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Single Serving: A Psycho*SONG*analysis by psychologist, Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT

Song:Pushin' Too Hard
Band: The Seeds

Before I take on this hard-hitting hit and try to do justice to the legacy the song, and the band left behind, let's take a moment to reflect on the recent passing away of Sky Saxon, lead singer and bassist for the Seeds.  To help set the stage (pun intended) for a moment of silence for Sky, feel free to listen to my tribute song about him:

Sky (We Salute You)
words and music by Dr BLT © 2009

The Seeds came along in the mid-sixties like a breath of fresh air.  
Their music was fresh, original----deeply embedded in early blues, yet distinct in style and attitude.  /Pushin' Too Hard /is No Exception.   
They released /Pushin' Too Hard /in 1966, and it immediately raced up the charts, for good reason. When Sky belts out the main hook, you feel every word.  It's about as honest, and replete with urgency as it gets. 

I will not attempt to sing a sample of it for you like I do many of my single serving songs.  At some point I may seek permission to cover it, but at this point, I be hard-pressed to match the level of intensity embedded in the original recording, and that would make for a weak introduction to my review and song analysis.  In short, I would be "pushin' too hard on (myself)" to try to pull it off. 

You're pushin' too hard, uh-pushin' on me
You're pushin' too hard, uh-what you want me to be
You're pushin' too hard about the things you say
You're pushin' too hard every night and day
You're pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard on me (too hard)
I'm sure this song may have been influential in leading Muddy Waters himself to call this band America's Rolling Stones.  The song certainly reflects the American angst that was going on all across the United States during this distinct period in our history.  And it aptly expresses the attitude that was ubiquitous at the time with lines like those contained in this verse, a miniature declaration of independence...
/Well all I want is to just be free
Live my life the way I wanna be
All I want is to just have fun
Live my life like it's just begun
But you're pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard on me (too hard)
/Pushin' Too Hard /is the quintessential garage band rock song.  It is the garage band rock song's garage band rock song.  If I looked up "convincing" in a dictionary, no definition could match simply presenting this song as the paragon, or prime example of the term.  The same would apply for the term "believability." /
Well, better listen girl to what I'm tellin' you
You better listen girl, or we are through
You better stop all your foolin' around
Stop your runnin' all over town
'Cause you're pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard on me (too hard)
/Many men, yet not all men have been through the type of oppression and sense of betrayal expressed in this song.  But every man will feel like he has after listening to the song.  That's why this, and other songs by the Seeds helped them earn the reputation for presaging or foreshadowing punk.  You might say the Seeds primed the punk pump.  They were, without a doubt a head of their time.  The Seeds were deeply rooted (pun intended) in their blues and early rock influences and they boldly stood on the shoulders of legends that had gone before them, but they were nothing, if not original.  It was their sense of indebtedness to their influences, and the confidence that those influences engendered that allowed them to /push/ (pun intended) the limits of rock music and to take it in a new direction.  It was like nobody told them what rock should sound like, so, at least in some respects, they made up their own rules as they went along. 
Well I know there's a lotta fish in the sea
I know some would-uh stay by me
So if you don't think I'm gonna try
You better ask yourself the reason why
'Cause you're pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard on me (too hard)
The lyrics are not fancy, lofty or pretentious.  They are simple and to the point.  Other songs take the circuitous route to the heart, and, as a result, often never reach their intended destination.  This one cuts like a knife and goes straight to the heart.  It "pushes," just hard enough to establish a remarkable legacy for the band, and Sky, the bands beloved frontman. 
Pushin' too hard, pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard, pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard, pushin' too hard
Pushin' too hard on me (too hard)
/There's no reason to abandon my predilection for puns at this point, provided that you will pardon every one.  The Sky may have been the limit, but Sky himself, along with his band, pushed his own limits and helped pave the way, and provide the courage, for other bands and artists to take immense creative risks.  The Seeds, and especially Sky, the lead singer and bass player that drove the point of their music home, planted a garden in me, and many other singer/songwriters and bands, that continues to grow and to flourish, and for that, Sky, we salute you!


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