28
Apr 04

Eamon’s on the radio!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 370 views

Eamon’s on the radio! Good old Eamon with his novelty swearing. Of course it’s the ‘radio edit’, which reduces Eamon’s foul mouth to an impotent stutter – but it does make me think of how the technology of swear-removal has had to change (and fast!) over recent years as the amount of bad language has spiralled upwards. There seem to be four main ways for getting round the problem:

1/ Bleeping – almost never used any more, I think it would have a kind of retro charm to it now to be honest. Its heir is the dead-air solution: just remove the word from the vocal track. This never sounds good, it totally disrupts the rhythm of the song and in some cases you can’t even tell there’s meant to be a word there. Eminem radio edits are often rotten for this reason.

2/ Putting in different words – effective if a bit lame (key text here: There Is No Swearing In “I Swear” By All-4-One). The problem is you need to get the act in to re-record – OR DO YOU? Case in point, Pink’s classically rubbish radio edit of “Get The Party Started”, which replaces the word “ass” with a shitly-spliced “Benz” from two lines back in the song to baffling effect.

3/ Putting in funny noises – as used on “Work It” by Missy; in fact I think only Missy does it. This is GREAT – only problem is it’s a lot of work. The elephant noise on “Work It” is so much better and funnier than a word would be (actually IS there even a ‘dirty’ edit of this song? My point stands though – USE NOISES!)

4/ Almost swearing – Eamon’s tune may look like it’s using dead-air but this isn’t the case – what he’s actually doing is saying “f’ck” and “shh’t”, in a sort of PRML SCRM style but very quietly. This kind of radio edit is pretty contemptuous of the whole notion of radio edits and is becoming more common. The next step is surely just whispering the swears and then the barbarians really will be at the gates.

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