It's only me, it's not my mind....

Skip to The Beatles? What about piano-rock like Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Ray Charles?

Fine, I'll skip to The Beatles.

As far as early Beatles, a few songs come to mind for their use of piano: the lovely playing on their cover of "You Really Got A Hold On Me", the weird dissonance (especially for 1963) on "Not A Second Time", "You Won't See Me", "Martha My Dear", "You Never Give Me Your Money" -- but I'm going to write about "I Want To Tell You".

It's a George song from my favorite album in the world, ever. Paul's piano propels the track and in addition to the rythmic intensity it brings, it also slips insistent dissonant chords under George's vocal melody making the song 5x more interesting. Especially the aggressive -- dammit there's nothing else to call them -- Monkisms underneath the "it's alright" and "I don't minds". Not content with merely rocking the Joanna, Macca also chips in with a bassline that absolutely *makes* the bridge, as well as cool backing vocals throughout, especially the little Indian-sounding thing he's doing in the fadeout.

This is a terrific George Harrison song, but it's Paul adding most of the truly interesting and (yes Paul -- I noticed) avant-garde bits that make it compelling even on its 750th listen.

...And he segues to the new Paul McCartney album, which is actually really good. I'm sure I'll be posting something from it at some point, but it really is nice to have a new Paul McCartney album that you just can't stop playing. It's been a while (mmmm 1989, I guess).

Related Ask Metafilter thread: "I'm Making A Piano Rock mix. What should be on it?"

MP3: The Beatles -- I Want To Tell You


Blogger glycerin said...

Just want you to know that my first year of Berklee in a songwriting class I got in trouble for going from the 1 Major to the 2 Major in a chord progression, because it was out of the diatonic. This song does that very nicely.

Needless to say, I did not stay in the songwriting department there.

2:55 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

That list is Wack!!
The one thing that stood out to me was Rock The Casbah. So much of it is guitar bands, like Big Star or Gun's N' Roses with their D minor epic ballad.
We will conquer (and illuminate) them !!!

12:14 AM  

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