Friday, December 16, 2011

No. 902 – Dreaming in Metaphors

Performer: Seal
Songwriters: Gus Isidore, Seal
Original Release: Seal
Year: 1994
Definitive Version: None

I saw Seal in November 1994, which was probably the peak of my fandom. He played at Ohio Theater, which is a great old-timey movie house that was restored to its full glory in the Eighties. If you were classy, you played Ohio Theater.

I had gotten Debbie into Seal’s new album, and we had it on heavy rotation at her place, so we were both geeked to see him. He did this song early—for some reason I recall that it was the third song—and he did a version that was faithful to the original, which sounded great. I recall he had a chick backup singer on this tour, and I have this vision of her shimmying sloooowly to this song. Hot.

Anyway, I had this song on my mind a lot a year after the concert when Kiss From a Rose blew up. Kiss, of course, was on the same album as Dreaming, and while I agreed that it was a better song, I was always taken by the fact that there was such a difference in public reaction, because, really, there isn’t much difference between the two songs. Kiss is more majestic, perhaps, but it didn’t seem enough of a reason to explain why Kiss became a huge hit and Dreaming became forgotten.

The reason, of course, is that Kiss was chosen for the Batman movie and soundtrack in 1995 and thus drew a huge amount of publicity as a result. In fact, Kiss had been hugely ignored when the original album came out in 1994, but now, all of a sudden, it’s in a (crappy) movie, getting a push from the record company, and it’s everywhere. The timing was right and all of a sudden, it’s like everyone suddenly was clued into what I was well aware of long before then—like I were a hipster mourning the public discovery of my favorite band.

I’m definitely not a hipster, but maybe once in a while, I am ahead of the curve after all.

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