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Signals


by

DWL

 Genre: Art Rock

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Description
A few years ago when Richard I started playing and writing together I told him about an idea for a song related to my childhood. I suffered from asthma as a kid and in the late 50s/early 60s one of the treatments was a pill called Franol - http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100001096.html

This was a bitter white pill that I took from the age about 4 until I was 21. It's now not prescribed to children and one of the side effects is anxiety. If I didn't take the pill every night I had an asthma attack. What I could never work out at the time was why I always felt very awake and alive after taking the pill. It turns out that one of the main ingredients was ephedrine. Yes, I was taking speed for 16 years!

At night while I lay in bed unable to sleep (because of the pill) I'd have my little transistor radio under the sheets listening to Radio Luxembourg [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Luxembourg_(English)] which played pop songs we rarely heard on the BBC. In southern England, at least, the reception was a little patchy and at a certain point in the evening a repeated motif started to overwhelm the broadcast until it became impossible to listen. That motif is what you hear at the beginning of this track .

I've since learnt that the motif was probably a carrier signal for an eastern bloc country sending messages although I'd like to think it was designed to block decadent Western radio stations (this was the Cold War don't forget).

Richard wrote the lyrics and played the guitars (Strat through a miked up George Dennis Blue valve amp). We wrote the music and I did the fiddling with Garageband. The radio noises I recorded from an old short wave radio. The image is the logo for Radio Free Europe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe/Radio_Liberty

Lyrics © 2007 Richard Marris

Do you remember
When you first suspected there was something more?
Something exciting
Cutting through the static roar

But as my world opens up
My throat begins to close
And I'm fighting every breath
Beneath my sweaty bed clothes
But I know something's out there

From the streets of London
Down the Mersey and the Tyne
The beaches of California
At last something that sounds like mine

But I'm lying in this room
Wondering why I'm so afraid
And the static's closing in
And the Surfer dreams fade

And I know something's out there

As I sit and swallow
The bitter tasting breathing pills
I hear the source of my nightly fears
An international war of wills

Just as sleep is taking me away
An eastern bloc-ing signal starts to win the day

And I'm scared of what's out there

Radio station pumping six string dreams
Dissolving into cold war schemes
What I fear and what I crave
Two sides of the same radio wave
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Song Stats
Hits: 4197
Comments: 65
Fans: 44
Plays: 150
Downloads: 73

Uploaded: Mar 09, 2011 - 06:17:04 AM
Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011 - 06:21:31 AM Last Played: Mar 22, 2017 - 12:00:16 AM
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Comments
richard13 said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Anxiety upon anxiety
Sometimes I think it's a wonder that ANY of us survived childhood. Great rocker Dick. Love the sounds of anxiety about 2:15 and the speedy string runs. You work with some good lyricists too.
Cheers. Hope you're feeling better ;-)
Check out my latest song called one last night with you
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Thanks Richard
Yeah, how did we get through it all? Luckily, although I have my bleak moments I'm generally a lot better these days (especially since I gave up the drugs!)

I'm pleased you enjoyed our little outing into the dark side, and you're right, I'm working with some good lyricists!

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
dave_b said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Signals
Lush arrangement & production are the icing on a substantial rocker. The conversational lyric effectively tells the story, while the melody holds interest over a driving beat. The strings are particularly enjoyable. Wow, I wish my parents had been cool enough to buy me speed :)
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
They didn't pay for it
it was on a free prescription! If only I'd realise earlier I could have made extra pocket money....

Thanks for stopping by and the thoughtful comments Dave. Much appreciated

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
how in the heck
DID we all survive .... Duck and Cover ..... You are just a dead on composer. Thank God for transistor radios under the sheets. Powerful great lyrics ...Great track! Downloaded.
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
or perhaps
dick and cover?

I would guess we have to be of an age to appreciate that!

