Tuesday, January 22, 2008

#16 McFly, "Transylvania"

Who-ooo is your lover?
I couldn't tell
When hell freezes over,
That's when I'll tell
Who-ooo is your lover?
I couldn't tell,
When will this stop?

What better way to return to the Internet world than with my beloved McFly? Wait, don't answer that--despite the fact that I really thought this song, if anything, would win over some critics, "Transylvania" never really brought McFly the major success, commercial or critical, that I hoped it would, though at least the single reached #1, more than can be said for poor "Sorry's Not Good Enough"/"Friday Night," which peaked at #3 (which would seem more than respectable, but there are loads of people out there who rejoice every time one of their singles doesn't enter at #1; plus, "Friday Night" was probably my favorite single of 2006). I'm still kind of peeved with the handling of the singles from McFly's third album, Motion In The Ocean. Whether or not "Please Please Me" should have been the lead single is debatable (I like the song and found it reassuring at a time when McFly's remake of "5 Colours In Her Hair" for their American album had me worried), but at the very least, the decision to make "Transylvania" a b-side for the second single seems ill-advised, considering it's obviously single material and would go on to be a single. Add to that the fact that "Star Girl" was baffingly chosen as the second single--hardly the way to win new fans, boys, or even necessarily keep the adoration of the old ones--and maybe any future singles from the band started off with a disadvantage. "Transylvania" was then downgraded from single to one side of a double A side single, which I'm still not totally pleased with though I am glad we got their cover of Jellyfish's "Baby's Coming Back;" if it had to be a double A side with something, though, I wouldn't loved the album's epic lead track, "We Are The Young" to be that other side so it could get some of the exposure it so desperately deserves (with maybe "Baby's Coming Back" as a b-side).

I still don't know that all that really explains the world's failure to appreciate "Transylvania," though. To me, it's one of the boldest, bravest songs I've ever heard, haunted house and Victorian and Queen-esque pop-rock that packs in a bunch of choruses, all of them catchy, and ultimately combines and overlaps them to create one of the most fun and colorful listening experiences of the year. I once read someone say that it was McFly's "Biology," and I think that's a good comparison. In my eyes, it should have made obvious to everyone that the boys of McFly have incredible talent and are capable of making pop of the highest order and of real sophistication, should've won them countless more fans and more respect as well. Ultimately, though, I guess I just have to say that, much as I wanted it to, "Transylvania" didn't connect with most of the public in a meaningful way. I hope that doesn't scare the boys off from making more songs like this in the future--songs like this are about as exciting as music gets.

(It really should be higher on this list, but since I first heard it back in October of 2006, I think it suffers a little bit of a disadvantage. I really do see this song as a classic, though.)


Find it on: Motion In The Ocean


Trixie said...

It's totally their best song. Daring, wacky and they pull it off. Hate how it was shunted as the lesser known of a double A.

Poster Girl said...

Exactly! "Wacky"'s a perfect word. I very much agree about the whole double A side thing, too--"Transylvania" is a much better song and much more of an "achievement" than "Baby's Coming Back."

Troy said...

PPG - After I gave The Heart Tells No Lies a top 5 place in my countdown... Paul gave me hell for not giving the 3rd album a chance (ive actually never REALLY listened to Transylvania or the album) And after this post you've sold me! It's McFly's Biology... i think you guys are right!

Poster Girl said...

That's fantastic! Ha ha, way to go, Paul! I think their third album definitely has some of their best work, so I'm glad you gave it a chance.