Songs You May Have Missed #2

ring

The Connells: “’74-’75” (1993)

From their sadly out-of print Ring album. Worth hearing if you never have, ’cause you might just be one more person who’ll fall in love with this song, and I’d hate to deprive you of the chance.

From Guardian Music‘s blog:

I wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure – music is either pleasurable or it’s not – but the Connells’ sole European hit isn’t exactly one that wins admiring glances when you mention it in polite company. It is, after all, nothing more than an inoffensive ballad from an inoffensive guitar band who wear inoffensive shirts. It has inoffensive lyrics and an inoffensive melody and inoffensive acoustic guitars. It’s exactly the kind of music that is described, witheringly, by pop snobs as “music for people who don’t like music”.

Maybe I don’t like music, then, because ’74-’75 kills me every time I hear it.

What I hear is a pretty masterful piece of mass market soft-pop songwriting. So vague as to be universal, but with that single piece of specificity in the title – presumably, as the video suggests, a high school year of particularly vivid memory – to anchor it, to make it feel real. Not that the lyrics actually seem to mean very much: our singer is a bit sad; he’s got nothing to say, things aren’t easy. Yada yada yada.

Its the chorus – yes, that clever piece of specificity – that I find so devastating: “I was the one who let you know/ I was your sorry ever after/ ’74-’75/ Giving me more and I’ll defy/ ‘Cause you’re really only after/ ’74-’75.”

For who hasn’t, years later, dreamed of someone from their distant past, but been unable to comprehend that the object of their dreams is someone else now – we’re really only after ’74-’75. And who hasn’t, years later, wondered how different life might have been if … if I’d actually tried to kiss her at that party; if I hadn’t decided her friend was better looking, ignoring the fact that someone in front of me adored me; if all the wrong decisions had been right; if all the opportunities had been taken and not missed. Maybe it’s not reason that sets us apart from the animals; maybe it’s regret.

And – the most universal sensation of all – who hasn’t been the one spurned in the charge of teenage love? Who hasn’t been the sorry ever after, the one declaring oneself to a blank reaction?

These are the kind of regrets one treats oneself to. You can’t wallow in them every day – dreaming about your schooldays once you’re past 18 makes you look a bit mad – but once in a while, when no one’s around, it’s fun to open the old doors and wander some of the dustier corridors of memory. To see the Marias and Julias and Rosies and wonder what would have happened if you had only had the nerve.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. denise
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 16:54:47

    Loved it! Brought a tear to my eye..the guy in the suit with the briefcase seemed so sad. Never heard it before.

    Reply

  2. edcyphers
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 17:28:57

    Glad you like it! That’s why it’s here.

    Reply

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