the golden age illusion
"perfect vision" was originally written on acoustic guitar at a faster tempo, and at various early stages had a second middle section, different music for the second half of each verse, and a classical-jazz instrumental intro based on the verses. in the first demo, the drums were more rock than dance, bass guitar was used, there was a minimal keyboard line.
a synth-riff intro that ended up unused was the catalyst for a more electronic approach. whole sections were dropped, others re-written, and the song was re-recorded more like eurodisco with arpeggiated strings.
it was better, except for one thing. i was aping things i dislike in order to mock them to make a point. unfortunately, in the process, the song was becoming too much what was being mocked. so i redid the production from scratch on vintage drum machine and synth. it gives a knowing wink at retro-futuristic nostalgia, while at the same time indulging in a style i actually like.
bryin processed the hi-hats a variety of ways that punctuate the song's intro, outro, and just before the first verse. and more importantly, he added shimmering accents through a twisted series of vintage pedals that sound nothing like the electric guitar he's actually playing (as is often the case).
the audio is a "home-mastered" mix, optimized as best as possible for youtube. the final master should sound better. the video uses footage from the 1980 TV adaptation of aldous huxley's 'brave new world'. it's been re-colored and edited to fit the song. i hope those changes are enough to constitute "fair use". the movie itself is nearly impossible to find officially.
themes in the book were a direct inspiration on some of the song's lyrics, particularly in the middle section. in the same breath, i chose to salute one of the inspirations for the final arrangement of the song. "images of heaven" by peter godwin is a classic slice of new wave that still stands up today.
the overall sound and meaning of the song are also linked both to each other, and to a central issue of the album. the quest for perfection, its possible futility, and the fact that so often we end up looking for it in the past.