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 Multi-chord wonders
Author: Delvin 
Date:   08-18-17 11:46

At the opposite end of the one-chord song spectrum ... what song(s) manage to utilize the most chords, and yet remain listenable?

[I hold this truth to be self-evident: you can pile only so many chords into a song before it becomes unwieldy and unlistenable. I don't subscribe to Lou Reed's dictum on that, but it does reach a point of overload, or at least showing off.)



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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: MrFab 
Date:   08-18-17 12:19

Some of Brian Wilson's compositions are like that, e.g.: "Good Vibrations," "God Only Knows," where it seems like the key keeps changing after practically every measure, til they've pretty much gone thru every chord in the book. Amazingly it still all goes down smooth.

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   08-18-17 12:25

There's a strain of death metal that likes to throw every chord in the book at their songs - the more discordant the transitions the better. It's exhausting.

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Delvin 
Date:   08-18-17 12:32

Exactly what I'm talking about, Mr Toland ... to say nothing of the strain referred to as "math rock." To me, that's a lot more about showing off than actual songwriting.

Definitely agree with Fab about Brian Wilson's compositional skills. The more I listen to "God Only Knows," the more I marvel at his gifts.



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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   08-18-17 12:59

It depends on the math rocker. The original wave was trying to use musicianship to push the boundaries of punk and hardcore (whether or not they actually had the skill, which made it more interesting), but once a label was slapped on it and a new generation came up not understanding where the originals were coming from, you started to get bad prog rock disguised as something allegedly hipper and cooler. (See also: post rock.)

Burt Bacharach music tends to use a lot of chords without sounding overly complicated.

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Delvin 
Date:   08-18-17 14:32

> Burt Bacharach music tends to use a lot of chords without sounding overly complicated.

Yeah, that sure came across when I saw him and his band last month.

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   08-18-17 15:37

That's what makes Bacharach an artist. It's an art to make it all look and sound easy.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: MrFab 
Date:   08-18-17 16:17

i was thinking Bacharach too. The man seemingly never used a standard song form, no 12 bar blues, etc. He always threw in extra beats, shifted time signatures, and yet he's "easy listening." "I Say A Little Prayer" is as complex as a Yessong, but it comes off like a soulful hand-clapper.

btw, who were the original math-rockers, the ones trying to take punk to weird new places?



Post Edited (08-18-17 17:14)

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   08-18-17 17:39

Bitch Magnet, Bastro and their peers.

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 Re: Multi-chord wonders
Author: zwirnm 
Date:   08-22-17 13:18

I'm not a musician but I'm fascinated by the chords in some Game Theory/Loud Family tunes, and Aimee Mann's "50 Years After the Fair" always amazed me with the complexity of its construction.

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