The Divine Comedy – Promenade

Apropos of nothing, except “really great lyrics”, this wryly witty song by Neil ‘Father Ted‘ Hannon just has to be linked to, because it’s splendid. It’s a beautifully arranged slice of frightfully English chamber pop from the album Promenade.

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Promenade was one of the first albums ever sent to me when I started my fanzine. I have it on vinyl because I didn’t own a CD player back then, and only bought one once I’d been sent so many CDs I was unable to play that it seemed ludicrous not to cave in and buy one. It seems funny on reflection, since CDs have been in circulation since 1982, but back in 1994, vinyl and CDs co-existed the way DVDs and Blu-Rays do today.

It also seems funny to think of these bands – The Divine Comedy and My Life Story – taking to the stage with chamber orchestras, with maybe a dozen people on the stage.

The one thing I notice is the tiny imperfections, particularly in the vocals, that in today’s autotuned culture make such recordings feel warmer and more vital in their humanity.

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While the whole album is great from start to finish, the opening track is unforgettable.

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