Back From The Edge

Back From The Edge
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For sharing thoughts and ratings on the song.

A short summary: To me, “Back From the Edge” is one of the best rock songs ever written.

Certainly it is one of Bruce’s best songs, in all possible genres.

The atmosphere in this song is truly special, starting with the somewhat weird drum/bass patterns in the intro, the riff and the verse. The drum beat with those accented china cymbals is great practice material for any drummer (I’ve played it for countless hours!), but not just that. Together with the bass, it’s also an essential factor in what makes this song different from everything else I’ve ever heard. You just can’t reproduce the vibe that the rhythm section has here. I mean, maybe you can create even better grooves and vibes with drums and bass, but obviously there would be no point in playing this beat in another song – it’s so recognizable and unique.

I also love how Chris’s bass comes into play: a slide upwards into a high note, a couple of bars plucking that one and then jumping down to low notes to accompany Alex Elena’s bass drum in accented hits. This is basically where Chris won me over.

On top of that, Bruce’s vocals in the verse have this gloomy, slow-paced feel to them, and there’s something a bit off (in a good, weird way) in the vocal melody as well. In the bridge part (back from the edge where you’re not worth a damn…) the vocal echoes are a great addition to the eery atmosphere of the song. And when we get to the part near the end where Bruce repeats the song title, everything just fits.

Through the whole Skunkworks album, Alex Dickson’s guitar work is phenomenal, a true masterpiece of arranging and executing guitar parts. This song is no exception. Cool sounding guitar effects, a really intense simple riff in the verse, and to cap his performance, the solo (played with a slider!) is just simply perfect for the moment. In all, I think a major part of the greatness of Skunkworks is in the arrangement and production of guitars; you only need a couple of chords and a good melody to write a good song (well, some lyrics probably as well), but to make it really stand out you need to put thought into what you play; to do something a bit different. And that’s Alex Dickson for you. Just listen to what he does here, especially after the two and a half minute mark.

This is one of the songs of my life.

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