The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Why are only a few chords used in hit songs in recent times?
Old 5th December 2015
  #181
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
The Weeknd made it purely through the net, and there are many smaller artists who have done so and who are doing so.
Do you know if he put money into marketing or was it purely a viral thing?
Old 5th December 2015
  #182
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Do you know if he put money into marketing or was it purely a viral thing?
When he started off, he was piss broke and completely independent. He was living on welfare. He and his friend basically had some cracked software on a crappy laptop and put some things together. No money involved at all. But the music was so innovative, refreshing, and good (at least to a young, late teen/early adult demographic) that he went viral and got a massive fan base. He was selling out the O2 and other huge arenas with no label-based marketing at all.

Granted, his more recent success with Can't Feel My Face and The Hills obviously had some label support, but he got to that label support strictly through the internet.

I strongly do think that it is easier than ever to "make" it in music these days. You no longer have to be rich to afford instruments, studio time, formal education, etc. All you need is a laptop. Most people don't get to the level of success they want to reach simply because they are either 1) not unique enough or 2) not good enough.
Old 5th December 2015
  #183
Lives for gear
 
vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
When he started off, he was piss broke and completely independent. He was living on welfare. He and his friend basically had some cracked software on a crappy laptop and put some things together. No money involved at all. But the music was so innovative, refreshing, and good (at least to a young, late teen/early adult demographic) that he went viral and got a massive fan base. He was selling out the O2 and other huge arenas with no label-based marketing at all.

Granted, his more recent success with Can't Feel My Face and The Hills obviously had some label support, but he got to that label support strictly through the internet.

I strongly do think that it is easier than ever to "make" it in music these days. You no longer have to be rich to afford instruments, studio time, formal education, etc. All you need is a laptop. Most people don't get to the level of success they want to reach simply because they are either 1) not unique enough or 2) not good enough.
Interesting. and I agree its great people can make music without having to have money or label backing. The problem is that this has led to such a glut of product that getting noticed is harder than ever. So you either need label backing or enough money to promote yourself. Or you have to be a genius in marketing and self-promotion and or/get picked up by someone with access to a big audience as seems to have happened with the Weeknd. In my experience, its rare for a great artist to be good at the business side of things.
Old 5th December 2015
  #184
Lives for gear
 

Tons of people have blown themselves up over the internet with no marketing to varying degrees. That's how I myself broke through into the world of published songwriters.

Justin Bieber is actually a self-made guy, he got himself millions upon millions of youtube views before ever signing a record deal.

Happens all the time. Marketing not required. . we live in the viral age. If something connects with people and rises above everything else for whatever reason, AND is able to sustain this rise for a significant enough period of time, the powers that be jump on board and invest in it. The "powers that be" could care less about any specific sound or style, punk or pop, they just want big big numbers they can turn into $$.
Old 5th December 2015
  #185
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veld View Post
That girl got eliminated in the quarterfinals or semifinals or whatnot and disappeared. Had a single released a year ago (just looked it up) - it has 300,000 views of Vevo. Didn't even bother to listen to it.

So even a moderate fan base that can be built during a show like The X-Factor is not enough to get labels/producers/songwriters interested.
Yeah you need to show sustainability. X-factor views are the result of fans of the X-factor, who like to root for a contestant on a competitive game show that just so happens to be about singing (but the core interest drawing in fans is in picking a team and winning a contest, the singing is actually secondary, no one would tune in to watch an up-and-coming singer showcase if there weren't winners and losers and drama and teams to root for). If the singer falls off once the X-factor exposure goes away, she never actually had any fans of her singing, just fans of the show who liked her in that context only.

No sustainability = no record deal.
Old 5th December 2015
  #186
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
Most people don't get to the level of success they want to reach simply because they are either 1) not unique enough or 2) not good enough.
3) Not dedicated and hard working enough. Not to be underestimated!

Alistair
Old 5th December 2015
  #187
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
For the hell of it, I looked up the number 1 song from 1975, 40 years ago. Turns out it's Elton John doing The Beatle's Lucy In The Sky.

I count 11 chords with 3 key changes and a tempo change throughout (3/4 to 4/4, back and forth) in 3 different sections/orders.

Number 2 then was Mandy by Barry Manilow. I count 15 chords basically in 3 different sections/orders (verse, chorus bridge), plus a key change. The song has many "complex" chords, maj7, min7, 9ths, 11ths......

