Singled Out: The Guess Who's The King

Keavin Wiggins | 02-12-2023

Singled Out: The Guess Who's The King Single art

Rock legends The Guess Who just released, "The King", the first single from their forthcoming album, "Plein D'Amour", and to celebrate we asked Derek Sharp to tell us about the track. Here is the story:

I generally write in the present moment. Sometimes musical or lyric ideas will sit around for a long time, only to take on a different meaning by the time I circle back to them. That's how the song The King began...

I'm at the piano fiddling around with chord progressions that weave through a myriad of key modulations. I've always been a huge fan of old power pop. It's what I grew up on and the first songs I ever wrote were rooted in that.

The next day I revisited the idea and went looking through my lyric book. I found a poem I had written a few years previous. It was titled The King and it was loosely based on a bitter, blustery old blowhard (ie the person who can't get enough of their own voice and is oblivious to anyone else in the room). However, not to be too judgmental, it was really just a metaphor for the eventual crumbling of the power structure. It took on a whole new meaning with the state of the world today. People from all walks of life are waking up, tuning out and making their voices heard against powerful corporate, media, and government bodies. A virtual reclamation of our own sovereignty.

Anyhoo....in an attempt to not take myself too f***ing serious...I figured it would be a cool challenge to try and make this complex piece of music and serious metaphorical prose into something funny, musical and worth listening to.

My first attempt came together quite smoothly. The hardest part was finding simplicity in these musical transitions. So I just turned it into a story with 3 chapters...Sometimes I will purposely juxtapose intense lyrics with happy music or vice versa. This time I wanted the music to be synchronous with the words...for the simple reason that if nobody is bothering to listen to the words (ie most men) the music will tell the story for them.

Chapter One is a sombre, melancholy saloon piano intro that builds into a frenetic, angry climax by the egress of Chapter Two.

Chapter Three gets happy (Like Partridge Family happy!) This happy ending (see what I did there!) finishes with a Bombastic Orchestral Finale (sans Gong but Gong implied!)

The whole thing was such a trip down the rabbit hole...when asked to write a short description (short? oh f***!) It was best summed up by the following...

"The King" is a nod to 'all the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty together again' ... however, loving kindness is a universal balm, which can not only put Humpty together again, but turn him into a Prince!

As the concept for our album Plein D'Amour (Full of Love) fell into place, we felt that The King was the perfect opener for the collection. It sets the table for the great feast to come! A heartfelt love letter to the great unwashed...

more to come...

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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