Requiem for The Big Kiss

The Big Kiss

The Big Kiss, renowned for their sartorial elegance. Kitch has still got that jumper somewhere.

Well I’ve scoured the contents of my magical suitcase of memorabilia (I really do have a suitcase full of memorabilia – old love letters; 18th and 21st birthday cards from long lost friends; concert tickets; the odd school magazine; a copy of my friend (and Batman illustrator) Dave Taylor’s first hand-made comic Tom Tom Macoubre) but I’ve been unable to find the original manuscript of the first draft lyrics to What You Want Me To Be that I promised to find in my last blog. Quel dommage

So all that remains of Chris Steele’s original lyric, as far as I can remember, is the title. Looking back, I was never comfortable singing lyrics written by my peers, though conversely would happily sing any old tripe if it was written by an established artiste. Chris Steele writes tripe, it remains tripe; Chris Martin writes tripe, it miraculously turns to poetry.

While we are growing up, we see all these rock stars as something superhuman, possessing abilities that us mere mortals could never dream of having. The lyrics and melody and chord structure of a song, the notes of a guitar solo even, become sacrosanct. Surely the songwriter has spent hours, nay days of their life honing these words. It may seem at first glance to be complete bollocks, but it’s actually a beautiful piece of finely crafted prose, a deeply resonant metaphor for… no, it is complete bollocks. They just sang any old words with the intention of working at them later on, then went oh sod it, that’ll do, if we mix the vocals down low no one will ever know. It’s true, I read it on Wikipedia somewhere…

Me? Being “West Kirby‘s answer to Brian Wilson” (my own words admittedly, but there are so few songwriters to ever come out of West Kirby that it’s quite probably true), I no longer hold these things sacred. I started off small, changing the key to some songs so I could sing ’em better. I then gravitated to tweaking the odd lyric where I thought it would make more sense. I’ve since taken to writing whole new verses where I think the original writer has just been too lazy to write more (yes Neil Young! I’m talking to you boy! See me after class!).

But I digress, as is my want. Here is the studio version of What You Want Me To Be, as recorded by The Big Kiss, just before their acrimonious split. You may note that some of the lyrics are borrowed from the Stevie Wonder song You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. I started singing them with the intention of replacing them later but, just like the pros, I couldn’t be arsed later on, so left them in.

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