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© Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis
“It’s quite an exceptional song, isn’t it? It’s big. We started with a percussive idea. There was a television program that had this opening – the ‘da-da-da-da’ thing – and we just changed the chords and moved everything around. It was slightly kinky, really. Our idea was orchestral: We’re going to start with something, and then we’re going to play a theme, then we’re going to stop, then we’re going to sing, and then we’re going to play more music. [Laughs]
“Bits came up as they were needed. We wanted to take our time and flesh out this idea where everybody could contribute the same kind of balance. I brought in guitar structures and stylized them around the possibilities that we had as instrumentalists.
“I played two guitars on it – my Gibson ES175D from 1964 and my Martin OO-18, which came from 1953. The fact that I didn’t have a lot of guitars didn’t really matter, because those two offered me a lot of beautiful sounds and options.
“There is a basic rhythm track I did with the Gibson. We recorded the song in sections. We weren’t going to just go in and play the whole thing for 10 minutes, but there is a lot of group playing and not a whole lot of individual things.
There’s some great effects and things for the ear. You’ve got the panning of the guitar, the wah-wah which goes into the acoustic and then into spacey guitar sounds and the jazzy stuff. I’m just a crazy, mixed-up guitar player, so I won’t just make one sound – I’ll do them all.
“Jon had written some lyrics with his friend David Foster, a Scotsman. So that’s what came in when we started singing, ‘Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.’ I must say, Jon was brilliant at what he was doing, which helped bring about an enlightenment that we were now going to be making music that people wanted to listen to.”