P op music is the perfect art form for those who've previously been denied a voice, because it allows them the chance to stand under a great big bright light and point out all the liars, cheats, braggarts, wind-up merchants and deceivers. Pop offers the big payback. But the beauty of deception for songwriters is how deeply the lie can be embedded before it's revealed. Some of this week's songs deal with events that have taken years to fully unfurl, others attempt to redress the balance after generations of endemic deception. For the Who, shooting to fame in , the flurry of deceitful information is brand new, but it had already had an effect. Leon Russell's This Masquerade was a scratchy affair, but the Carpenters' version floats the self-delusion on an enveloping cloud of barbiturate-soaked jazz-pop. Self-delusion is taken to new levels in Bowie's God Knows I'm Good, in which an old woman — "hot with worry" — is shoplifting a tin of steak and hoping that God will not judge her too harshly. The deceits of religion, money and our own ritualised behaviour are all ridiculed. Dead Kennedys and the Louvin Brothers are both more straightforward with their condemnations. All religions make the former want to "throw up".
We need you!
Stephen Colbert once got lots of laughs for coining the term truthiness. It means truth that comes from the gut — something one wishes to be true, regardless of actual fact. In an era of truthiness, it is easy to be lied to: The facts simply don't matter. The gut is what counts. Unfortunately, the gut can be wrong, and often is. And no one knows this — or seems to know this — better than rock stars, for whatever reason. Perhaps they've been done wrong, or are about to do someone else wrong, or are sitting in a bar, watching a third party about to do someone wrong. These are not seers or prophets; they live in the moment and they've got their hearts on their proverbial sleeves.
The Spectre of Deception. The Sceptre of Deception. Picture of a Broken Heart. A Dead Heart in a Dead World.
Greetings to you all. Big week, this week — falling provoked a huge outpouring of ideas and, has, in turn, put me in front of a couple of people I'd never even heard of before. It's a big hello then to Hank Locklin and Al Hibbler — thanks for those two. And, frankly, for all the others — any week that sees me spending time agonising over whether to go for Gil Scott-Heron or Serge Gainsbourg is, in all honesty, a week well spent. So we have in the two lists: falling in love, falling out of love, falling through space, falling off a cliff, falling out of a window, falling over drunk and many others. But can you tell where?