Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Beatles - "All My Loving" (1963)

Rhythm guitar part is marvelous and the choice of chord voicings helps provide a sense of consistency through the whole progression. The highest note of each chord, on the high E string, only moves about slightly, starting at F# for the F# minor and B major chords, moving up to G# for E major and C# minor, up to A for A major, and then back to F# for F# minor, D major, and B major. Contrast in the ending when we hear the high note all way up on the ninth fret for C# minor and the twelfth fret for the next-to-last E major chord.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Afterglow - "Chasing Rainbows" (1968)

A lovely harmonic structure throughout and some nice structural aspects. The first line of the chorus is an irregular three-bar phrase with words that rhyme with the last line of the preceding verse. This line is a part of the chorus and yet functions as a lead-in to what might be considered to be the chorus proper. The cymbal-less drum pattern heard in the instrumental intro returns in the bridge, which the composition is already plunging into at 0:43. Chorus returns afterward, but this time the lead-in involves two lines and goes for five bars instead of three. At this point, the composition is only at 1:19 and yet, already, it moves to its final segment: one more repetition of the very nice chorus.

Afterglow album on Amazon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Impressions - "Man Oh Man" (1965)

Holds together an arrangement at only about 74 beats per minute with fluidity, precision, and changes in dynamics. Really charming compositional elements in the way the bridge comes to a quick end (no rhyme at the end of the last line) and how the third verse repeats just because it's good enough to play it again.

"Man Oh Man" on Lala.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Every Mother's Son - "Come on Down to My Boat" (1967)

The intro is really remarkable on this. Very difficult to count or even hear where the upbeat or downbeat is. Excellent, unusual drumming continues throughout, particularly notable on the chorus. (Also note the fills at 1:43 and 2:13.)

"Come on Down to My Boat" on Lala.

Shonen Knife - "A Day of the Factory" (1983)

Excellent compositional craftsmanship on this song from their first album. Over three and a half minutes, but the intro is only thirteen seconds. One verse, and then a short refrain of a different melody over the same chords. Different chord progression used as a link and then back for the second verse, but they lay out for eight bars before it starts. Different words on the repeat of the refrain.

"A Day of the Factory" on Lala.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boston - "Peace of Mind" (1976)

Slightly over five minutes, but nothing too out of the ordinary in its structure. Could easily have ended around the four-minute mark, but that instrumental coda, coming from the intro and building guitar harmonies upon the lengthy melody, goes on for over a minute to end the song. It's a progressive move, but so simple, so tightly constructed, and very charming.

"Peace of Mind" on Lala.