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The Greatest


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#61 ONLINE   TrashMagiq

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:54 PM

In a song about civilizational decay, literally every cultural reference she makes to an idealized past is to white musicians or white-dominated music and her one exemplar of cultural decay is a black rapper. Not exactly a big reach to see why someone might find that problematic.

her exemplar of cultural decay is one of the greatest artists of this generation turning out to be a Trump supporter, wearing a MAGA hat and saying stuff like "slavery was a choice". It has nothing to do with him being black. It's a reach.



#62 OFFLINE   evilentity

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 07:20 PM

What a twisted definition of racism. You don't habe to habe black buddies to not be a racist

 

Hmmm...
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I believe you have beef with this guy:
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you don't have to mention how great Nina Simone is in order to be allowed to critisice Kanye Wests support of Donald Trump (a rwcist, btw).

My issue isn't with her criticism of Kanye West, which is well deserved and I agree with and then some. My issue is with the context in which she places it.
 

Black idiots are just as much idiots as white idiots.

Agreed. Perhaps Lana should Google what Mike Love thinks of Trump.
 

her exemplar of cultural decay is one of the greatest artists of this generation turning out to be a Trump supporter, wearing a MAGA hat and saying stuff like "slavery was a choice". It has nothing to do with him being black. It's a reach.

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My point is that even in making an artistic statement rightly criticizing a black man for his complicity in and enabling of Trump's racism this white woman's song is still unconsciously suffused with white nostalgia bullshit that could have been avoided with even a slightly different set of references.


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#63 ONLINE   TrashMagiq

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 07:26 PM

tenor.gif

My point is that even in making an artistic statement rightly criticizing a black man for his complicity in and enabling of Trump's racism this white woman's song is still unconsciously suffused with white nostalgia bullshit that could have been avoided with even a slightly different set of references.

 

Ok, still a reach.



#64 OFFLINE   Lad

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 07:31 PM

You really went from Lanalysis to this
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#65 OFFLINE   Johnny Sunshine

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:29 AM

So is this her saying goodbye to her former self/music, music as a whole or facing the end of the world/that cultural era ?

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#66 OFFLINE   TRENCH

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 08:17 AM

inb4 this is a farewell to Lana Del Rey and we get Lizzy Grant back in 2020 like I have predicted #period
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#67 OFFLINE   slang

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 12:39 PM

Lyrically, a great song; musically and singing-wise, a bit more average for me (relative to her leaks, not other artists). While people can (and should) take the high road on interpreting decay/death of civilization as a main topic of the song, which clearly bothers her, there seems (imo) quite a lot of personal death anxiety in it as well. Primarily her lyric reference to Dennis Wilson makes me think this. (I found out, from this song and a google, he got really drunk and drowned at Marina Del Rey in California!) . Here's an interesting bio-piece on him.
https://www.rollings...verboard-43037/
 
Also the slow panning over the music artists on the juke box. While Bon Iver and the National are alive and current, the next juke-pan has artists that are all dead and/or had careers curtailed by death (Joplin, Wilson, Sublime, Bowie, Buckly, Cohen, Valens, Redding, Springfield). The dead clearly outnumber the living, which I suppose is not surprising. Sure some are just old influences, who died "naturally" at a reasonable age, but a lot were prematurely ended. The titles on some songs are suggestive too. So perhaps a fragility of life thing (and her fear/resignation to it) is a major but stealthy topic of the song, with the Greatest [loss] being her death, actually, and her seeing her profession as a minefield of sorts (see also Hollywood's Dead as an example of that kind of song).

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#68 OFFLINE   Highway Noir

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:19 PM

So what exactly does Lana mean by "Don't leave I just need a wake-up call"

 

Like... She is literally telling someone not to leave cause she needs help to "wake up" or like she's not gonna stop doing *something* till something bad happens to her and the person she's with is fed up with her?


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#69 OFFLINE   beautifulandbad

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:34 PM

What if this song is about the apocalypse? I was listening, and I've seen people with a few theories such as the end of Lana's career / this being her last album, and some other theories, but...