Thanks Jack. Always good to get a listen and some words from you.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
magnatone said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Signals
what excellent work this is dick! thanks for the backstory - it's sad and fascinating all at the same time. what a gem you are!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Funny stuff childhood
Thanks for the listen and comments Karen. Much appreciated!

And as far as being a gem, I guess I spent a lot of time stoned.... (I'll get me hat)

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
st_victor said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Major tune
Wow, this really carries with the description, I can feel your story again through the music (without the obviousness of the lyrics). A wonderful piece of art Dick - it has a feel of Major Tom. Great lyrics, wonderful layering of textures, wonderful vocals. Really enjoyed it.
Check out my latest song called The Consciousness Song
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Thanks Vic
I'm really pleased the story came through. It's always difficult with personal songs but at least it seems to have worked this tim!

Cheers

Dick



Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
blaky smith said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Transistor radios
under the sheets. I remember...
Very good post Dick, nice piece of music which sounds great with a perfect production. Good lyrics too, just a great work for me to translate !

Bonjour de France. Amicalement...
Marc
Check out my latest song called Un jour de décembre
DWL said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Bonjour indeed!
Kids today must wonder what all the fuss was about.

Thanks for the listen and comment Marc.

A Juin

Amicalement

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
hackneybloke said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
signals
hi dick...good to see this finally posted. here's what i wrote to you in my email (no i'm not being lazy).

that's bloody annoying...'mail' doesn't let you listen whilst typing. anyway, great track., love the radio noise at the intro and halfway through. excellent rock guitar intro.....didn't expect the vocal to go where it did first time round and it kind of threw me....but second verse sorted that out and it felt 'right' when it happened again. saw len earlier for lunch and i was talking about 'macjams, the musical again....and then i heard your tune and thought yeah, it's right up your street. what do you think? shall we drag ourselves out of lassitude and give lloyd webber a run for his money? i mean it's not as though there's much in the way of competition.

did you work on this since i last heard it....or am i just loving it more? this really is a fooking monster track.
Check out my latest song called If Symptoms Persist
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Thanks Julian!
I'm not sure I expected the vocals to go where they did. They didn't start off like that! We need to meet up again I think.

I did a little work on the incidental sounds and played with a few levels but it's pretty much the same.

Thanks again

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
KCsGROOVE said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Radio luxembourg
Man, I remember those days, listening with my younger bro to radio luxemburg, very patchy reception indeed , but the only good station at the time :-)
end 50-s , begin 60-s , the cold war days
You captured the mood of those days very well here
Really cool piece of work.
A keeper! :-)
KC
Check out my latest song called OUT OF MIND (3)
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
If it was patchy where you were...
you can imagine what it was like in the UK. I really appreciate the listen and comments KC. The 60s seem ancient now but I guess that's because I am!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Feter said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Signals
I know what you are talking about...I lived it but nothing stopped me or the people like me ..great rocking I always enjoy your straight rockin classics outta your guitar among all the Prog rock arrangement...good one Mate ..cheers !!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Good to hear from you feter
Yes, you wouldn't exactly have had an easy time of it and it's good to see you kept going. Thanks for stopping by and lending a few words.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
alackbass said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Signals
Great alternative rock! Cool guitar tones that recall the use of effects in the 80s. Very cool dark vibe.
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Dark vibes
are what we're into at the moment. There's another 3 or 4 songs in various states of preparation and none of them are exactly cheerful....

Thanks for the listen and comments.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
tonestones said 2450 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Very cool
Love the strings. Effects are great. Really great lyrics.
Check out my latest song called Stairway to Heaven (LZ Cover)
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Thanks Steve
From a master arranger like you that's high praise. Many thanks.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Vic Holman said 2449 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
i had to take.....
some puky yellow liquid that had a over saturated licorice taste for asthma as a kid.

this song rips Dick. you two did a excellent job, the ending is unexpected and that is the kind of thing i like........ you do it so well
Check out my latest song called Mean Streets
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Blimey , how many of us had asthma?
Thanks Vic, I always like to do the unexpected but then people expect the unexpected so I don't do it then that becomes unexpected.

