Saturday, September 26, 2020

Certain Songs #1922: Ride – “Leave Them All Behind” | Medialoper

Album: Going Blank Again
Year: 1992

. . .

It was one of those Saturday mornings in 1992 where I would wander down the street to Ragin Records, and peruse the CD stacks while talking to Paul or Jay, depending on who was working there that day.

And on that particular Saturday morning, they’d gotten in the second Ride album, Going Blank Again. And because I’d very much enjoyed the debut album, Nowhere, I figured I’d spend the $6.99 or whatever it was on the follow-up. So I walked back down the street, put Going Blank Again into my CD changer.

And. I. Was. Blown. Away.

The first thing you hear in “Leave Them All Behind” of course is the keyboard, spiraling up through your speaker like the synth part of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” It’s followed by a big, malleable drumbeat from Loz Colbert and a rubbery bass guitar from Steve Queralt. Finally Mark Gardener and Andy Bell’s guitars turn up, somehow even bigger than even better, playing a massive winding riff. This goes on for quite a while, as it damn well should, and then it drops back down to to quiet for a second, as Gardener and Bell sing in unison.

Wheels turning around into alien grounds
Pass through different times, leave them all behind

Leave them all behind, leave them all behind
Leave them all behind, leave them all behind

After that, “Leave Them All Behind” turns into a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of guitars, full-kit drum rolls, spongy bass, harmonized vocals and ever-stacked guitars: shimmering acoustic guitars, squealing wah-wah guitars, fuzzed-up grunge guitars. Guitars. If ever a song merited the name “Leave Them All Behind,” it was this one: a massive ambitious psychedelic monolith that was always just one beat away from crashing into itself, but never did. Never came close, really, as Ride played every single note with the utmost confidence. It was irresistible.

Compressed down into a single, “Leave Them All Behind” made the U.K. top ten, and even did a tiny bit of damage on the U.S. Alternative charts, though I don’t really recall that. In any event, it still sound pretty amazing nearly 30 years.

“Leave Them All Behind”

“Leave Them All Behind” Live in Brixton, 1992

“Leave Them All Behind” Live on KEXP, 2017

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