The World That's Coming

January 17, 2012 366 Songs ,

366 Songs 017: So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star

The thing that always surprises me about “So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star” – at least, the original Byrds version – is the trumpet(?) that goes through the whole thing, pretty much independent of, or at odds with, the main part of the song (with appropriately Byrdsian jangly guitar, which had been in place since “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better,” way back when, and the odd vocal that sounds so reminiscent of Harry Nilsson in the way it’s been produced). Like Love back then(I’m thinking specifically about the “Alone Again Or” use of brass, which sounds like a Mariachi band wandered into the studio while they were recording the song), there’s an almost willful counterintuitiveness about the way the brass appears here, avoiding the kind of Beatles-esque arrangement that was so prevalent in pop music at the time for something that feels more… jazzy, perhaps? But utterly random, too, not supporting (or supported by) anything around it, a thumbed nose to whatever musical convention that was going on and attempt to auralize the lyrical message of the song.

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