 

"The culture is lit, and if this is it, then I've had a ball / I guess I'm burned out after all" What if she means this in a literal sense? Maybe it's about global warming and how the earth is pretty much on fire at this point?

 

And with other lyrics like "Life on mars ain't just a song / Hawaii just missed that fireball / L.A. is in flames, it's getting hot" it's pretty clear that she's talking about the world ending and/or the world going to complete garbage. And with the lyric "Oh, the livestream's almost on" maybe she's talking about people who are so engaged with their laptops and phones that don't even realize what's going on with the world.

 

This might be like a really obvious concept and I just now caught onto it but I thought it was still interesting to share lol


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#70 OFFLINE   Doll Harlow

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:38 PM

inb4 this is a farewell to Lana Del Rey and we get Lizzy Grant back in 2020 like I have predicted #period

 

I think you may be onto something.



#71 OFFLINE   TRENCH

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:35 AM

What if this song is about the apocalypse? I was listening, and I've seen people with a few theories such as the end of Lana's career / this being her last album, and some other theories, but...

 

"The culture is lit, and if this is it, then I've had a ball / I guess I'm burned out after all" What if she means this in a literal sense? Maybe it's about global warming and how the earth is pretty much on fire at this point?

 

And with other lyrics like "Life on mars ain't just a song / Hawaii just missed that fireball / L.A. is in flames, it's getting hot" it's pretty clear that she's talking about the world ending and/or the world going to complete garbage. And with the lyric "Oh, the livestream's almost on" maybe she's talking about people who are so engaged with their laptops and phones that don't even realize what's going on with the world.

 

This might be like a really obvious concept and I just now caught onto it but I thought it was still interesting to share lol

 

dont forget the album artwork where the coastline is literally on fire 

 

I also interpret "oh the Livestream's on" line as " oh the livestream of the apocalypse is on, people are about to record it" 

 

 

I think you may be onto something.

 

ive posted here before that I get a feeling that we could see a near or full Lizzy comeback in the 2020's with LFL being a stepping stone 

 

http://lanaboards.co...le/#entry710231


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#72 OFFLINE   Anthem

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:03 AM

Ok this is long and really.. complex.

 

Spoiler


Goddesses don't speak in whispers. They scream.


#73 OFFLINE   Veinsineon

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:21 AM

This song is very much apocalyptic, but I love the idea of this being Lana Del Rey’s last album and getting Lizzy Grant after 2020... although it probably won’t happen

#74 ONLINE   longtimeman

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 01:25 AM

So what exactly does Lana mean by "Don't leave I just need a wake-up call"

 

Like... She is literally telling someone not to leave cause she needs help to "wake up" or like she's not gonna stop doing *something* till something bad happens to her and the person she's with is fed up with her?

Pretty much the second thing - she's been acting badly, and didn't realise that the latest thing she did was the 'last straw' that broke the camel's back, and made everything end. It's a great line, that expresses a particular type of regret, when you suddenly realise how important things you were doing were, and how much impact they were having on someone close to you. (It's also, incidentally, a situation very common for someone who is going through an addiction to experience).

 

This reading works whether she's talking to an ex- who she hurt just a little too much, making him leave her, or whether she's 'mankind' talking to the earth, regretting that we caused too much environmental damage before realising that we'd passed the point of no return.


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#75 OFFLINE   Creyk

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:18 PM

She talks about the greatest in the interview with the times, so it should be in here
 

 

On “The Greatest,” you sing about missing rock ’n’ roll. Do you think rock is dead or dying?

It’s more about the concept of actually just chilling and listening to music for no reason. I was thinking of when I was 19, 20, 21 and had my first real boyfriends in this [expletive] apartment and just listening to Kings of Leon, that song “Milk,” or like White Stripes and the Strokes. We were trying to get into this secret bar they had on the East Side and no one would ever let us in. It was so fun. Maybe I should’ve said indie rock.

 

 



#76 OFFLINE   wittycatchphrase

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 04:04 PM

I'm throwing another wrench in this thread and possibly/probably reaching for the sky, but I'm starting to see this song through the lens of someone in recovery from drugs.

