I Get Along
From its opening notes on the piano, this song sounds like nothing else the Boys have released. (Then again, you can say that about most of the tracks on this album, can't you?) Somewhat Beatlesque in flavor (note the french horns, fade-out strings, and occasional "preverb" effecta marvelously rich production), "I Get Along" might as well have been written and recorded in the late 1960s or early '70s. Other writers have pointed out the likely influence of Oasis, although how much of that simply reflects Oasis's own stylistic debt to the Beatles is open to speculation. Its midtempo soft rock beatoften wildly syncopated, the emphasis shifting from measure to measuregains a harder edge during the chorus, backed by "power chords" on electric guitar. (It practically begs for a live audience singalong.)
Thematically this is a not-quite-bitter post-breakup song in which the narrator affirms, "I get along without you very well." He confesses that he was as much to blame for the breakup as his erstwhile partner, and he tries hard not to hold a grudge. But it's there nonetheless. That's why he so strongly insists that he's getting along "very well" despite his admitted difficulty sometimes holding back the tears. He's whistling in the darkness of failed love, and he's doing his damnedest to make sure that his former lover feels every bit as much regret as he himself does.
As a fascinating sidenote, Neil told journalist Alexis Petridis of the Guardian that this lyric was inspired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair's firing of cabinet member and close friend Peter Mandelson over questionable activities, effectively turning that incident into a real-life metaphor for "regretful love." And one other thing: an email corresondent has suggested that this song could be interpreted as commentary by the Boys regarding their comparative lack of success in the United Statesa kiss-off to a former lover (they did enjoy early U.S. success, after all) without whom they can "get along very well," thank you very much. I can't say that I agree with that interpretation, but you can't deny that it works. As it turned out, "I Get Along" was the second single from Release and quickly became a fan favorite. But, unique among all PSB singles, it has no officially released remixes whatsoever.
- As noted above, "I Get Along" was inspired by the relationship between Tony Blair (U.K. Prime Minister 1997-2007) and his friend and political ally Peter Mandelson. Mandelson was forced to resign not once but twice from Blair's cabinet: the first time in 1998 as the result of having failed to report a large interest-free home loan; the second in 2001 (after having been reappointed to the cabinet in late 1999) following accusations of having used his position inappropriately to influence a passport application. Despite these setbacks, Mandelson continued to serve the U.K. government and the European Economic Union in various ways, and in 2008 was appointed a life peer by the Queen, whereupon he was seated in the House of Lords.
- "The big boys are back and we need them…" - If I remember correctly (though right now I'm unable to find the exact source), Neil has said that this line was lifted, more or less verbatim, from something a music reviewer wrote in reference to the latest release by another recording act, members of the "rock royalty" referred to earlier in the same stanza. In fact, he alludes to this origin in the very next lines: "Think it was something you'd read, and it stuck in your head." Only in real life it was Neil's head in which those words had stuck.
- Mixer: Michael Brauer
- Album version (5:49)
- Radio Edit (4:09)
- Video version with part of "E-mail" appended (5:42)
- Mixer: Bob Kraushaar
- Live version (4:46)
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