! ;p
And what is it about banks and cathedrals - seems to be one of those odd little combinations that Bono loves throwing into his song lines!

So yeah. It's got a catchy tune and some nice vocals, but I think the opening verses let it down somewhat. I find Pop to be a mostly fantastic album with a slightly weak middle.

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