Template:Cool stuff/album/The Missing Piece

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  • In Two Weeks In Spain, Derek sings with a "working class" London Accent. According to Jeff Oliver, this is "presumably to reinforce that the song is about the drudgery of life. Various Spanish resorts are the vacation destination for 'package' tours from the UK, where louts dance in sleazy discos all night, drink too much lager (probably not the wine as suggested by Derek, but what ryhmes with 'lager'?) and try and get laid. No self-respecting Spaniard would dream of going anywhere near these places, and quite right too."
John Armstrong offers a different explanation: "You are right to say that the song is a picture of the traditional British Working Class holiday of which the south coast of Spain is the most popular. Each year millions of us go there for two weeks. However, the Larger Lout element is small and insignificant. In fact the song is a celebration of British Working Class life in the form of a simple and uncomplicated holiday, drinking and fooling around in the sun without the pretence of a, so called, cultural experience so beloved of the middle classes. Two weeks in Spain is great-believe me! The Giant piece is unconnected with the violent drunken youths who get all the press. It paints the story of most who go there: honest, working people who want to have fun. Certainly when I heard Giant play the piece in London the mood was one of happy celebration rather than unruly violence. It's a fun song, fondly sarcastic, but not in any way derogatory or critical."
  • Many fans hear the beginning of Two Weeks In Spain differently. There is disagreement over the location of the downbeat in the first line, "Two weeks in Spain, makes the year, disappear...." Some people say it lands on "weeks," some on "Spain," and some on "makes." The live version on In Concert seems to indicate that beat 1 falls on "weeks," since John Weathers hits his crash cymbal consistently on that beat. So I asked Derek Shulman, and his answer was: the downbeat is on "Spain." John Weathers confirmed this definitively at the 2001 GORGG. GG is to be congratulated for creating such a simple-sounding song with such an ambiguous downbeat!
  • The phrase "Who Do You Think You Are?" has the same rhythm as "Happy Birthday To You." (Thanks to Johan Bryntesson.)
  • Toward the end of Who Do You Think You Are?, the riff during the instrumental break mimics a section of The Runaway before its vocal line, "and yet all his joy is empty and sad." (Thanks to "gentlegiantfan.")
  • Memories Of Old Days has lyrics that refer to a George Orwell story, according to Derek Shulman. Richard Beck has deduced that the story is probably "Coming Up For Air," since the lyric in question was "He should come up for air...." According to Richard, the story is about "a middle-aged bank clerk who decides to leave his boring job and his boring wife and re-visit the place where he grew up. The small country village he knew has been transformed so much that it is no longer familiar. All the people he dreamt of meeting again have left, and all the places he fondly remembered have been modernised beyond recognition. He feels so out of place and so helpless that he eventually returns home, feeling useless. I read this story about 7 years ago, so I've forgotten a lot of the details. I have never linked Memories Of Old Days with the story, but having re-read the lyrics on the up-dated Web-site, it all fits into place nicely. Orwell is one of my favourite writers."