Friday, January 02, 2009

"Sunshine of Your Love"

In the film "Wayne's World" (or it may be the sequel, I can't be sure), there's a moment when Wayne sees a particularly beautiful guitar. He turns to camera and says "It will be mine. Oh yes."
Well, you get the same sort of feeling from this song. As love songs go, this isn't so much a hearts-and-flowers "moon-and-June" type of song, more a "You're mine. Get used to it" song. Which is fine with me.
The intro is just about the most recognisable opening 16 bars in rock anywhere, a spare riff on bass, echoed by the guitar with a muffled jungle throb in the background. Dark, brooding, a little mysterious. Hardly what you'd expect to hear, given the song's title.
"It's getting near dawn/When lights close their tired eyes./I'll soon be with you my love,/To give you my dawn surprise./I'll be with you darling soon,/I'll be with you when the stars start falling."
And right from the start, I'm wondering to myself how Jack Bruce can have been overlooked as one of the very greatest singers of his eras. It's not a blues growl, nor is it a rock shout: it's crystal clear, hinting at a deep wellspring of emotion beneath, rising to hit the higher notes with barely a trace of effort. Just fantastic.
Eric Clapton's guitar playing is perfect for the song: understated, happy to sit in the background until his solo, when he steps up and delivers - just right. Bluesy, but not drawn-out, clear, almost an academic solo, as if he's trying to understand what he's playing and why.
Ginger Baker sounds like he's not using his sticks but is just striking the skins with the flat of his hand, so muffled is the sound. It's exact, precise drumming, holding the song together with bonds of steel, hitting the off-beat with such relish that you can almost see him laughing with glee.
"I've been waiting so long/To be where I'm going;/In the sunshine of your love."
As a New Year's bonus, here are two different takes on the song. Firstly, the "farewell" version:



And secondly the reunion version:

3 comments:

C.J.Duffy said...

pHeartwarming to see you still blogging and still producing what has to be the best music site in the blogsphere.
I loved, and still do Cream. This song is still good.

Londinium said...

Nice to see you still on t'interweb, CJ!

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