1983 A Merman I should Turn To Be - The Greatest Bridge Of All Time
What did I just write? Did I really just say that a song with merman in the title has one of the greatest bridges of all time? Well it’s 2020 right? So expect the unexpected. This actually perfectly describes this song and the mysterious yet beautifully crafted bridge this article is about.
This might be one of the few articles ever written about just a bridge of a song, but it’s honestly an underrated masterpiece that is not talked about enough. “1983 A Merman I should turn to be” is a little know song off the last Hendrix album entitled Electric Lady Land. The song starts out as a slow bluesy type Hendrix riff, with some of the more impressive and beautiful l
yrics Hendrix had wrote to date. He always stated that Bob Dylan was a huge influence of his, and this song serves to illustrate that Hendrix was starting to evolve outside of the well e
stablished notion that he was simply just a virtuoso guitar player, and was seeking to become a more complete musician.
The song is odd in that it’s essentially a song within a song that seemly comes out of no where. Shortly before the 5 min mark is when the song transforms and the timbres of the original instruments slowly fade out, and your left with various sounds of ominous bells and sounds of rushing wind. Then out of no where, starts some of the most beautiful guitar playing I’ve ever heard Hendrix play. The drum beat starts to pick up and the once serene, sitar sounding guitar fades into Hendrix’s signature fuzz distortion guitar, while Mitch Mitchell absolutely erupts on the drum set.
The song calms back down and evolves into a sweet rock groove, leading the way to a classic
Noel Redding bass solo. The drum engines reignite, the guitar starts to roar, and it feels like you’ve finally landed from your trip around a new musical universe. All of the sudden you are back into the original verse of the song and find yourself asking “What just happened?”
What truly struck me about this song is not only its incredibly unique song structure or the beautiful and elegant guitar playing, but the way Hendrix was able to take you on such a musical ride. I’ve never experienced a song that took you in so many different directions with such ease. Honestly, it serves to show that Hendrix was starting to reach some of the upper levels of musicianship, by playing around with traditional song structure, yet respecting it at the same time.
It’s also a sad song for me. I always think of how he must have been just scratching the surface of his overall musical talent. This album was recorded in the now famous Electric Lady studios, where it was completely crafted under the supervision of Hendrix and built to all of his standards. This song is a result of an emerging legendary musician being not only comfortable in his new studio environment, but comfortable in his ability to step out side the box and let his incredible talent speak for itself.