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June 18th, 2010

Song Of The Day @ 01:28 am

canadanne:
Not many comments on Silver And Gold last week... come on guys, I want to know what you think of these songs! Remember the good old days when we actually talked about the music on here? I miss that. :(

Let's mix it up with something from the '90s...

Salomé (Zooromancer Remix)

The original version of Salomé (described by Niall Stokes as "blistering R'n'B") had been a B-side to 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' in June 1992. This dance remix was released a couple of months later as a B-side to 'Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses' (on the limited edition alternative single, which I've never come across in the shops). It later showed up on Melon: Remixes for Propaganda, the compilation CD given away to members of the fan club in spring 1995. And there's an edited version (over 2 minutes shorter) on The Best Of 1990-2000. It's a sexy song about feminine wiles, and where the earlier version is playful, the latter is even more hungry and hypnotic.


The house duo behind this remix are Brighton-born Pete Heller and Londoner Terry Farley, who co-founded the highly influential dance label Boys Own Productions in the early '90s. (Boys Own began as a cult fanzine launched in the mid-'80s by a collective of like-minded DJs, discussing favourite topics such as football, fashion and club music.) The label was later renamed Junior Boys Own (JBO) following the departure of Andrew Weatherall, and the Salomé remix is included on the compilation album 'JBO: A Perspective 1988-1998'. The track apparently features additional backing vocals by engineers Ian Bryan and Paul Barrett, though I'm not convinced about that (I think I can only hear them on the original version).

A brief explanation of the song, for anyone who doesn't know... Salomé was a Biblical character who danced for her stepfather King Herod Antipas, son of the infamous Herod the Great, at his birthday supper. (In some versions it's been called the Dance of the Seven Veils and was a kind of striptease.) Herod was so pleased with her performance that he swore he would grant Salomé anything she wanted, up to half of his kingdom ("Give you half what I got / If you untie the knot / It's a promise"). Salomé's mother Herodias had a grudge against John the Baptist and told her to request his head on a platter, which she did. Herod was appalled and reluctant to order the execution, but since he'd made an oath in front of his guests, he felt he had to comply ("Baby I feel sick / Don't make me stick to a promise"). Salomé has come to be seen as "an icon of dangerous female seductiveness", and the song reflects her sensuality with its chorus of "Shake it shake it shake it Salomé". I don't know about you, but it's a command my own hips can never refuse when I listen to it!

No-one appears to have posted the full-length remix on YouTube, but here's the Best Of Edit:

(You're not really missing anything - the intro and outro are both slightly shorter, and the "got to, got to get you" bits are slashed by about a minute and a half. "Under the spell of your love" is only sung twice instead of four times, which is my sole complaint about this edit.)

For comparison, the original version from the EBTTRT single can be found here. I've always adored that one - I bought the single during my first trip to Dublin in August 2000, and immediately fell in love with Salomé. It's definitely one of their strongest original B-sides (not that there are many weak ones, come to think of it). Enormously catchy with an infectious bassline, and I love the Motown-esque "whoo whoo!" backing vocals. It sounds like U2 just having a lot of carefree silly fun, and it makes me want to dance and sing along.

I first heard the Zooromancer Remix in March 2002 when a friend sent me a copy of the Melon compilation, and I had a lukewarm reaction to it ("quite good, though not as good as the original"). It sounded nice enough, but the old version was so near perfect that I couldn't see the point of changing it, especially if it resulted in a more serious tone. I was bewildered when someone told me they actually preferred this inferior remix (in fact they didn't much like the original)... I couldn't see what was so impressive about it. But it worked its magic on me eventually. I was listening to the CD again in November 2003, and this track suddenly grabbed me one day. My journal entry at the time remarks "It goes on a bit, but apart from that, mmmmm it's nice" - I guess it's just as well they also released a shorter version!

Fans of U2 as "four guys in a room" may be upset by the remix, as the distinctive bassline, drums, guitar and tambourine have been completely removed, as have the original handclaps and backing vocals - instead it's all moody synth lines and programmed beats. The song has also been rearranged somewhat, with only one chorus that comes in after the final verse. (I think Edge is the only band member who gets to appear on the track with Bono, thanks to his "shake it shake it shake it" vocal!) The LV himself makes a number of additional contributions, all of which I enjoy. I like the way he sings "Sa-LO-may" and then "Sal-o-MAY" a couple of times, as if savouring her name by trying it out from different angles. There's a new "Yeah yeah yeaaahhh!" between the first two verses, and later a repeating breathy chant of "I got to get you / Got to, got to get you" which really brings out the desperate lust in the song; he's literally panting with desire!

