Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Songs #306 & 307 of 9999 - It's TWOsday!

Songs #306 & 307 of 9999 

Title: Kayleigh/Lavender
Artist: Marillion
Year: 1985
Album: Misplaced Childhood

One of the biggest hits during 1985 was "Sussudio" by Phil Collins, who was apparently so popular he didn't even have to use actual words anymore to sell records. It's a terrible terrible song and also a number one hit! For many of us, Phil Collins' success as a solo artist represented the terminal end of Genesis (who were already beginning to sound like a Phil Collins solo project) and we naturally went looking for a replacement. We found one in Marillion.

Marillion achieved only mild success in the United States despite charting several hit singles in the UK. "Kayleigh," marked by a syncopated minor key progression finger-picked on an electric guitar and painfully earnest lyrics, is reputed to have spawned a temporary influx of girls named Kayleigh in the UK; while "Lavender" borrows a 17th-century English folk song to evoke childhood memories (not mine, but someone's somewhere!). Both songs are wrought with emotion and the song arrangements are designed to tug on every heartstring you're willing to provide. Listening to these two tracks now (contiguous on the LP, but in separate videos here), it's hard for me to fathom why I liked them so much almost 30 years ago, but for whatever reason, they connected on a visceral level with this sensitive teenage boy. *shrug*


  1. Thing is, take out the actual WORD "Sussudio" and that Phil Collins song really isn't so bad!

    In fact, I did this as an experiment last year: http://www.glenncase.com/music/covers/gc-sussudio.mp3

    (I love the horns in the original.)

    1. Oh Glenn. You were probably only a small child when that came out, right? I can't even begin to tell you how stupid my friends and I thought that song was. (We were teenagers so, you know, we knew stuff.) At the time, it seemed like an all-time low for pop music.

      Good cover, though. Makes a compelling Case.

  2. I would have been 11 when it came out. So, not quite a teenager anyway. I understand why people would dislike the song, but I think the word 'sussudio' probably has a lot to do with it. The rest of the lyrics are actually all about that girl that has been on his mind, and are a fairly straight-forward tale of longing when that word is removed. :)

    1. I totally get the catchiness of it. And we all use place-holders for words we haven't thought of yet. But come on! Can you imagine if Paul McCartney has continued singing "Scrambled Eggs" in place of "Yesterday"!

    2. Oh, indeed. It would have been ridiculous. I agree that "Sussudio" in it's known form really is ridiculous as well. It was my love for the horns, and the feel for the song that made me wonder aloud what made the song cheesy, and I realized that it was probably mainly that word.