Talk:Black Ops (Alt. Version)
- Looking at this again, I think the music video is just a re-arranged version of the one for I Hear A New World, which is no longer on youtube for some reason but is up on vimeo. GrizonII (talk) 21:46, 3 April 2016 (EDT)
Ugh, I actually hate this. I understand the need to come up with a compelling live version of the song, but they took one of the most creative arrangements off one of their best albums and made it sub-sub-generic. The Roxy Music-esque breakdowns with the bass clarinet and guitar have potential, but they end up sounding underwhelming as well - totally missed the boat, in part due to some uncharacteristically boring JL playing. As for the body of the piece, it sounds like some nondescript nineties act in the worst possible way. Flans doesn't even bother singing the correct lyrics at one point.
I never liked it live like this. As a completist, I'm pleased to have a studio version of the live version, but man, it's not to my taste. Should have been a Friday bonus track, as someone said earlier. It's the complete opposite of the "First Kiss" effect, where they ruined a song by slowing it down in the studio - here they ruined a studio song by rocking it out live... why they felt the need to waste studio time on this re-recording is beyond me. This is the bottom of DAS direct for me, possibly below "And Mom and Dad and Kid and Kid and Mom and Mom etc" (Deysian).
Kind of seems out of place on Dial a Song
I might be wrong, but looking at this reddit link maybe this wasn't originally supposed to be this weeks Dial-a-Song? It certainly seems more like a Friday bonus track. The Song "Prepare" was briefly on the TMBG app early on Tuesday before being replaced with this version of Black Ops. I wonder what happened?
I was right!!!
When Black Ops was first released I said that it would have to be re-arranged as Flans would never get through it live. On the original I liked the backing (King of Limbs - Radiohead style drums). However my review was pretty critical (and it got deleted!) of the lyrics and Flans' struggling vocal. This alternative version is terrible. Like Blink 182's Dad's tribute band they power pop through it, making it even less appropriate than ever. The point of a protest song is to make a point and challenge the listener conceptions. The music and vocal need to fit the mood. It fails on all accounts.
Take One More Parade, which the band have covered (very well) or Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. God, even the folky Where have all the flowers gone. All those songs have either an anger at the waste of life, or a wistful ode of despair. Black Ops has none of this: Lyrically this is a mess as Flans, in typical post modern Giants style, is suspicious of direct emotional message, falls into simplistic description and then weak humour. Musically it's even more inappropriate. Black Ops are often horrific missions, so musically this sounds like a 13 year olds power pop record? Flans also insists on singing in his "pretty pretty" voice. A glaring example of the band misunderstanding form and meaning. If you were on a Black Ops mission and someone put this on in the helicopter they'd get shot! It's like the Maxwell's Silver Hammer of Protest Songs, and at least that song had a decent melody and a hummable chorus!
see a Communist And there's another one And his dumb son Is also one of the worst lyrics ever, plus, jarringly out of date given the song is supposed to contemporary what with the mention of drones!
While I haven't agreed with most of Mr. Tuck's reviews so far with Dial-A-Song I do have to agree with this being the worst track so far, to me it outbeat Thinking Machine as being the most horrible. The original had such a chilling atmosphere to it, and really pegs down the isolation a drone operator has from what's going on out in the field. Even the guitar heavy parts in the original always had me imagining it as the drones dropping bombs and the pauses when Flans sings just emphasises the operators demoralization of his job. The alternate version just sucks out the whole spirit of the song to me and the music just sounds so bland and generic it makes me wonder why they made it so rock heavy.
Also in regards to the Mr Tuck's opinion on the worst lyric ever I thought it was pretty clever showing how the drone operator is just unphased by the fact that a son is following his father's footsteps to just get blown away, hence the lyric "Before we make you gone, you best be running on" and "stick to the music child, don't get us riled" kinda shows the operator warning children to just keep away or face death. (Shuda7)
While I definitely abhor this new "Blink 182" version (which is what I will call it from here on in, thanks to Tuck!), I think the original is great, and, even if at times it fails to engage lyrically, the music more than makes up for it.
I wonder why they did it like this, a half-assed studio version (seriously, ya goofed the lyrics?!) rather than a live-in-the-studio version. I really dug the live recording from the Berlin DVD probably because it was a bit faster and more manic. (Mason)
Shuda7 surely you can see that the lyric you quoted is absolute rubbish that one could forgive if Flans was a fourteen year old? Anyway, feeling bad that you liked it and because I do love the Giants, I had a good old think about a worse song in this genre. Flans needs to thank the UK's Culture Club and The War Song. (Mr Tuck)