There are also some nice new backing vocals - what sounds like Bono's falsetto "waaaaa" followed by a sort of digitally treated sigh. These are used to stunning effect as the final act approaches, in what is easily my favourite moment of the song. The drum track stops abruptly; the "got to get you" mantra continues for a few seconds before trailing off with a slight echo; and there's a moment of dead calm where all you can hear is that sad, unearthly backing vocal -- then cool as anything, Bono simply goes "Alright now" and the song takes flight with a gorgeous shimmering synth riff. Gives me the shivers every time. Does that tune sound familiar? The first time I recognised it, it nearly drove me crazy trying to place where I'd heard it before. It is of course a sample of the intro from Duran Duran's 1982 single 'Save A Prayer'! The final addition is a dreamy new line "Under the spell of your love" repeated several times, which is my other favourite part of the remix. Apart from just sounding wonderful, it fits in perfectly with the existing lyrics about Salomé the enchantress getting whatever she wants.

Even the title of this remix is awesome. I absolutely love the way U2 have Zoo-ified various words over the years, and 'Zooromancer' is just a beautiful word in its own right. (If you're not aware, Neuromancer is a 1984 cyberpunk novel by William Gibson, whose writing heavily influenced the ZooTV tour and Zooropa album. The Salomé remix appears in the 1994 audiobook of Neuromancer which Gibson narrated.)


LYRICS

Baby please
Baby please don't go
I got lies to feed
They want skin and seed
Now don't make me crawl

Baby please
Baby don't bite your lip
Give you half what I got
If you untie the knot
It's a promise

Salomé
Salomé
Salomé
Salomé

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Baby please
Baby what's that tune
Well I heard it before
When I crawled from your door
And my blood turned blue

Baby please
Baby please slow down
Baby I feel sick
Don't make me stick
To a promise

Salomé
Salomé

Salomé
Salomé
Salomé...

Salomé
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)


Baby please
Baby don't say no
Won't you dance for me
'Neath the cherry tree
Won't you swing down low

Please
Baby please say yes
Maybe God will wink
But I'm spilling the ink
On your precious love

Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé
Shake it, shake it, shake it, Salomé...

Salomé
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you)


Alright now

(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)


Under the spell of your love
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
Under the spell of your love
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
Under the spell of your love
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
Under the spell of your love
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)

(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)
(I gotcha... I got to, got to get you, uh)
(I got to get you, got to, got to get you, ah!)



So do you like it, or do you prefer the original? (Alternatively you can even listen to it backwards, though I'm not sure why you'd want to!)
 
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Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:fouroux
Date:June 18th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
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I only know the version from the best of cd and have always loved it, for reasons I'm still not quite aware of. as soon as it's on, however, I start dancing through the room.

I knew salomé referred to a character in the bible, but never knew about the exact story - so thanks for clearing that up. very interesting :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:kilikinav
Date:June 20th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
(Link)
U2 fandom is so rewarding. I'm 4 years into "big fan" mode and there is still so much to discover! Any song with an Edge vocal does right by me, so this was a very pleasant surprise indeed. The original wins in that regard since Edge is shakin' it more frequently than in the remix. But I do enjoy the remix a lot for, well, all the reasons you mentioned! I don't always like remixes but I'm a sucker for trance. It suits U2 extremely well.
[User Picture Icon]
From:find_an_excuse
Date:June 20th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
(Link)
I have the original CD single in question, bought it at the time when it came out. I love that little collection of CDs that I have from the Achtung baby album. Didn't know it was rare, can't you pick up a copy on ebay?
cheers,
ALan
[User Picture Icon]
From:canadanne
Date:June 20th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Probably - I've never used eBay. I bought all the '90s singles around Y2K when they were still available in the high street shops, but I never saw that one and didn't even know it existed! (I don't really need it now, since I've acquired the extra tracks from other places.)

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