I think I need my drugs.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
jdholliday said 2449 days ago (March 9th, 2011)
Didn't I just see a movie
about this? Pirate radio? interesting story, really unfortunate,I guess we're all guinea pigs of the medicines of our day, I took Tagamet for 2 years before I realized it was causing severe nightmares and depression. sucks!
Anyway Dick, this is awesome, crazy good song and production, great lyrics, who's Richard? I'm confused.
Check out my latest song called Please Help, Pride of NYC needs tracks!
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
The Boat That Rocked perhaps
which is about pirate radio stations which followed on from Radio Luxembourg.

The drugs do work but sometimes they cause as many problems as they solve.

Thanks for the comments JD. Richard is Richard Marris who I've been writing songs with for years. He did Charlie and Cristal, Brave Girl, Dark Angel to name but 3 we've recently done.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Bob Rodgers said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
A
great rocking song Dick, I love this, excellent intro, great lyrics and vocals. This has a great vibe to it, love the dynamics, some great guitar tones and a wonderful middle break, very different.
Also love the ending, great production and what a great song!
Excellent work!

Bob
Check out my latest song called The Lonely Man
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Too nice Bob!
Thanks for the wonderful comments. I owe you a pint!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
grahame1956 said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Great rocker
Clever changes keep it interesting. I remember those times too.
Check out my latest song called Glastonbury Rain
DWL said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Are we all that old?
Thanks Graeme, much appreciated.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
michaeljayklein said 2449 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Now this is GOOD medicine...
This is really GREAT Dick--I always love your vocals; you have this way of just weaving about the notes and attacking and accenting them at just the right places. Topnotch work from you; excellent song and performance, and this deserves full marks! As a child, I suffered from insomnia and I fondly remember having that little transistor radio under my pillow to help get me through that period when you feel like the loneliest kid in the world--I know just you went through and this is another reason this song resonates with me. Thanks again mate and take good care now! Michael
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
jiguma said 2448 days ago (March 10th, 2011)
Dick, this is really good
Very clever stuff - inventive and well performed/produced.
I like this a lot.
Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
lengold said 2448 days ago (March 11th, 2011)
Sorry I'm so
late to this Dick, haven't been around here as much lately.
Strangely... just a couple of weeks ago I mentioned on a Tokai song that I used to listen to R. Lux under the sheets, strange coincidence. I think music sounded much more exciting in those days.
Love all the many twists and turns the arrangement takes to turn this into something that is a great listen. Wonderful lyrics and your playing and vocals are superb as always. Really enjoyed.
Must be time for a beer (or some speed)?
Cheers
Len

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
guygrooves said 2448 days ago (March 11th, 2011)
Love
the ebb and flow of this. Very well done.
Peace
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Symphony101 said 2448 days ago (March 11th, 2011)
Killer tune
This is so nicely built up man, awesome work and a GREAT listen !
Check out my latest song called Standing On The Brink (w/ Mosaica)
woofer3 said 2448 days ago (March 11th, 2011)
Great track,
with interesting preamble. This is a good driving track with lots of conviction. Top marks for writing and performance.

John.
Check out my latest song called Drunken bakers [08-01]
egobandit said 2448 days ago (March 11th, 2011)
Nice drums arrangement
Foot tapping, nice strings at the end
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Komrade K said 2446 days ago (March 13th, 2011)
Fascination
I remember that motif but had no idea of its provenance but remember finding it oddly fascinating. Like the way the song fuses international and personal paranoia.

KK

PS - The image looks like a fusion the Lib Dem and old Tory emblems...
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
stevel said 2445 days ago (March 14th, 2011)
NIce one Dick
Good atmospheric tune...like all the radio effects you have in there - vocals and guitars top notch as usual
Cheers
Steve
Check out my latest song called Broken Toy
fasteddie said 2445 days ago (March 14th, 2011)
Rock solid!
Yeah man. This one really drives heavy and hits hard.