Number 1 now is, of course, Adele with 4 chords repeating.

Number 2 right now is Bieber with the song Sorry. 3 chords repeating plus a 4th chord a couple of times.
Lots of chords and modulation were definitely popular for a while in the '70s.

But then look at this week in 1965. The #1 was Turn! Turn! Turn! which has 5 chords. #2 was Over and Over by Dave Clark Five which only has two chords. #3 was I Got You (I Feel Good) with three chords.
Old 5th December 2015
  #188
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veld View Post
Not sure about "any", but scores have passed through various TV shows and disappeared from public view. Whatever happened to that girl, for example (X-Factor 2012)?

Young, much better looking (to my taste) than Ariana or Britney, and definitely a better singer than Ariana, though that's not saying much. Here's Ariana Grande doing a Whitney Houston song for comparison:

That girl got eliminated in the quarterfinals or semifinals or whatnot and disappeared. Had a single released a year ago (just looked it up) - it has 300,000 views of Vevo. Didn't even bother to listen to it.
I have been hesitating to respond because I don't like criticising music or talent but, based purely on these two clips, I don't agree with your assessment of their talent. CeCe has a better sense of pitch, sure, but I don't feel anything when she sings. It doesn't feel real. It doesn't feel as though she herself feels what she is singing. There are needless flourishes that don't add anything to the emotion. All in all her appearance and performance just lack sophistication and depth to me. (Cowell isn't even interested in hearing the whole tune it seems but that could be normal for this stage of that competition. I have no idea).

With Ariana it seems more heartfelt. More genuine. Also, Ariana has guts. Just the way she addresses the presidential couple says enough. That takes self confidence. People can relate to that.

At least that is how the two girls and performances strike me. (I don't know anything else about these girls).

Alistair
Old 5th December 2015
  #189
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
Most people don't get to the level of success they want to reach simply because they are either 1) not unique enough or 2) not good enough.
3) Not dedicated and hard working enough. Not to be underestimated!

Alistair
True. 1 and 2 cant be had without 3!
Old 5th December 2015
  #190
Lives for gear
 
Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottkrk View Post
So many contributions to this thread seem to be suggesting that it is more virtuous to have more harmonic/chord changes. My question is why?
It's not a question of quantity for me. It's rather just a matter of doing something I find harmonically interesting. I don't find harmonic content that sticks to unextended, "clean" I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi (or i, III, iv, v, VI, VII) triads that interesting. Why don't I find that very interesting? I don't know, probably overexposure. More traditional/conservative, strictly diatonic harmony wasn't such an obstacle to me when I was a kid. But once I started discovering stuff like Stravinsky, Bartok, Thelonious Monk, Henry Threadgill, Zappa, King Crimson, etc., and started composing and experimenting a lot more myself, that really traditional/conservative, strictly diatonic harmony seemed bland/boring to me.

Now, it's certainly possible for other aspects of a song to make up for the lack of harmonically interesting content for me, but harmony is one of the things I most cherish in music.
Quote:
My challenge to the "more chord changes is better" group would be take a recent hit and "make it better" by adding more chord changes.
I could easily do that for any random hit. However, that I like it better doesn't mean that you will. If you really like contemporary pop music just as it is, it would probably be difficult for someone to come up with reharmonizations that you like better.
Old 5th December 2015
  #191
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Interesting. and I agree its great people can make music without having to have money or label backing. The problem is that this has led to such a glut of product that getting noticed is harder than ever. So you either need label backing or enough money to promote yourself. Or you have to be a genius in marketing and self-promotion and or/get picked up by someone with access to a big audience as seems to have happened with the Weeknd. In my experience, its rare for a great artist to be good at the business side of things.
Apparently Drake put this guys stuff on his blog, so that's how that happened. Also, some sort of beef with the guy who did the original tracks and came up with the name.

Either way, doesn't seem innovative to me and sure isn't what I'm talking about as far as a punk like change in music.
Old 5th December 2015
  #192
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Tons of people have blown themselves up over the internet with no marketing to varying degrees. That's how I myself broke through into the world of published songwriters.

Justin Bieber is actually a self-made guy, he got himself millions upon millions of youtube views before ever signing a record deal.

