Friday, August 24, 2012

Musical Quotations: Don't Go Messin' With My Heart

Mantronix: Don't Go Messin' With My Heart

Whether musical or otherwise, quotations tend to be used for a reason.  Perhaps the artist or writer wishes to prove a point, or to allude to another work in order to stir or inspire specific feelings in the listener or reader, feelings they know to be entwined with well-recognised and culturally significant artifacts.  To an extent, quotations - especially musical ones - can be seen not just as winks toward a knowing, post-modern audience, but also as subliminal attempts to link a new work with an established and celebrated precursor and, in doing so, attempt the quick elevation of said newer work to a higher level of recognition and acceptance.

Or, they could just be entirely arbitrary and as mad as a bag of cats.

By the time The Incredible Sound Machine was released, Curtis Mantronik had long since given up the experimental beats and angular, Kraftwerk-inspired sounds that had marked him out as one of Hip-Hop's early pioneers, moving instead toward the pop market and the burgeoning New Jack Swing movement.  Still, this lead-off single was remarkable for two things: the hook-filled and joyous chorus, and, most importantly, the bizarre and inexplicable use of the whistled theme to the Andy Griffith Show, which pops up appropos of entirely nothing at around the half way mark.  Eccentric? Perhaps.  Random?  Oh, yes.  But strangely it works, and the song was a hit around the world.

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