On Fire - side 2, track 5: Isn't It a Pity

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Some things take so long - but how do I explain

On Fire CD
On Fire CD

As the closing track on the On Fire album, this track fits in the neat tradition of well-chosen covers by the band. Today gave us Jonathan Richman’s Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste, while This Is Our Music offered up Yoko Ono’s Listen, the Snow Is Falling, as sung so well by Naomi. I for one, never imagined I would be sat listening to, and enjoying, Yoko Ono songs back in 1989.

The songs all seem to fall into the category of ‘cool songs you may not know, but should have a listen to’. I must confess, that although I was a fan of The Beatles music, I hadn’t really followed George Harrison’s solo career, so the Galaxie version was the first time I had encountered it. Even now, it remains the definitive version to me, despite, or maybe because of, it being a cover version.

The sleeve notes may credit Kramer’s overdub as ‘cheap organ’, but it adds perfect punctuation to the song, with Damon’s laid-back, almost sleepy drums bringing up the rear. Dean’s take on the words and the plaintive vocal melody are just right, and the song is pitched expertly into the quiet, melancholy area that Galaxie were to get so good at, and hone to a tee, particularly on their next long playing record.

  • David Duffin

Dean Wareham - Isn't It a Pity (Malmo, 2010)

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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