 

I know I'm "biased" in a way because I'm going through this myself (off alcohol for almost 4 years but still struggle with pot, not to be cool story bro, just for background). But one of my biggest struggles when it comes up to giving something up totally is that it's a major loss. It sounds stupid but it's like losing a friend, an outlet for your stress. Giving up alcohol was a loss like that for me. I think Lana's mentioned feeling that way too around Born to Die time, or that a song that sounded like it was for a lover was really about alcohol (who knows who true that is though). And I remember whatever interview Courtney Love did with Lana last year or so, she mentioned that Lana doesn't drink or do drugs. Assuming this to be true, maybe the song references (in addition to missing the life she had years ago) the "greatest loss of them all," as in, losing the ability to get fucked up to deal with stressors. Being "burnt out" can also refer to drugs. "The culture was lit and I had a ball," could refer to the fact that she partied, but now it's time to move on, needing a "wake up call" when she's "wasted," to make that decision to become sober. For me personally, it's a hard decision to come to, because it's like, NOT having the ability to get fucked up scares me. It would force me to deal with the world and be more present for things that are inherently stressful and testing, such as "LA's in flames, it's getting hot," "Life on Mars ain't just a song," etc.

 

Don't judge me guys, just an idea I had. Kisses.


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#77 OFFLINE   evilentity

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:05 PM

Wrote this as part of a multi-song discussion in the NFR Post-Release discussion thread, but thought I'd quote the part relevant to "The Greatest" here.
 

Now consider the first verse, pre-chorus, and chorus of the very next track, "The Greatest":

I miss Long Beach and I miss you babe
I miss dancing with you the most of all
I miss the bar where the Beach Boys would go
Dennis's last stop before Kokomo
 
Those nights were on fire
We couldn't get higher
We didn't know that we had it all
But nobody warns you before the fall
 
And I'm wasted
Don't leave, I just need a wake-up call
I'm facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all


H/t to @ annedauphine for helping me remember the name of a bar a profile/interview talked about her going to with Barrie. From Nylon in 2013:

These days, a typical afternoon involves waking up late, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette on her back porch with O'Neill, and then taking a drive, usually to Malibu and always with Del Rey behind the wheel. He'll hum a song into his iPhone recorder; she'll put in her two cents. Sometimes they'll stop at Neptune's Net, a biker bar at the end of the beach.


Now I haven't been able to confirm that Neptune's Net was specifically a "bar where the Beach Boys would go" (where's @Monicker when we need him!), but it's a bar popular with surfers next to Ventura County Line Beach, a location referenced in the Beach Boys hit "Surfin' USA" so this seems the likely referent, which would make this a Barrie song.

If so, it's pretty significant that she's effectively describing the loss of Barrie in apocalyptic terms, placing it on the same scale as the civilizational decay of this shitty timeline we're all living through right now in which the world is on fire literally and metaphorically. The greatest loss of them all. This conflation is reminiscent of her cover of Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World":

Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love




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#78 OFFLINE   WhiteMustangSally

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 03:48 AM

im not sure that she says "im wasted" cause i def hear face in there but obviously that's what everyone decided on and I like it  :teehee:

Some YouTube comments say she's saying 'I pray that you stay', but all I can see/hear is 'I'm way-ay-ay-ay-asssted' lol

 

Hawaii just missed a fireball must be referring to this I guess? 

 

https://en.wikipedia...e_missile_alert

I was living in Hawaii when suddenly every single person with a smartphone (including myself) received an emergency alert that a missile was inbound to Hawaii, to take immediate cover, and that it wasn't a drill. Everyone looked around at one another at first, startled, scared, mothers clutched their children, some people laughed nervously. The phones were jammed from everyone trying to call out. It took them almost 40 f*cking minutes to send another notification that it was a false alarm. :notamused: Pretty sure that event shaved off at least a few minutes from the end of my life due to stress.

 

Btw, sorry I'm late. I just joined the board. 






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