Happens all the time. Marketing not required. . we live in the viral age. If something connects with people and rises above everything else for whatever reason, AND is able to sustain this rise for a significant enough period of time, the powers that be jump on board and invest in it. The "powers that be" could care less about any specific sound or style, punk or pop, they just want big big numbers they can turn into $$.
Well getting attention from big labels through some viral success is not really any different than a band touring around and building a base and then getting a label to take it to the next level.

But it's all the same old thing. There's no movement that I'm aware of that wants to change music in the way punk did.

Bieber isn't exactly Johnny Rotten or John Lennon or anyone with a brain and fresh musical talent.
Old 5th December 2015
  #193
Old 5th December 2015
  #194
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post
Lots of chords and modulation were definitely popular for a while in the '70s.

But then look at this week in 1965. The #1 was Turn! Turn! Turn! which has 5 chords. #2 was Over and Over by Dave Clark Five which only has two chords. #3 was I Got You (I Feel Good) with three chords.
If you go back to the 40s you'll find all sorts of songs with lots of crazy chords.

Sure there have always been songs with a few simple chords, nothing wrong with that.

But lots of great songs with interesting chords, emotional, connect with people, creative.

To me, the idea that a song with an interesting chord progression is no great achievement and anyone can do it seems pretty off. That seems like the same sort of argument along the lines of anyone can write a 4 chord song and stick a drum machine on it.
Old 5th December 2015
  #195
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
Sure there have always been songs with a few simple chords, nothing wrong with that.
OK, well the OP was claiming this was something new that only happened in "recent times."
Old 5th December 2015
  #196
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post

But then look at this week in 1965.
Btw, you're sort of cherry picking the 60s, which had not only The Beatles (I think Yesterday was from 1965), but Brian Wilson, Bacharach, Stan Getz and other jazz stars, Henry Mancini, Sinatra, Ray Charles, and all those types, the Bond music, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Stevie Wonder, and so on.

These were all people with huge iconic hits.

So lots of chords and variation and variety which I don't believe there is much of now.
Old 5th December 2015
  #197
Gear Addict
 

There is a trap movement going on right now. 808s and synths are overthrowing live bass and drums. Just like distortion over threw classic rock, like the drum kit overthrew the jazz era. But if that doesn't count to you, which it probably won't since you seem to view music very traditionally in terms of chords and melodies instead of sonics, no one's stopping you from starting one yourself. That's what I was trying to say earlier. It's easier than ever for people to get their ideas out, so if you have the musical talent and vision to make something new and fascinating that people will relate to, then go ahead and do it yourself. The only issue is that it's a lot harder to do than to complain about. Btw I think you're being way too cursory in dismissing some of today's artists and songs. The Weeknd's earlier mixtapes have had a substantial impact on urban radio, although many people don't know where the influence stems from since the stuff was relatively underground. Obviously not as drastic a shift as the entire punk wave though.
Old 6th December 2015
  #198
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
There is a trap movement going on right now. 808s and synths are overthrowing live bass and drums. Just like distortion over threw classic rock, like the drum kit overthrew the jazz era. But if that doesn't count to you, which it probably won't since you seem to view music very traditionally in terms of chords and melodies instead of sonics, no one's stopping you from starting one yourself. That's what I was trying to say earlier. It's easier than ever for people to get their ideas out, so if you have the musical talent and vision to make something new and fascinating that people will relate to, then go ahead and do it yourself. The only issue is that it's a lot harder to do than to complain about. Btw I think you're being way too cursory in dismissing some of today's artists and songs. The Weeknd's earlier mixtapes have had a substantial impact on urban radio, although many people don't know where the influence stems from since the stuff was relatively underground. Obviously not as drastic a shift as the entire punk wave though.
I don't feel I'm complaining, just sharing my point of view like anyone else. Of course I will do what I want to do.

Imo, 808s and synths are the old guard traditional way of doing things at this point. And Max Martin and Dr. Luke with girl singer is traditional.

I'm not dismissing today's artists for what they are any more than some people dismiss The Beatles or Queen or any music from the past, just putting them into perspective. I'm not dismissing The Weeknd. Just doesn't seem like a ground breaking innovative shift to me, musically or culturally. If you want to explain how he is both of those things, go ahead.
Old 6th December 2015
  #199
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
Btw, you're sort of cherry picking the 60s, which had not only The Beatles (I think Yesterday was from 1965), but Brian Wilson, Bacharach, Stan Getz and other jazz stars, Henry Mancini, Sinatra, Ray Charles, and all those types, the Bond music, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Stevie Wonder, and so on.