Heavy stuff bro!
The strings at the end were a tasty addition.

Nice one.
Check out my latest song called On Borrowed Time
kingbee said 2444 days ago (March 15th, 2011)
Radio Gaga
It seems so many of us listened to Radio Luxembourg under the sheets..I wasn't speeding of my tits though.
I used to hear the adverts for 7-up and wonder what this exotic elixir might taste like ( a load of crap as it turned out)
Anyway, great lyrics and the radio interference is fantastic and well used.
Driving rhythm and guitars paint the picture of anxiety.
Great stuff
cheers

Check out my latest song called No expense spared
VicDiesel said 2444 days ago (March 15th, 2011)
hallucinatory
This song goes straight to your skull. Along any number of ways. I think this is one of your better ones.
Check out my latest song called Black Recorder
ste said 2443 days ago (March 15th, 2011)
pumping
tune - great story. really enjoyed the energy of guitars and vox
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mvh9591 said 2443 days ago (March 16th, 2011)
Nice____
Nice groove and great story.

Enjoyed - Thanks for sharing,

mvh : )
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Moses said 2442 days ago (March 17th, 2011)
very interesting piece
thoroughly enjoyed the vocals/lyrics, well written, fascinating.
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SISTERS said 2440 days ago (March 19th, 2011)
blazing
wow, dick - that was one damn dynamic tune. you've got a very cool vocal style - it's truly a pleasure to hear. i LOVE that staccato violin.
what an interesting story - reminds me of my Sister Marty, who made lyrics from what she heard in a whirring fan one summer night.... 8)
really good tune with a wonderful ending - big thanks from anne
Check out my latest song called UNIVERSAL SONG w Astronomusic & 24 Soloists
JBurns said 2415 days ago (April 13th, 2011)
cold war
Dude great track, construction, dynamics, background story just all wonderful thanks for sharing!
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Hickling_Stan said 2414 days ago (April 14th, 2011)
Well Up
to your established standard Dick. So much to enjoy in this, the urgent rhythm that sort of parallels the rush of amphetamines, (I imagine!!). Love the strings as well. A definite download. Echoes of Peter Gabriel "On the Air". Excelent. Cheers Mark
Check out my latest song called Song for Sons
Moviz said 2401 days ago (April 27th, 2011)
Great production
on this Dick.... great lyrics and a really good all round performance.... vocals sound excellent and the throbbing guitar really drives this on.... again great production.... my ex had Asthma and took those pills Franol Plus in the 70's.... and now I know what was wrong with her moods too.... they mustn't have mix with dexedrine LOL, Regards M
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jibes said 2399 days ago (April 28th, 2011)
Sigs
Very impressive! Super!
Check out my latest song called JESSICA
TobinMueller said 2386 days ago (May 12th, 2011)
Is there something more?
I like how the idea of theatrical drama comes into most of your arrangements. Who would ever want to re-live junior high? Perhaps that should be one yardstick for sanity, not wanted to re-live childhood. I think the idea of Thoreau making fun of reading newspapers from half way across the country, asking what that has to do with me?, and finding peace in this place, now, helped sustain me through many things. Even now I fall back on gardening. Always something more in the soil, in the change of seasons, in the song of the catbirds overhead...
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Ibstrat said 2382 days ago (May 16th, 2011)
Great
song,terrific lyrics and vocals. Interesting story,you are an amazing songwriter!
Check out my latest song called What the
Doug Somers said 2382 days ago (May 16th, 2011)
A right proper rocker
The production in all dimensions really shines here Dick; love your vocals in particular (and that little string extro with its dissonances). Thanks for sharing the backstory - another testament to the hit and miss of the 'science' of some pharmaceuticals.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
mrattue said 2379 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Childhood
still ongoing, i think!

