Damien Rice - "The blower's daughter"

The Blower’s Daughter, in which the refrain, “I can’t take my eyes off you”, is finally qualified by “Until I find someone new”. Now this song, he says, was about this girl he was obsessed by. No names of course, but she was the daughter of this “blower”. Anyhow, he had recorded it several times and none of the versions satisfied him. To make matters worse, the blower’s daughter hadn’t been talking to him for a while and what he really needed was to sing it to her.

“Then she happened to call over one night. We had some food and just before she left I invited her to the room where I had the mike set. I said: ‘I just want to sing you a song’. I just sat in front of the mikes and pressed record and played her the song.” And, phut, by the end of it, the pash was over. He could take his eyes off her.


Coldplay - "God put a smile upon your face"

"When we came to record it in the studio, we struggled because there was something not quite right about it. I wasn't happy about where we'd left it and where we were happy to leave it. We couldn't put a finger on what it was so it was really a nice day when I was trying to record bass at the time, and me and Chris were sitting down trying to brainstorm it to find what was wrong. And so I just started to do some bass lines and between the two of us we came up with this kind of groove which stays on the same note as opposed to changing. It gave a lot of bounce to the song and made it roll along in a much more fluid way; it was a bit mechanical beforehand. And it's just interesting that something small like that can really change the whole vibe of a song. And it really nice because from then on it became one of our favourite tracks and it almost did not get on the record. It's now one of our favourite tracks."
Guy Berryman


Oasis - "Champagne Supernova"

"Some of the lyrics were written when I was out of it. There's the words: 'Someday you will find me/ Caught beneath a landslide/ ln a Champagne Supernova in the sky'. That's probably as psychedelic as I'll ever get. It means different things when I'm in different moods. When I'm in a bad mood being caught beneath a landslide is like being suffocated. The song is a bit of an epic. It's about when you're young and you see people in groups and you think about what they did for you and they did nothing. As a kid, you always believed the Sex Pistols were going to conquer the world and kill everybody in the process. Bands like The Clash just petered out. Punk rock was supposed to be the revolution but what did it do? F all. The Manchester thing was going to be the greatest movement on earth but it was f all. When we started we decided we weren't going to do anything for anybody, we Jut thought we'd leave a bunch of great songs. But some of the words are about nothing. One is about Bracket The Butler who used to be on Camberwick Green, or Chipley or Trumpton or something. He used to take about 20 minutes to go down the hall. And then I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with 'hall' apart from 'cannonball'. so I wrote 'Slowly walking down the hall/ Faster than a cannonball' and people were like, 'Wow, f , man'. There's also the line 'Where were you while we were getting high?' because that's what we always say to each other. But the number of people who've started clubs called Champagne Supernova is fucking unbelievable."
Noel Gallagher


Damien Rice - "Cheers darling"

One of the best illustrations of Rice's gift comes on the bitter "Cheers Darling," a song Rice wrote at 3 a.m., after an argument with an unfaithful lover. At the Tin Angel, he performed it as a theatrical piece, stopping between toasts to provide details on the relationship.
"That really did come about at 3 a.m.," Rice says. "I put down this loop of rhythm I made out of clinking glasses and percussion noises. Then after I listened back, I just recorded whatever words fell out of my mouth. That showed me how interesting stuff comes from not thinking, not trying to be clever. Really, not trying at all."

The moving "Cheers Darlin'" works in the same way, describing the deflation Rice felt after spending an evening flirting with a woman at a pub only to have her call her boyfriend to come take her home. "I wrote that while I was drunk," Rice says, smiling. "I came home right after it happened, banged out the chords and just started singing it. The vocal take that's on the record is from that night. I tried to do it over, but I couldn't really recapture the same feeling.
"The boozy sneer is evident as he sings, "Cheers darlin', here's to you and your lover boy" and in every spiteful "darlin'" that follows, culminating in his imagined confrontation, "What am I darlin'? A whisper in your ear? A piece of your cake? What am I, darlin'? The boy you can fear? Or your biggest mistake?" All the while, the musical accompaniment gets more exquisite. "I took the song to my friend Jean [Meunier, a French pianist] and asked him to play along," Rice says. "I taped it, and it's great to hear him get into the song. You can hear it, how he plays only a few notes at the beginning, and by the end, he's playing this magnificent piece."

Consider Cheers Darlin’, a bitter little number in which Rice sounds drunk — for the good reason that he was — although he says, being a little feller (5ft 8in) a couple of glasses of wine will do that to him. He composed it, or it became composed, in one burst after a disappointing evening in a Dublin bar with a girl whom he was hoping would be his girlfriend. “She probably wasn’t, but I got the impression I was getting signals. Elbows touching, all that. It was like, OK, we’re going somewhere and there were more drinks and chewing cigarettes and leaning against each other and I got to a point where I realised that I was missing my last bus home. I was broke and if I didn’t get the bus that meant getting the taxi and I really didn’t have the money. But then she wasn’t going either, so I thought we’re going to spend the night hanging out together. Then she turned around at midnight and said, ‘Och, I’m late, I’ve got to go and meet my boyfriend’. So I had to get a cab. So that was €40 because I lived outside of Dublin.” No wonder he was furious.
“I was a little frustrated, yeah, at first.” But at 5am he was ringing his producer in America and telling him he had written this new song and feeling healed. “I remember feeling really quite excited and I’d forgotten all about the crap that I’d gone through that night.”