So why am I posting a song you’ve never heard, called
Second Still by a band you’ve never heard of called Modern Eon?
Good question, and the answer is sort of roundabout, so bear with me if you will. The Easy Star All-Stars recently released a full-length reggae version of Radiohead’s OK Computer as the follow-up to their fantastic Dub Side of the Moon. I found this interesting because I’ve long considered OK Computer the Dark Side of the Moon of the 90s. This led me to wonder, what was the Dark Side of the 80s? I couldn’t think of anything that was commercially successful in the 80s that had that kind of ambition. The best answer I could come up with was Fiction Tales (1981) by the aforementioned Modern Eon, from which this song is taken.
In stark contrast to the actual Dark Side, which spent about 97 years on the Billboard charts, Fiction Tales really could not be more obscure. I’ve seen exactly one copy of it in my life, and that belonged to my freshman year hallmate G. Babb (where have you gone, G. Babb?). But musically, the comparison is apt, I think. Like Dark Side or OK Computer, Fiction Tales is a vaguely structured concept album with a dark, majestic sweep to it. “Second Still,” which is the opening track, boasts a trippy Floydian intro, wicked reverb guitar, top-notch drumming, and provocatively cryptic lyrics. If you dig that sort of thing, you may enjoy it.