Originally posted by xor_nnif_lien:
[qb] Pardon my ignorance, but what is a middle eight?
Neil's songs are full of middle eights and bridges -- which are two different things, but equally fun.
The middle eight
is that part of a song which is not a verse, a chorus, an introduction or a bridge (although the two are virtually identical, a bridge
is often played to fill a gap between each verse and chorus, whilst a middle eight stands on its own); it typically comes towards or just after the middle of a song, and may or may not last eight bars (or a multiple thereof). It is often occupied by an instrumental solo and can simply consist of a repeat of an instrumental repeat of the verse, but the classic middle eight is an entirely new piece of music. Middle eights are typical of classic rock/pop songwriters; drum'n'bass artists do not go over large on such things.
For an example, the section of The Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' which goes "And when I touch you I feel happy inside / It's such a feeling that my love / I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide" (which Bob Dylan supposedly heard as 'I get high') is a middle eight, and a good one too; the 'Pour your misery down on me' section of Garbage's 'Only Happy When it Rains' is an example more familiar to modern youth. Middle eights have provided some of the best moments in music ever.
Some examples from Neil's songs . . .
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: "Into the city, into the city every day . . ."
HOLY SMOKE: "It's all I can do to keep from running away, get me out of this place! . . ."
CARRIED AWAY: "I'm told that it's evergreen. I've listened but never seen . . ."
OUR DAY: "Hear this my son, I promise you the best we can do. We love you . . ."
BULLET BRAIN AND CACTUS HEAD: "Fanatic believers, obsessive achievers . . ."
TAKE A WALK: "When the long night awakes with memories a midnight feast, feel the boy in me escape . . ."
BREAKIN' MY BACK: "Stay with me, a fool aspires you raise himself out of the mire"
WORLD WHERE YOU LIVE: The section going "Friends come round, you might remember and be sad . . ."
MEAN TO ME: "I saw you lying in the arms of a poet . . ."
LOVE YOU TIL THE DAY I DIE: "Frost on the window pane . . ."
SOMETHING SO STRONG: "I've been feeling so much older . . ."
INTO TEMPTATION: "We can go sailing in . . ."
MANSION IN THE SLUMS: "Who can stop me with money in my pockets . . ."
BETTER BE HOME SOON: "So don't say no, don't say nothing's wrong, cos when you get back home maybe I'll be gone, When the lights go down, When you've had your fill, When there's nothing left . . ."
FALL AT YOUR FEET: "The finger of blame as turned upon itself . . ."
HOW WILL YOU GO: "And you know I'll be fine, just don't ask me how it's going . . ."
NAILS IN MY FEET: "Total surrender, your touch is so tender . . ."
PRIVATE UNIVERSE: "It's a tight squeeze and I won't let go . . ."
LOCKED OUT: "I send a message out to my only one . . ."
DISTANT SUN: "And I'm lying on the table washed out in the flood . . ."
CAN YOU HEAR US: "In the final moment, in your hands . . ."
HOLE IN THE ICE: "And all I ever do is therapy one on one . . ."
LAST TO KNOW: "And who I wonder, could faily to notice the aching silence . . ."
And on and on and on. There are many.
Neil's songwriting rarely fits the verse / chorus / verse / middle eight / chorus/ chorus /chorus
pattern, though -- thankfully. Like McCartney, his songwriting is full of all sorts of twists and turns that don't fit the mould.
Of course, there are several instrumental passages in his songs too that count as middle eights as well, technically.