Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (1992)
Smart alec reference to a Tom Waits song. Check. Anything of substance to be written? Zero so far guvnor! Check. Failure or nerve, intelligence or imagination to use ‘Counterpoint’ as the title for these postings rather than than the clunky word sandwich ‘Compare/Contrast’…..uh, check! Self satisfaction level? Seven. Anyway, in a recent, past life I happened to catch Saint Etienne at the Flow music festival in Helsinki, Finland where they did indeed play their magnificent, even more downbeat version of the Neil Young classic. I have never been a huge fan of the group, finding their songs to be quite thinly produced and unmemorable at times. However, back in the day, the day being the early to mid 1990’s, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ could be heard blaring on quite a regular basis from mys sisters room, competing with New Order or whoever I happened to be listening to in my tiny room ‘back in the day’ in a small terraced house in Ballybrack.
Some years later when I discovered the works of Canadian legend Young, I was overcome with delight when I realized this long haired geezer had written the song way back in 1970 which infused him with even more coolness somehow. The familial, personal, emotional and musical connections within this tune therefore covers several decades of this miserable bastard’s life and sure, it’s timeless sentiment never ages.
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