Monday, November 17, 2003

There are a number of records which I passionately love and know that I will be the subject of much derision (or at least, laughter) for doing so, Rupert Holmes's "Him" and Toto's Grammy-laden Toto IV foremost among them. But you know what? No pleasure should ever have to be guilty - isn't pleasure our apex as humans, what we love most? - so I refuse to feel as such about 'em. And here's another: Jefferson Starship's "No Way Out."

Even the most staunch defenders of Grace Slick and her band of merry men will admit that once they turned their Airplane into a Starship, they went downhill, fast. It didn't get much worse than '80's Starship, as they slid into arena-rock territory (either Jefferson or not), and their 1984 album Nuclear Furniture was no exception. Its first single, however, provided a little relief. Underpinned by a great keyboard riff, this is another one for the '80s infidelity songs hall of fame (alongside the aforementioned Holmes record and Linda Ronstadt's "Easy For You To Say," and housed in Ike Turner's basement or something). The song's truest gutpunch comes in the bridge:

"She doesn't want to lose me
So she only sees what she wants to see."

*Sob.*I mean, really, this is a slickly produced record with nothing to redeem it. But it somehow does the impossible and redeems itself, largely via its cutting lyrics, which I'm a sucker for. Is "No Way Out" a great single? No. Do I love it regardless? Damned right I do. And just wait'll I get to writing about Andrew Gold's "Lonely Boy"...

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