In Review: Shotgun

It is Monday, which means we’re working on another fabulous review! Today, we’re taking a close look (and listen!) at Shotgun, an interlude track on The Wedding Album.

Audio

Lyrics

Shotgun
Get it together, thing is jumpin'
I wanna see your bullets pumpin'
Shotgun
Get your finger on the trigger
Got to make the shooter bigger
(Now it's your turn)
Shotgun
Shotgun

Rhonda

So, I’m just going to say it – I don’t really understand Shotgun.

Duran Duran has done interludes before. There’s the Flute Interlude from Big Thing, and who can really forget “Return to Now” from All You Need Is Now. I’ve often wondered why they chose to include an interlude, and then after awhile – as was the case with “Return to Now”, I sort of get it. Unfortunately for Shotgun though, it feels more like filler than something needed to complete the album. I did learn that the song was “sort of a cover” of a 1965 song by the same name, by Jr. Walker and the All Stars.

Let’s just talk about that for a second. The original, by any measure, is a masterpiece. The sax at the end is monumentally more experimental than all 54 seconds that Duran Duran saw fit to put on The Wedding Album. We included a link below for anyone who is interested.

Sure, Shotgun has it’s moment. At 54 precious seconds in length, it is an example of the sort of experimentalism that the band seemed into at the time. I’m just not sure that it was so well-done that they needed it on the album. There’s a lot going on in a song that isn’t even quite one minute in length. Perhaps that is the problem. Not at all simple, the short song has a clear melody, and even one verse of lyrics written. The bass is right there, along with a beat to back it all up. Just as one might settle in for the ride, it ends. The tune doesn’t even feel finished – it just ends with a final, harmonized, “Shotgun”.

I’ll give it points for lyrics – most of their other interludes that come to mind this morning, anyway – are instrumental. This one feels like it’s going to go somewhere, and then it doesn’t. Sandwiched between “Drowning Man” and “Come Undone”, there just doesn’t seem to be any reason for it to have been put there, except as an half-hearted attempt to prove that this band knows how to experiment and create an artsy, quirky sound out of a While that might be the case, I spent time wondering if it was included on the album purely because there was an argument in the room about whether to keep it or toss it, and somebody’s ego wouldn’t let them give in for the greater good.

Two and half cocktails
Two and a half cocktails!

Amanda

I have to agree with Rhonda on this one. Why? What is the point of this song? I do not even know how to judge it or review it or even to listen to it. It sort of messes with my head. Honestly. So, let me try to break this song down a bit.

First of all, there is the length. Why is it only a minute? Does it have something to do with the title? Like a bullet from a shotgun takes less than a minute to travel to hit something or someone? No clue. Do the lyrics help me decipher this? Not really. Again, it mentions bullets and firing but is it really about a gun? I don’t know. I have a hard time imagining that this song is as literal as that. That feels very unlike Duran Duran to me. Does it have a connection to the previous song, Drowning Man? That song was about the United States. Does Shotgun have a connection to the U.S. or current events at that time? I’m so confused. Much like the length of the song, the lyrics do cause me to shake my head in utter confusion. Is it that the song wasn’t finished? *cries*

Okay, I promised that I would take it part by part and find myself bouncing from one idea to the next randomly. Maybe that is intentional. Perhaps, the band wanted the listeners to do that very thing? What about the instrumentation? There is a lot going on within these 54 seconds. Obviously, there is a noticeable beat and guitars are definitely present. When I really listen to this song, I find myself overwhelmed with all of the sounds flying at me from all directions. Again, I wonder if they were trying to get the music to match the feeling of being shot at. Your guess is as good as mine. All that being said, I have to admit that the shortness of the song often means that I miss it when I listen to the Wedding Album as a whole. This leads me back to Rhonda’s question. Why? Why include it? More importantly, does it add anything to the album? Does it add anything to the band’s catalog? I hate to say it but I don’t think so. I know that many hate whenever we imply that the band is not perfect but I think, in this case, I can say that they were not perfect. While I could do without it, I guess I can appreciate that it makes me think.

Two cocktails

“Shotgun” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars, 1965

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