These were all people with huge iconic hits.

So lots of chords and variation and variety which I don't believe there is much of now.
And you're cherry picking the songs which prove your point. Even among the artists you mention there were plenty of songs that didn't use a lot of chords.

Lots of Beach Boys hits used only a few chords. Surfin Safari (4 chords), Surfin USA (3 chords), Fun Fun Fun (3 chords), Barbara Ann (3 chords), etc. Most of their other hits use maybe 5 chords tops, especially if you ignore simple modulations. Good Vibrations is probably their only top 10 hit that's really complex.

The era also had people like Miles Davis doing modal jazz with only 2 chords which was every bit as sophisticated and forward thinking as anything else happening at the time.

Here's a list from Billboard of the top 20 most popular hits of the '60s.
1960s Hot 100: Top 20 Billboard Hits | Billboard
1 The Twist (3 chords)
2 Hey Jude (14 chords)
3 Theme From A Summer Place (7 chords)
4 Tossin' And Turnin (5 chords)
5 I Want To Hold Your Hand (7 chords)
6 I'm A Believer (3 chords)
7 Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (16 chords)
8 Sugar, Sugar (3 chords)
9 I Heard It Through The Grapevine (6 chords)
10 Are You Lonesome Tonight? (9 chords)
11 It's Now Or Never (7 chords)
12 I Can't Stop Loving You (3 chords)
13 I'm Sorry (4 chords)
14 Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu) (11)
15 Hello, Dolly! (13)
16 Big Girls Don't Cry (8)
17 Sugar Shack (3)
18 Honky Tonk Women (4)
19 (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (7)
10 Big Bad John (10)

So the average is about 7. Although that's including every sus 4 or added 7, and every modulation so some of these songs are actually a little simpler than they look.

Now here's the top 10 biggest hits of 2015
1 Uptown Funk (8 chords)
2 Trap Queen (4)
3 Thinking Out Loud (6)
4 Sugar (9)
5 See You Again (6)
6 Can't Feel My Face (4)
7 Earned It (5)
8 Shut Up And Dance (4)
9 Watch Me (2)
10 Cheerleader (3)

The average is only 5, and obviously there aren't any big 14 or 16 chord epics like Hey Jude or Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In. Although it's interesting to note that both of those songs are basically two songs in one. And on each of them the big hook is at the end and repeats a few chords over and over (na na na nananana hey jude / let the sunshine, let the sunshine in). If you took those two songs out, the average would drop down to 6 chords per song.
Old 6th December 2015
  #200
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post
And you're cherry picking the songs which prove your point. Even among the artists you mention there were plenty of songs that didn't use a lot of chords.

Lots of Beach Boys hits used only a few chords. Surfin Safari (4 chords), Surfin USA (3 chords), Fun Fun Fun (3 chords), Barbara Ann (3 chords), etc. Most of their other hits use maybe 5 chords tops, especially if you ignore simple modulations. Good Vibrations is probably their only top 10 hit that's really complex.

The era also had people like Miles Davis doing modal jazz with only 2 chords which was every bit as sophisticated and forward thinking as anything else happening at the time.

Here's a list from Billboard of the top 20 most popular hits of the '60s.
1960s Hot 100: Top 20 Billboard Hits | Billboard
1 The Twist (3 chords)
2 Hey Jude (14 chords)
3 Theme From A Summer Place (7 chords)
4 Tossin' And Turnin (5 chords)
5 I Want To Hold Your Hand (7 chords)
6 I'm A Believer (3 chords)
7 Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (16 chords)
8 Sugar, Sugar (3 chords)
9 I Heard It Through The Grapevine (6 chords)
10 Are You Lonesome Tonight? (9 chords)
11 It's Now Or Never (7 chords)
12 I Can't Stop Loving You (3 chords)
13 I'm Sorry (4 chords)
14 Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu) (11)
15 Hello, Dolly! (13)
16 Big Girls Don't Cry (8)
17 Sugar Shack (3)
18 Honky Tonk Women (4)
19 (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (7)
10 Big Bad John (10)

So the average is about 7. Although that's including every sus 4 or added 7, and every modulation so some of these songs are actually a little simpler than they look.

