Song number seven of 52 will without doubt one of those which dates back the furthest…
I first wrote ‘Earth Utopia’ in 1998 as a teenager, In early 2001 I rewrote some of the words to include references to George W Bush, even taking the time to type them out like they had some kind of literary significance.
I actually remember the afternoon I did this. I bought the typewriter at some sec0nd-hand store, then set up a desk outdoors so not to annoy my flatmates (who kicked me out not long afterwards, thankfully – they sucked) and typed out all the words to pretty much every song I’d written to that point. Here they are, with the original from 1998.
Being so long ago, I don’t recall how the song was written. The opening riff on the organ was a guitar in the demo, owing to the fact back then I couldn’t play keyboards, and had no way to programme them in. The main verse chords are basically 3/4 of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.
The psychedelic pop feel (complete with hard left/right panning) came from my massive love for the Beatles/Kinks/early-mid Who. When it came to recording it properly – 23 fucking years after I wrote it – I decided to keep some of the hilariously dated lyrics (G-dub has fallen!) and add some contemporary ones (Karen is now calling, now ‘sexy’ or ‘X-Y’, depending on which old lyrical draft you’re looking at). Chuck in some fat distorted guitars, an Odyssey synth, vocals that are in tune, a few subtle flourishes and there you have it.
I was a 50/50 on whether to release this one – it straddles that line of embarrassing and cool. But this far in I have zero confidence in my ability to tell which of my songs are good and which aren’t, so whatever.