There is something of eighties music in this, for me, which makes it all the more evocative of the past.

Really impressed with how much thought and effort has gone into this. Nicely crafted and effective throughout.

Love the strings bit.

Inventive, imaginative and very enjoyable. Thank you.


marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
paul f. page said 2378 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
A Rocker...
You know this kind of composition better than anyone I have ever heard: you nail the lyrics with a story that's introspective but extroverted, and you sing those words with always very interesting and compelling inflection...I LOVE the strings at the end of this number, too. What a wonderfully theatrical piece; a real piece of art!!! And though I am very late getting here, I am glad that I finally arrive.
Check out my latest song called Invention No. 76
gadzooks said 2376 days ago (May 22nd, 2011)
Well done!
First I can relate somewhat to your asthma story. As a boy I shared a room with my slightly younger brother who had severe asthma and also was on ephedrine. I remember him not sleeping, restless but I also remember being very afraid for him during his attacks. They didn't have puffers back then.
I really enjoyed listening to this song. Great production and musicianship. Your vocals are right on! Are these real drums? Love the ending with the ominous strings.
SG

Check out my latest song called Emoji
segiperkasa said 2376 days ago (May 22nd, 2011)
awesome composition....
your song is always top notch .. full of ideas and energy ... really inspiring ... excellent mixing ......
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Philip18 said 2368 days ago (May 30th, 2011)
Edgy
Love the way you've presented the song - the backing has a tense, a bit mind-expanding, anxious feel to it. The sound effects are a significant part of making this happen. The instrumentation is outstanding. A very strong song - I enjoyed listening to it!
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davisamerica said 2365 days ago (June 2nd, 2011)
needed something edgy
this morning mr. langford and this was on my playlist..stopped by to say ... still digging this one.
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
crissew said 2365 days ago (June 2nd, 2011)
Excellent
Definite Bowie influence on this one. Really cool piece here. My favorite of yours I have heard I think. You are improving dramatically, and you were good to start with. THis is awesome. Downloaded and thank you!~
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
ShadowofNine said 2365 days ago (June 2nd, 2011)
Signals
Very cool rockin song, has great drive and memorable hooks galore...especially dig the strings inclusions.. Bravi right to the ipod...
Check out my latest song called Gone (with Eagle)
Hickling_Stan said 2350 days ago (June 17th, 2011)
Superb
I so remember listening to Radio Luxembourg the night Elvis died...powerful memories. This is excellent. Reminds me a little of early REM but the tension in it is fantastic, that orchestral ending!Definate download. Cheers Mark
Check out my latest song called Song for Sons
Hickling_Stan said 2350 days ago (June 17th, 2011)
Ooops
Just realised I have been here before. Oh well it was well worth another listen.!!
Check out my latest song called Song for Sons
SISTERS said 2342 days ago (June 25th, 2011)
great job
i just love the staccato strings in the intro.
fabulous writing here - the last verse killed me repeatedly!
Dick - gosh you sing beautifully.
wonderful off kilter ending.
enjoyed your work, gents
anne


Check out my latest song called UNIVERSAL SONG w Astronomusic & 24 Soloists
Saltaireguru77 said 2275 days ago (August 31st, 2011)
Brilliant Mr L
I'm hearing shades of Bowie all through this. Fantastic work and blending Radio Luxembourg in was a nice touch that added an extra layer to your story. Really enjoyed.
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Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Dick langford
Location: Everywhere and nowhere baby
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10 years here (at time of writing!) - it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote "it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote 5 years"... Older but no wiser. The musical projects that make up Amokopera are now complete and Distant England (the story of... [see more]

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Genre Info
Art rock is a sub-genre of rock music that is characterized by ambitious lyrical themes and melodic or rhythmic experimentation, often extending beyond standard pop song forms and toward influences in jazz, classical, or the avant-garde. The art rock

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