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Some things are just true.

For example: Wichita Lineman is the greatest love song of the 20th century.

It combines some of my favourite things (apart from being a great love song), that is, it’s about an ordinary working man with extraordinary feelings for the woman he loves, and the song itself is flawed, being incomplete when it was recorded by Glen Campbell.

Jimmy Webb had sent the song to Campbell for him to try it out, but he hadn’t finished the third verse, so the version Campbell got only contained two verses. Apparently Jimmy Webb called Campbell to ask what he thought, and when Campbell told him he liked it so much he’d already recorded it, Webb spluttered, ‘I haven’t finished it yet. There’s no third verse!’

It doesn’t matter. No one misses what was never there. It is simply the greatest love song of the 20th century. Oh, and it has the greatest, simplest guitar solo of all time.

The Campbell version aside, I love this live version from Elbow too. Guy Garvey always sings in his own accent, of which I totally approve.


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