Saturday, July 20, 2019

Certain Songs #1588: The Plimsouls – “Oldest Story in the World” | Medialoper

Album: Everywhere At Once
Year: 1983

. . .

Of course when the Plimsouls put out their major-label debut — 1983’s Everywhere at Once, on the evil Geffen — I was kind of disappointed at the time because none of the other songs on the album were as great as “A Million Miles Away.”

Which is pretty much the stupidest fucking reason to be disappointed in an album, I know — pretty much every other album released in 1983 didn’t have a song that great, either — and so over time I came to love Everywhere at Once (and their self-titled indie debut, as well), because of Peter Case’s clear voice and even clearer melodies.

And so while I love the slow burn of “Inch By Inch” and reliable jangle of “How Long Will It Take?” my second-favorite song on the album is “Oldest Story in the World,” a break-up song that mixes tempo changes, a bridge featuring a harmonica solo, great guitar leads and a chorus that sticks in both your head and your heart.

And that’s the oldest story in the world
Lost the key to paradise
That’s the oldest story in the world
Someday we gotta to set it right
That’s the oldest story in the world
Just like a rolling stone
That’s the oldest story, that’s the oldest story
Now you can’t go home
And that’s the oldest story in the world, yeah

“The Oldest Story in the World” does this neat trick where the deeper we get into the song, the longer the chorus is. At first, it’s just three lines, but by the end, they’re harmonizing “that’s the oldest story in the world” on every other line, helping to burn it directly into your brain.

“Oldest Story in the World”

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