Thursday, 5 August 2010

The genius of Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

Morrissey was a hero to most but he don’t mean shit to me. Chuck D said that. Its on an unreleased song though, you won’t have heard it, its dead rare.

Although I can take or leave the North Western divas flouncing and utterly high opinion of himself, he has always been around and featured in some way throughout my life, if it wasn’t friends that in the normal run of things would be described as resolutely heterosexual only to turn into Monty Pythons camp soldiers at the merest mention of him, if it wasn’t them it was girlfriends, girlfriends and a wife that would have and would dump me given the word by the bequiffed one. For me he was just there, he did that music but it was all a bit, merely OK.

One song though has been a constant companion over the years, its a song that was was and is omnipresent, that separated the boys from the men in The smiths canon of work and still haunts me today.

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.

At some point in the mid eighties a friend played me Hatful of Hollow, I say played, he played it at me, he made me listen to it and I guess if it was released now with a title such as The Smiths Greatest Hits Volume 1, no one would deny that wasn’t so, If it is your thing its possibly one of if not the greatest albums ever made. Wikipedia informs me that in 2000 it was considered to be the 44th of all time. Wowsers, THATS good. Mid eighties me though kept looking at his watch and muttering under his breath. Till the end that is, then coming in all different, all beautiful, all gorgeous and utterly different was Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want. In all its sub 2 minute lovliness.

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths

The song saunters in, gives the briefest of hello’s and then buggers off again with nary a bye nor leave, it is, to quote John Peel, short to the point of abruptness. It was long enough to sear an impression though, and the impression was indelibly seared. So much so that I made it my next move to hurry back for The A Team and forget about the song for a year or two.

Fast forward to Christmas 1985 and Barry Norman is giving us his run down of the films of the year, usual twaddle, foreign language I will be bound but at the end he dangles a carrot of what is to come in 1986, as the credits roll he plays the Twist and Shout scene from the fantastic Ferris Buellers Day Off. A film that I had to see, and did see as soon as Shrewsbury’s cinema was ready to show it. I adored that film and then during a scene at a museum, perhaps at the point where Sloane realises that she loves Ferris, then the sound of Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want their instrumental version fills the scene, but at the hands of The Dream Academy. Time has shown me that Life In A Northern Town is a great song, but what they put into The Smiths track was sublime, beautiful and perfection between soundtrack and scene. I had to buy that. I still own that 7” and if grooves could talk it would tell you that it was and possibly is my most played 7”, either that or Wig Wam Bam by The Sweet (what can I say I worked at Butlins for 7 years, it was a popular party dance tune).

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Dream Academy.

Time moves on and with time comes compilation tapes, the maker and the receiver. The thing with compilation tapes, mixtapes is that that little bit at the end of track 13 or 14 needs filling or you have either half a song or a minute or two of nothing. There is only one song that is happy to fit that and that is Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, be it The Smiths version, The Dream Academy’s version, Deftones version or of late OK Go’s version or the fantastic Decemberists and their version. Covered by many, end of side two mixtape for all.

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by She and Him.

These days it has popped up on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack in two guises, the faultless original and the magnificent cover performed by Zooey Deschanel and M Ward as She and Him. The song is always there, always about, ubiquitous and it needs to be. For all of the dross Morrissey and The Smiths have produced over the years, his flirtations and mistakes, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want remains perfect.

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