Thursday, February 12, 2015

Your super motivational song for the week is "He's Frank" by the Monochrome Set

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 11:34 AM

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Today the song I can barely get out of my head is called "He's Frank," by the Monochrome Set, a shuffling, rhythm guitar-driven midtempo song from 1979, by a group whose sound has always been eclectic and hence fairly tough to characterize. 


I'm not even going to look up the facts to see if I'm right before I declare them all to be former art students, who met at an art school in the U.K. The song was actually produced by Mayo Thompson and Geoff Travis, so you know it's going to be one of those super great early Rough Trade records.


If you want to know more about the band, here's an interview with principal songwriter and lead singer Bid (birth name Ganesh Seshadri) conducted by some old British guy. They're the only band from the era I can think of whose leader was born in India.


This live version from 1979 is amazing. I love the way they barely move at all while performing.


Here is a stripped-down performance of the song (tacked on to the very end, here) from 2012, live at a record shop in Japan. It's pretty cool.


The band also released "He's Frank (Slight Return)" in 1979.


And hey, here they perform the song live on a British TV show in the early 1990s.

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According to the Internet, these are the lyrics to this exceptional song.

He's got secular joy
He's a peculiar boy
But now the lustre has gone
The peculiar boy is no more

Who'll save him from being a man
Not me

He's got precious youth
But forsaken, forsooth
And now the shine grows dim
Change tradition for whim

Who'll save him from being a man
Not me

He's got clothes all red
All on a purple bed
But now the red's in his eyes
He's no longer a prize

Who'll save him from being a man
Not me

He's a peculiar boy
Yes, he's a peculiar boy
But now his skin is slack
He shows a certain lack

Who'll save him from being a man
Not me


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