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China Doll

Features: Bruce Hornsby (piano, vocals); Jimmy Haslip (bass); John Molo (drums); Pat Metheny (guitar); Phil Collins (backing vocals); Tony Berg (guitar chords); Wayne Pooley (guitar chords).

Again, note the expansive roles played by both electric guitar and drums, giving the song a more “jazz” than “pop” feel. I believe there’s an interview by drummer John Molo, which you can enter from Si’s site, suggesting that this song represents a high point in Molo’s recording career. Clearly, these songs may have come as a shock (pleasant or otherwise) for those Bruce “traditionalists” reared on the 4/4 rhythm and “Bonehead” sound (see Scenes from the Southside lyric views).

Lyrically, the song is not really one of my favourites. However, it is based on that old Bruce theme of reaching out a hand to a more vulnerable person (Carry the Water; I Will Walk With You; Lost Soul etc.). In this case, the subject is a woman in a fragile life situation. I believe the more sophisticated ambience of the song, including the title, suggests a darker theme, perhaps more akin to the subject of that old Police favourite, “Roxanne”.

Carwyn Tywyn


mp3  China Doll
» 9.8 MiB - 1,021 downloads
Oakland, CA
October 28 1998




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