Now here's the top 10 biggest hits of 2015
1 Uptown Funk (8 chords)
2 Trap Queen (4)
3 Thinking Out Loud (6)
4 Sugar (9)
5 See You Again (6)
6 Can't Feel My Face (4)
7 Earned It (5)
8 Shut Up And Dance (4)
9 Watch Me (2)
10 Cheerleader (3)

The average is only 5, and obviously there aren't any big 14 or 16 chord epics like Hey Jude or Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In. Although it's interesting to note that both of those songs are basically two songs in one. And on each of them the big hook is at the end and repeats a few chords over and over (na na na nananana hey jude / let the sunshine, let the sunshine in). If you took those two songs out, the average would drop down to 6 chords per song.
What are the chords in Uptown Funk and Sugar?

I thought everyone agreed that chords were out and that songs now are about production lifts and all that.

My point was not that every song used to have chords or interesting changes, but that many did (so of course I cherry picked), and that was a good thing, people could have big hits, connect, be emotional, and there was more variety on the pop charts, not only in chord choices or production choices, but in overall musical choices.

Is there a song like Girl From Ipanema on the charts now? Or Lucy In The Sky? Or Hello Dolly? Do you really feel the second list is not more samey than the first overall?
Old 6th December 2015
  #201
Lives for gear
 
ksandvik's Avatar
 

Today it's more sexy watching YouTube videos how to do EDM raisers than spending time at a piano learning chord structures.
Old 6th December 2015
  #202
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
What are the chords in Uptown Funk and Sugar?

I thought everyone agreed that chords were out and that songs now are about production lifts and all that.

My point was not that every song used to have chords or interesting changes, but that many did (so of course I cherry picked), and that was a good thing, people could have big hits, connect, be emotional, and there was more variety on the pop charts, not only in chord choices or production choices, but in overall musical choices.

Is there a song like Girl From Ipanema on the charts now? Or Lucy In The Sky? Or Hello Dolly? Do you really feel the second list is not more samey than the first overall?
Of course the second list is more samey. But then it only represents one single year vs. an entire decade that was one of the most eclectic and innovative in the history of recorded music!

Personally when I look at that list of 60s hits, the number of chords doesn't seem to have a positive correlation to how much I like the songs. I don't care about Love is Blue or Hello Dolly and I don't think I've ever heard Big Bad John. Hey Jude is not one of my favorite Beatles tunes either. Aquarius/Sunshine is actually a medley of two different songs, one of which has 10 chords and the other only four. So the part with more chords only has one more than a Maroon 5 song.

The same is true of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds which also has 10 chords. Of course there's nothing like Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds on the charts now, but the number of chords has very little to do with it.
Old 6th December 2015
  #203
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
What are the chords in Uptown Funk and Sugar?
Yeah you're right, that uptown funk number is way off. That was a lot of songs to go through so I was just looking at a tab site and quickly counting the number of chords so there's going to be some errors obviously.
Old 6th December 2015
  #204
Lives for gear
 
Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post
[...] I don't care about Love is Blue or Hello Dolly [...]
Popp and Herman, they don't mind that at all.

Old 6th December 2015
  #205
It's not so much the number of chords but the sofistication of the arrangements. I was watching a 70s music video special on the TV the other day and the sofistication in comparison to todays hits was obvious. Funk tunes with only 2 to 4 chords had intricate horn parts and vocal harmonies, ballads modulated and used classical and jazz motifs to add interest. These are things that can't be made up for with gimmicks like filter sweeps, synth washes and autotune. IMO the electronic production is just the added sause, it's not the core composition. You should be able to take away the filter sweep and still have a song that works. The production itself does not make the composition more sofisticated. After all production wizardry goes all the way back to Les Paul's multitrack experiments and was a major showcase for Sgt Peppers. Is Strawberry Fields a sofisticated song without the production? The answer is yes.
Old 6th December 2015
  #206
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post
Of course the second list is more samey. But then it only represents one single year vs. an entire decade that was one of the most eclectic and innovative in the history of recorded music!

