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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm not a cowboy. I'm a treeherder. 

Got a danged song stuck in my head again.


A Forest is a song by British rock band The Cure. It was released as a single on April 8, 1980, and was the only single from their second album Seventeen Seconds....

The song is fairly upbeat compared to the other material on the album, and Lol Tolhurst's machine-like steady beat together with Simon Gallup's minimalistic bassline gives this nervous chase more depth and keeps the song on the edge of a frantic groove until the end.

Though not their biggest hit, it is regarded by many fans and critics as the best example of The Cure's sound....

[T]he most notorious performance of this song is the so-called "Robert Palmer"-version, performed at the Werchter Festival in Belgium, July 5, 1981. Everything was late at the festival, and the crowd was mostly there to see artists that were at the time bigger than The Cure, like Dire Straits and Robert Palmer, of whom the latter happened to be the next on stage after The Cure. After twelve songs, Palmer's roadies said that if The Cure didn't stop playing soon, they would pull the plug. They reached a compromise that they would play one song before they left, opting for "A Forest", which they decided to play a lot longer than what was normal at the time, with Robert Smith adding some lyrics improvised on the spot (including the words: "Such a long end" repeated several times). When the band finally finished, bass player Simon Gallup yelled into the microphone....

Well, let's just say that Gallup wasn't addicted to Robert Palmer.


Cold, dark, monochrome and downright creepy, 'A Forest' was a blast of genius from a band I was convinced would never be heard of again....Robert Smith's vocal here was plaintive and other-worldly..


[I]n its original studio form "A Forest" is and remains a surprisingly spare song, suggesting rather than directly producing its astonishing overall effect. Starting with a low, steady four-note synth hook from Matthieu Hartley, Robert Smith then adds an equally stripped-down guitar line, with slight variations popping up when bassist Simon Gallup adds a brief quote. Lol Tolhurst's reverse-echoed drums then set the nervous, uncertain pace for the remainder of the song, while Smith quietly lays down a series of chugging, psych-via- surf rock guitar melodies that would swiftly become the group's overall trademark. The overall performance is remarkably straightforward and unassuming, making it remarkably catchy and artistic angst....

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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