Hear No See No Speak No



Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah...

Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah...

Playing feed the donkey like a rampant little monkey
Seeking a round of applause, spending your day on all fours
I'm sending no semaphores with my metaphors
You're moving and grinding on my killing floor

Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no

Hear no, see no, speak no
Hear no, see no, speak no


Lyrics by:
Brown / McCracken / Sayfritz

Available on:
Music Of The Spheres (3.30)
F.E.A.R. (b-side) (5.24)

Details:
Offering his opinion on David Bowie in 1990, Ian Brown said that he liked parts of the 'Low' LP, but was otherwise dismissive of his vast body of work:

Ian is talking through his backside in both these extracts; if the Sixties belong to The Beatles, then the Seventies belong to Bowie. Betting without The Beatles, no artist in the entire history of popular music has had a run of albums of the calibre of Bowie from The Man Who Sold the World to Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Bowie's catalogue from '70 to '77, an odyssey of musical genres, for my money, is the absolute high water mark for any artist in popular music.

The electronic ambience of 'Subterraneans', from the second side of 'Low', is a distinct influence on this Ian Brown track. Contrary to the suggestion of Craig Gunner, I would argue that the muse of a man who had recently released '1. Outside', 'Earthling' and 'Hours...' was hardly withering. Ian sometimes boasts about how he is one of a limited number of artists to have broken through in 1989, yet still hold appeal to a younger audience some twenty years later; David Bowie broke through in 1969 and is still very much a relevant artist at the time of writing. Bowie 'had it' for the duration of an entire decade, whereas Brown's former band could only lay claim to a two-year spell in this regard.* Speaking of figures in music who turned out to be businessmen, I don't recall ever seeing David Bowie's gear being flogged on Mary Queen of Shops.

 

Top left: 'Low' (1977) by David Bowie. Widely regarded as one of his most influential releases, Low was the first of the 'Berlin Trilogy', a series of collaborations with Brian Eno. The experimental, avant-garde style would be further explored on '"Heroes"' and 'Lodger'. With Music Of The Spheres, Ian Brown's solo work begins to take on a more ethereal quality. In an interview with Channelbee.com in 2009, Ian cited 'Koyaanisqatsi' (1982, bottom), featuring a score by Philip Glass (top right), as a favourite film.

Squire is now on Brown's killing floor, and here, Brown is playing the long game with Squire - softly, softly catchee monkey. The adage, 'See No Hear No Speak No Evil', was co-opted by Squire into a Stone Roses photoshoot.

* Touring the same set in 2017 as 1990; now, there be an act who lost sight of their creative muse.


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