Red Lenses

Background and Commentary

“‘Red Lenses’ sounds like a cross between Jimi Hendrix, U2, and Peter Gabriel. The song is constructed around a complex drum pattern during the chorus. Neil wanted to base the piece on the rhythm. Lyrically, the tune highlights what has been a slow change in Neil’s approach to words. He began reading 20th century poets like T.S. Eliot, along with prose writers of that same period. He tries to play with cliches and subvert meanings. And the words are intended to give pleasure on two levels: first by their sounds and second by their meanings.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

“This was probably the hardest song I ever worked on, in spite of the pleasure it gave me. It went through so many rewrites and changed its title so many times. Each little image was juggled around and I just fought for the right words to put each little phrase and to make it sound exactly right to me, so that it sounded a little bit nonsensical. I wanted to get that kind of jabberwocky word game thing happening with it, and also there are little things going on that your mind sort of catches without identifying, like a lot of poetic devices. You take the number of words that sound the same or start with the same letter or whatever. You just certainly don’t start in the middle of it and go, ‘Oh, that’s alliteration.'” (Jim Ladd Innerview)—Neil in Merely Players

Lyrics

I see red
And it hurts my head
Guess it must be something
That I read

It’s the color of your heartbeat
A rising summer sun
The battle lost or won
The flash to fashion
And the pulse to passion
Feels red
Inside my head
And truth is often bitter
Left unsaid
Said red, red
Thinking about the overhead
The underfed

Couldn’t we talk about something else instead?

We’ve got mars on the horizon
Says the national midnight star
(It’s true)
What you believe is what you are
A pair of dancing shoes
The soviets are the blues
The reds
Under your bed
Lying in the darkness
Dead ahead

And the mercury is rising
Barometer starts to fall
You know it gets to us all
The pain that is learning
And the rain that is burning
Feel red
Still go ahead
You see black and white
And I see red
Red
(Not blue)

Tablature

By Jimmy Pena (jimmy@walrus.com)

Excerpted from Fretplay.

This tab is a royal mess. It was a real pain to do, and I hope you appreciate it. This song isn’t so popular, so why the hell did I tab it? The key is E, switching to Ab for the keyboard interludes.

| = not a standard bar line; just used to separate music
~ = vibrato or held note
/ = slide up from infinity
\ = slide down into infinity
o \_
o / repeat sign (always look for these!)
[x35553] = fret box; this is a C chord – this is the same as standard
tablature, only turned on its side. Tilt your head clockwise to read.

Chord legend:

C#m7 : [9/11/9999]
F# : [244322]
F#7sus4 : [242422]
F#7(AddB) : [x44300]
E : [022100]

[Riff 1]
Eb7
e:–15–15—15–15–15–15–15—15~~——————————-|
B:–14–14—14–14–14–14–14—14~~——————————-|
G:–15–15—15–15–15–15–15—15~~——————————-|
D:–13–13—13–13–13–13–13—13~~——————————-|
A:——————————————————————-|
E:——————————————————————-|

[Riff 2]
Gb6
e:–11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11————————–|
B:–11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11————————–|
G:–11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11————————–|
D:–11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11—11-11-11-11————————–|
A:—9–9–9–9—-9–9–9–9—-9–9–9–9————————–|
E:——————————————————————-|

[Riff 3]
Ab Absus4
e:—8–8–8–8—-8–8–8–8—-9–9–9–8————————–|
B:—9–9–9–9—-9–9–9–9—-9–9–9–9————————–|
G:—8–8–8–8—-8–8–8–8—-8–8–8–8————————–|
D:–10-10-10-10—10-10-10-10—10-10-10-10————————–|
A:——————————————————————-|
E:——————————————————————-|

Song progression:

C#m7 C#m7
I see red. An’it hurts …

F# F# F# F# F#7sus4 3x F#7(addB)
I guess it must be …

E5 F#9 G9 G#9
e:——————————————————————-|
B:–5———9–10–11\———————————————|
G:–4———9–10–11\———————————————|
D:–2———8—9–10\———————————————|
A:–2———9–10–11\———————————————|
E:——————————————————————-|

Keyboard arr. for guitar: play 3 times

e:————11—|————11–14–|
B:–13—14–(11)–|–13—14———–|
G:o———-(12)–|——————-o|
D:o———-(13)–|——————-o|
A:—————–|——————–|
E:—————–|——————–|

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.

Tutorials

“Red Lenses” bass cover

“Red Lenses” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 6, 2011.

 
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