how DARE you?!?
“Admittedly, I haven’t heard [“Arrow Through Me”] in a while, but isn’t it a ballad, Sean? Are you thinking of “Coming Up” or “Temporary Secretary” from McCartney II? The world breathlessly awaits your response.
At last, a musical challenge from Mr. Segal I can rise to. “Arrow Through Me” is not a ballad. It is a slow soul jam, with unmistakeable disco instrumentation and arrangement, from the porno-film bass/clav line to the out-of-nowhere horn section to the great falsetto vocal delivery throughout. It’s an experiment with trying to sound like the radio, in the sexy style of, say, a “Deja Vu” or maybe “Dim All The Lights” or something. The album version of “Coming Up” (not to be confused with the live version issued as a (#1) single, included with the LP of McCartney II), is a nervous, lo-fi pop song that obviously meant something to Talking Heads. “Temporary Secretary” is a paranoid, belligerent, awful-wonderful, kraut-drenched pastiche of Kraftwerk, Can, Pink Floyd, and whatever other semi-avant garde acts he was trying to imitate through a haze of pot smoke. But “Arrow Through Me” is indisputably disco. Fake, hilarious, honky disco (“Ooh, baby, you couldn’t a done a worse thing to me if you’d a taken an arrow and run it right through me… you couldn’t a found a more down hero, if you’d a started at nothin’ and counted to ze-e-e-e-ro”), but disco nonetheless. As if there was ever a genre where authenticity mattered less…