Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Greatest moments in rock and roll, part 7

(Produced and mailed copy 11 for a customer.)

Today's spotlight: pop songs with totally different movements

This is a tricky category. How do you work with sudden shifts in music without it turning prog rock? Let's try to find out:

The medley

The Beatles - Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (1:12), the Beatles experimented with medleys as early as 1964. Just put two songs with the same key.

The 5th Dimension - Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures) (2:18), The 5th Dimension are one of the best pop groups of the 60s, no question about it. Here, they accomplish the switch by splicing two songs into a medley.

The cut up and splice method

The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations, this is an example of how you put completely different sections of music together and still have one of the most popular records ever.

Brian Wilson - Heroes And Villains (2:17), the switch to the "in the cantina" section is borderline prog rock, I think. By that, I mean it doesn't work as well as some of the other songs, perhaps too self-consciously a sudden switch. A successful switch should sound smooth and natural.

Petula Clark - Don't Sleep in the Subway (0:51), she is best known for "Downtown" but this one is a really good song, too.

The Beatles - Happiness Is A Warm Gun, brilliant. My favorite sections are "I need a fix" and "mother superior" with that weird time signature.

Radiohead - Paranoid Android, inspired by the Beatles song named above.

The "different" coda

Madonna - Vogue (4:50), new lyrics and melody for the end: "ooh, you got to..."

The Beatles - Ticket To Ride (2:46), the "my baby don't care" section with a new beat and guitar solo.

So.... how are The Tonics responding to all this? "Lucy Tricked Me Into Something"

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