Happy People song by song track 3: Satellites

Part 1: Happy People
Part 2: Name in a File
Part 3: Satellites
Part 4: Flow my tears, the policeman said
Part 5: Even then we’re Scared
Part 6: Fire Flower Heart
Part 7: Tracking Signals

Satellites is a love song. Except in the world of Happy People love is difficult as there are are spy satellites that will get in the way if the authorities disapprove.

They say eyes are watching down on all the lovers
Ironclad watchers in star-bitten skies
They’re keeping a record of all our romances
They’ll pull us apart if they don’t approve

It was written for FAWM, as much the album was, though not in the same year as the first two tracks.

Composition and Production

I love the coda in Satellites. The keys, the backing vocals, the 12 string guitar melody. I think it sounds great and it’s all Dan Bowles`s idea. The original demo has none of that, as you`ll hear. I think it really makes the song.

I didn’t think that about the coda idea when I first heard it. It took a few listens to persuade me that Dan’s idea was the right one.

The other main change between the demo and the final version is the key. The original is in C# minor, and the final in F# minor. This was in line with Jordan’s notes:

  • Because of the subject matter I’d use A LOT of electronic textures a la Royskopp, along with the rock instrumentation.
  • I’m in two minds whether the key is too low or not but then again I have the idea that if you have to double the chorus an octave higher because the verse sounds more powerful, it probably needs a kick up a couple semitones.

We didn’t go all out with the electronic textures, but he was right abut the key. I think it sounds much better like this.

They say you have to kill your babies on any creative endeavour, ie get rid of the ideas you absolutely love if they don’t fit. One baby I had to kill was part of the backing vocal in the final chorus. In the demo there’s a line that reads:

They police our thoughts, can’t police our hearts, won’t ever pull us apart again.

In the final version that’s truncated and far less significant. I liked the original to sing, but the rest of the team were of the opinion that just because you can write a counter melody doesn’t mean you should. I can’t argue, they were correct.

Satellites. A 4 minute love song on a prog album.

5 thoughts on “Happy People song by song track 3: Satellites

  1. Pingback: Happy People song by song track 2: Name in a File | Tom Slatter

  2. Pingback: Happy People song by song track 1: Happy People | Tom Slatter

  3. Pingback: Happy People song by song 5: Even then we’re scared | Tom Slatter

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