Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Editors - 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' + 'Push Your Head Towards The Air'

Another month, another version of 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' (the third so far). I probably wouldn't be listening to Editors if it wasn't for this song. I have their two albums, The Back Room and An End Has A Start, on CD now and they're pretty great (Back Room a little less so, perhaps, a bit too post-punk-retro in feel). Good, epic songs of which 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' is probably the best - so the chance to get another version of the single, on clear white vinyl, was an easy enough one to jump at.

It's limited edition, too. No. 3509 out of 10,000. Wow!

The cover is the same as the first release, but metallic. The record inside is in a silver card sleeve and, like I said, is transparent white vinyl.

'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' 7" Vinyl #2: SKX93

Kitchenware Records, 2007.

1. 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors'

2. 'The Picture'

The A-side recording is as far as I know exactly the same as the album or other single version. My first post on it didn't really describe it, and the second just looked at how it worked as a live track. I guess I can't really talk about much more than the flawless, crystalline, high-pitched guitar which makes this song. There's more to it though, the cadence of the lyrics and the journey of the rhythm from opening to the build-up and the catharsis, all against which the guitar line is just a delicate if beautiful counterstroke. To analyze the song any further defeats the purpose of enjoying it, and doesn't help explain why I like it so much in the first place.

The B-side for the first version of the single, 'Some Kind of Spark', is pretty good, but this track is just beautiful. It has choral singing. Choral singing!

In fact, 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' has a bit of choral singing on it too, a sort of round-up-everyone-in-the-studio-type affair (wikipedia/Smokers_Outside_The_Hospital_Doors#Production). But the singing on 'The Picture' hits from the first couple of seconds into the song, a constant tone laid down in the background of the whole track. A little like a Gregorian chant I suppose, except not really. And above that are laid the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar, the gentle interjection of its abovementioned 'crystalline' companion, and the gentle rise and fall of voices.

"Rest your weary head, close your heavy eyes

This last drink's on me, your smile shines on me

You look back at the picture and realise things then were different

It's not who you know, it's what you know then"

Download vinyl rip


The fourth single from An End Has A Start, 'Push Your Head Towards the Air', was due to be released on the 3rd of March, limited to 500 copies in all formats. The vinyl release had the B-side of 'Spiders' recorded live at the BBC Electric Proms, which sounded really interesting (the Electric Proms is an update of the classical music Proms to involve various big UK bands backed with a full orchestra). I inquired after getting a copy (before the release date, obviously) from Road Records but according to their suppliers "it was deleted on the day of release" leaving them unable to get a copy for me. Wikipedia now sez:

" All 3 formats of the UK edition of the single were limited to 500 copies each, all of which sold out through internet pre-orders before the release date, leaving many fans disappointed.

A 2nd 7" released by PIAS has appeared on the internet under the release date of date March 21, however no additional information has been given."

In the meantime, you can enjoy the rather excellent video for 'Push Your Head Towards The Air'. The stark black and white photography, slow-motion action, and the hair... it's really beautiful:

I don't usually look at the homemade videos on YouTube, but this guy has actually done quite a good, soft-voiced acoustic version of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLEaPU8D6Aw&NR=1

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