The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
Thu., Oct. 19. 2023 10:15pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 21st single of 2023:
I CAN'T GROW FROM THAT (NOR CAN YOU)
As I've stated elsewhere, after we recorded and released the '80s medley in 2011, I never intended to revisit the songs within it. Many fans asked me one on one if we'd ever consider expanding those parody pieces to full length, but I thought those folks were out of touch with reality.
"It's a laugh," I'd think. "Your imagination's got the best of you." For years, my basic feeling on those 10 tiny tunes was, "A medley is all I can do; I can't grow from that." But now I have to say it isn't so, because we finally decided to make their dreams come true. It's actually been a lot more enjoyable than I expected, so I'd like to thank all of you who were willing to wait for me to come around.
That doesn't mean this one was easy, mind you. Daryl Hall is an excellent singer, and "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" was quite the obstacle course — a real maneater. However, a couple nice things happened.
First, when I dug out my lyrics file from 2011, I discovered that I'd already written a second verse back then, even though we'd never used it. I liked all four lines, but I got better ideas later for the last two, so I changed them.
Second, Rich Mannion was willing and able to do the backing vocals, so all those Oates notes are his. He also did all the electronic drum-programming and keyboards, including the bass and sax parts. Sing it with me: "You're a Rich guy, and you've gone too far, but you still need Tom Tincha anyway." Yes, Tinch did the guitars, but Rich did everything else. So close!
"Read Acts" was the parody that kicked off our '80s medley in 2011, and it's also what got me started on the idea of a medley in the first place. I loved the chorus I'd come up with, but the rest of the original song had a bunch of weird stuff going on musically and lyrically, and I couldn't tell what many of the words were. So I figured I'd just use the chorus in a medley and be done with it.
Once the medley came out, though, eager fans started asking for complete versions of everything in it. So much for relaxing, eh?
I kept the chorus but changed the opening from "Guess what's up now?" to "Just watch us now." I probably would have gone with that line the first time around, but I used to think that's what Frankie Goes to Hollywood said. When I checked the usual lyric websites before writing this entry, different places had different ideas as to what "Frankie say" there, including: "Give it to me one time now," "Give it to you one time now," and "Guess what's happening now?"
I knew I needed a good phrase to supplant one line that actually was clear in the original — "gotta hit me with those laser beams" — and "got a history with those major themes" did the trick nicely.
But what are the major themes of The Book of Acts? I summed it up as "get souls redeemed — be called extreme." In other words, share the Gospel of Christ that brings salvation, and do it with a bold faith, knowing that the devil may provide opposition, but the Holy Spirit may provide miracles as well.