What I liked about The Connells over so many of their second-tier jangly peers was the fact that they weren’t afraid to go big. To aim for anthems. Not every song, of course, but always a couple on each record.
Fun & Games — which Wikipedia tells me actually made it to #168 on the Billboard charts — probably contained more of these anthems than any of their other albums. Songs like “Hey Wow” (which I also loved cos that was a phrase an ex-girlfriend said all the time) and “Sat. Night (USA)” were full of group choruses and jubilant horn sections that anthem was the lead track “Something To Say,” which is probably my favorite Connells song.
“Something to Say” matches a huge guitar hook from Mike Connell and really great vocal from Doug MacMillan, who totally knocks it out of the park from the opening:
Oh, you never learned the ‘Whens’ and ‘Wheres’ and ‘Whys’
And I still believe that you were dying
To be everything to everyone and
For all time
Ah, the golden boy did you stop trying?
The way MacMillan sings “for all time” is utterly sublime, and lets us know that he’s feeling sympathy for the golden boy in the song. It’s also not even my favorite bit of his singing on this song. That comes in the second verse — there still hasn’t been a chorus yet — when he sings:
Does the distance seem to
I’m guessing that the the original line was “Does the distance seem to dim your memory?” and it probably could have been sung that way just fine, but MacMillan add the extra “dumb-dim” just to make sure that we’re still paying attention, and while I’m still marveling at that extra bit, the gigantic chorus finally kicks in.
So, you’re left with your thoughts and where do you go
Out the window or an open door
And once you believed they could keep you awake
It’s so deceiving
So, you talk to yourself and what do you know
You answer back with a, “Don’t say so”
And once you believed you had something to say
It’s so deceiving
Guessing that some folks who click on the video I’m posting with this are going to have some serious flashbacks, cos this song did pretty good on the pre-Nirvana Modern Rock charts. As well it should have.
Official video for “Something to Say”