'Losing My Edge' by LCD Soundsystem

This song was released on a 12 inch single on DFA Records in July 2002. The B side is 'Beat Connection (extended disco dub)'. It is an eight-minute Mark E. Smith-inspired spoken word piece in which a man boasts that he once had totally cutting edge musical tastes and was present at every important musical event. While trying desperately to keep his cool, he expresses his frustration at losing this cutting edge to younger and hipper people. He jealously addresses one of these people, and then, unable to deal with his inferiority, explodes into a list of the cool bands that he once knew and championed.

Musically, LCD Soundsystem have not lost their edge at all. The backing to this monologue is a Krautrockesque slow-building fusion groove that perfectly connects dance and rock rhythms, and captures the unbearable tension slowly and powerfully building up inside the song's subject. After a noisy intro, a restrained drum machine provides an electro beat, and a basic two-note riff begins. As the song goes on, rock drum fills and distortion threaten to break the tension, but the release of full-on rock & roll only comes six minutes in.

For successfully fusing rock and dance, for referencing so much good music, and for exploring the difficulties and frustrations of trying to keep ahead of the musical Zeitgeist, 'Losing My Edge' is like a music nut's wet dream come true. I have transcribed all of the lyrics that I can, but the obscurity of the references and the noisiness of the music in the final section makes it impossible for me to understand it all:

Yeah I'm losing my edge, I'm losing my edge
The kids are coming up from behind
I'm losing my edge
I'm losing my edge to the kids from France and from London
But I was there
I was there in 1968
I was there at the first Can show in Cologne
I'm losing my edge
I'm losing my edge to the kids whose footsteps I hear when they get on the decks
I'm losing my edge to the internet seekers who can tell me every member of every good group from 1962 to 1978
I'm losing my edge
I'm losing my edge to all the kids in Tokyo and Berlin
To the art school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties*
I'm losing my edge
I'm losing my edge
But I was there, I was there, I was there
I'm losing my edge, I'm losing my edge
I can hear the footsteps every night on the decks
But I was there
I was there in 1974 at the first Suicide practices in the Loft in New York City
I was working on the organ sounds, with much patience
I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band
I told him "Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime."
I was there
I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids
I played it at CBGBs
Everybody thought it was crazy
We all know I was there, I was there
I've never been wrong
I used to work at a record store
I heard everything before anyone
I was there at the Paradise Garage DJ booth with Larry Levan
I was there in Jamaica during the great soundclashes
I woke up naked on the beach at Ibiza in 1988
But I'm losing my edge to better looking people with better ideas and more talent, who are actually really really nice
I'm losing my edge
I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody
Every great song by the Beach Boys, all the underground hits, all the Modern Lovers tracks
I heard you have a vinyl of every Neiva(?) record, on German import
I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit from 1985, '86, '87
I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good sixties cut and another box set from the seventies
I hear you are buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and throwing your computer out the window because you want to make something real
You want to make a Yaz record
I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables
I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars
I hear that everbody that you know is more relevant than everybody that I know
But I will see more ???
This Heat, Pere Ubu, The Outsiders, Nation of Ulysses, M/A/R/R/S, ???, the Black Knights, Todd Terry, The Germs, Section 25, Althea and Donna, Sexual ??, a-ha, Pere Ubu, ???, the ?? Allstars, the Bar-Kays
The Human League, The Normal, Lou Reed, Scott Walker, Monks, Niagra?
Joy Division, Lame 48?, Creation?, Scientists, Royal Trux, 10CC, Double T, Eric B & Rakim, Index, Basic Channel, Soulsonic Force, "just hit me"**, Juan Atkins, ???, David Acteron?, Electric Prunes, Gil Scott Heron!
The Slits, Faust, Mantronix, Pharoah Sanders, The Fire Engines
The Swans, the Soft Cell, The Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics
We all know what you really want (x 16)
What is that?

*Refers to the Electroclash movement.
**A line in Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force's groundbreaking electro-rap classic 'Planet Rock'

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