Personally when I look at that list of 60s hits, the number of chords doesn't seem to have a positive correlation to how much I like the songs. I don't care about Love is Blue or Hello Dolly and I don't think I've ever heard Big Bad John. Hey Jude is not one of my favorite Beatles tunes either. Aquarius/Sunshine is actually a medley of two different songs, one of which has 10 chords and the other only four. So the part with more chords only has one more than a Maroon 5 song.

The same is true of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds which also has 10 chords. Of course there's nothing like Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds on the charts now, but the number of chords has very little to do with it.
I agree that the number of chords does not directly correlate to what someone might like, and overall it is silly to count them. (I'm not sure, btw, about your numbers, and feel free to compare all the songs from 2000 on ). I do think though, that it is another tool that is a good one. Like a good bassline or a great string arrangement or any other musical thing.

If Brian Wilson just stuck with surf songs and didn't do interesting things like God Only Knows, in which it's not so much the number of chords but the choices, not sure he'd be the legend that he is.

If you took that which separates Lucy In The Sky from the usual, it would no longer be Lucy In The Sky. Most people would probably just do the chorus and repeat it endlessly, with the verses over the same 3 chords. And don't even think about the lyric choices. Some may think that kind of songwriting is not a "grand achievement", let alone the production, especially when compared to the norm of the time as well as the norm of now, but I think it is, and I think the chord choices are all a part of it.

If someone can get a thrill over a 4 chord looping song that doesn't ever hit the main key chord or whatever the deal was with the Minaj song, than certainly they can understand the thrill some of us are talking about that is all but forgotten in songwriting.
Old 6th December 2015
  #207
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pichi View Post
It's not so much the number of chords but the sofistication of the arrangements. I was watching a 70s music video special on the TV the other day and the sofistication in comparison to todays hits was obvious. Funk tunes with only 2 to 4 chords had intricate horn parts and vocal harmonies, ballads modulated and used classical and jazz motifs to add interest. These are things that can't be made up for with gimmicks like filter sweeps, synth washes and autotune. IMO the electronic production is just the added sause, it's not the core composition. You should be able to take away the filter sweep and still have a song that works. The production itself does not make the composition more sofisticated. After all production wizardry goes all the way back to Les Paul's multitrack experiments and was a major showcase for Sgt Peppers. Is Strawberry Fields a sofisticated song without the production? The answer is yes.
Yes, exactly, you beat me to it, agree.
Old 6th December 2015
  #208
It is pointless to talk about chord progressions if you don't talk about what actual chord fingerings/inversions the artists are using.

Most mainstream pop today uses the most regular versions of any chord.

In the past a lot more "jazzy" sounding catchy pop songs got into the top of the charts.
Old 6th December 2015
  #209
Lives for gear
 
Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oche ecaps View Post
A lot of Beach Boys hits used only a few chords. Surfin Safari (4 chords), Surfin USA (3 chords), Fun Fun Fun (3 chords), Barbara Ann (3 chords), etc. Most of their other hits use maybe 5 chords tops, especially if you ignore simple modulations. Good Vibrations is probably their only top 10 hit that's really complex.

The era also had people like Miles Davis doing modal jazz with only 2 chords which was every bit as sophisticated and forward thinking as anything else happening at the time.
The harmonic content of a work--the chords, so to speak, isn't really just a simplified abstraction, which is what we're doing when we say that Miles was doing stuff with two chords, for example. The simplified abstraction is useful in a lot of situations, including when you're handing folks a lead sheet, of course, but the harmonic content of a work is comprised of all of the different sets of pitches that sound simultaneously throughout the work. So what Miles' bands were doing, as well as the Beach Boys, etc., is actually a lot more complicated harmonically than just a couple chords.

That doesn't just go for one era or one type of music or anything like that, by the way.

This is basically what Pichi was getting at above, too.
Old 6th December 2015
  #210
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pichi View Post
IMO the electronic production is just the added sause, it's not the core composition.
I don't agree that that is true for modern music. There is a lot of of great stuff that leans just as much on the production as the melodies and harmonies. Here is an example:



Here is another one from the same collaborative: (+- one artist)



EDIT: And of course Dave Tipper's work is very much reliant on production tricks:



These tracks would not in any way be the same without the production tricks. It is integral to what makes them great tracks.

Of course these are not "hit songs" but IMO the pop charts aren't the place to find great music.

Alistair
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump