Marvelous Middle Eights – Discuss

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Better late than not at all….

 

A spooky thing happened to me last week on my way home from work and when cooking dinner a bit later.  I had a random playlist on in the car (always far too loud so as to distract me from the annoying traffic), for once I was really listening to the music rather than allowing the issues of the day to invade my subconscious and begin to worry me.  A song called Shining Light by Ash came on.  It’s a sweet tune from 2001 with some lovely lyrics you could send to someone in the hope they’d pick up your meaning…it’s not as rocky as Girl from Mars, but still passable commute listening.  As the song progressed, it suddenly changed tempo and key “Ah that’s a lovely little middle eight right there” I thought to myself – I never think of these things generally, so it was a weird thought to have.  End of little anecdote number 1.

Here’s the track as a reminder:

Later I was cooking dinner with a new releases round table discussion on the radio in the background.  They played the new St Vincent release called Los Ageless. (which is a great track btw).  The panel members loved it, but one of the guests (Jimbob from Carter USM) mentioned how brilliant the middle eight was in her track.  How bloody weird!  I’ve never really thought about middle eights and there it was; twice in the space of a couple of hours.

I agree with Jimbob; a good middle eight keeps you interested and moves the track on.   There are loads of great Motown tracks I can think of with very good middle eights – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough as a starter.  The Beatles and The Beach Boys were pretty good at middle eights too.  I love the middle eights in Stevie Nicks’ Edge Of Seventeen and in Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body.  Both tracks ramp back up after their middle eight lulls, propelling the tune to its end.

Since last week I have tuned into so many middle eights in the songs I’ve listened to; I notice them even when I’m not really paying attention.  There was a middle eight RR topic back in 2009 and the songs that made the list are all good examples (although I can’t claim to like all the songs – Kaiser Chiefs???).  So, yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? What are your favourite middle eights?  Or maybe you think they are a waste of time and an attempt by the artist to self indulgently show off?  Discuss.

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