Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who Killed Greedo?



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle. In 1980, former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren attempted to spin a rather convoluted cinematic yarn about his most famous "invention" (read: punk rock). In the process, he made audiences the world 'round wish he had died instead of Sid. The companion album could be from no other film: assorted Pistols songs by way of accordian, orchestra, and disco medley; Sid Vicious taking on Eddie Cochran and Paul Anka covers; and the infamous title track, spliced together from various audition tapes recorded after Johnny Rotten quit the band. It doesn't get any weirder than this, folks.

As usual, I started the album right after the second drumroll in the 20th Century Fox fanfare.


- Malcolm McLaren says, "Lemme start from the beginning" in "God Save the Queen" as the opening crawl starts.

- The soundclips of the raging fire and ensuing riot in "God Save the Queen" coincide with the explosion that rocks the Tantive IV.

- The line "go, Johnny, go, go!" is heard in "Johnny B. Goode" as we see the droid's escape pod fly across the screen.

- The line "your future dream is a shopping scheme" is heard in "Anarchy in the U.K." as Luke delivers his infamous rant about going to the Toschi Station to pick up some power converters.

- The chorus of "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?" ("whatcha gonna do about it?") is heard as Luke stares at Princess Leia's hologram.

- "Who Killed Bambi?" starts as Princess Leia's hologram disappears (as a result of Luke removing R2-D2's restraining bolt).

- The line "now you've missed out once again" in "Silly Thing" is heard as Luke finds out R2-D2 is missing.

- The line "whatcha gonna say, whatcha gonna do?" in "Silly Thing" is heard as Luke remarks upon how he's gonna get it from his Uncle over the R2-D2 disappearance.

- During "Substitute," the line "you dare to look me in the eye" is heard as Obi-Wan is staring directly into the camera.

- The chorus of "Lonely Boy" ("I'm a lonely boy") is playing as Luke discovers his relatives are dead.

- "Anarchie Pour Le U.K." is playing during the cantina scene, and it looks like the band is actually playing it.

- "No One is Innocent" is playing as Luke, Obi, Han, Chewie, and the droids blast their way out of Mos Eisley. When you think about it, none of them are innocent. R2 is carrying the stolen plans, making Threepio his accomplice. Obi-Wan sliced off that guy's arm in the cantina; that's also where Han shot Greedo. Luke lied to the stormtrooper about how long he had had the droids. Chewbacca, well, he was the getaway driver!

- "My Way" plays through the interrogation scene, where Moff Tarkin gets the secret info out of Leia but decides to blow up Alderaan anyway.

- The line "I tell you, it was all a frame" in "EMI" is heard as Tarkin says, "She lied!" (in reference to Leia lying about Dantooine being the location of the secret Rebel base).

- The heavy part of "Friggin' in the Riggin" starts around the same time as the fracas in the detention block.


Wow, this was just as good as Never Mind the Bollocks. Some real neat stuff again. I knew this record had a reason for existing.

Oh, but I tease The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle. I do enjoy it, much in the same way I enjoy William Shatner's version of "Rocket Man." Total train wreck appeal. A good party album. Fun to listen to with a group of people.

Did I mention I was using the British version of Swindle? I should have. See, I used to have the American pressing, but I lent to this girl, and, well, you know how that kind of thing goes. This here across-the-pond version was plopped in my lap a few years ago. Differenes? Song order, of course, and they swap out "I Wanna Be Me" for "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"

Weird how they mix songs up and swap 'em out in different countries. I wonder why that is. I must have skipped that day in Gonzo Rock Journalism 101.


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