Song Of the Day: January 1, 2006
Philip Glass - Facades
CBS (UK) Records 45, 1983
Okay, yes, I know, a New York minimalist composer is not what you came to Little Hits to find, but hear me out. It's all about the context. This single was released in the UK in 1983, not too long after Laurie Anderson scored an actual chart hit there with "O Superman." Indie labels like Factory Benelux and Les Disques du Crepuscule were releasing records by "serious" composers like Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, Andrew Poppy (as The Lost Jockey) and Wim Mertens (as Soft Verdict), records that were aimed at the same artsy-studenty post-post-punk scene that bought records by, I dunno, Crispy Ambulance. And remember, during this period Philip Glass himself was producing records by a great and sadly un-remembered New York new wave band called Polyrock. (Given that Interpol in particular are biting huge chunks of Polyrock's look and sound, the time is right for a Polyrock revival -- look for a Little Hits post of their one semi-hit "Romantic Me" soonish.) All of this was a rare and wondrous occurrence, one of the few times that pop music and "serious" music were in easy co-existence. "Facades" is part of that odd little moment in pop history. And furthermore, it's really VERY pretty.