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Made In Heaven
Composer: Freddie Mercury
Key: g-minor, Bb Major, Ab-Major, B-Major, g#-minor
| Intro (AA'AA')| Verse | Chorus | Post-chorus I-I' | | Intro' | Verse | Chorus | Post-chorus | Bridge | solo (Chorus-ext) | | Verse | Chorus'| Post Chorus I-I" | Outro I (AA'AA'AA') - II |
"Made In Heaven" can be pigeon-holed as a piano-ballad. It was originally released as a single off Mercury's solo album "Mr Bad Guy" in 1985. After Mercury's death the rest of the band re-arranged this song. The original track featured a coast-to-coast piano track which is mixed out or mixed down most of the time in the Queen version.
The form consists of three cycles, the second of which is closed by a Bridge followed by an instrumental solo section. The latter was not a part of the original track.
Except some syllables in the post-chorus the lead vocal is not harmonized, we have some backing vocal harmony blocks in the Bridge. Mercury often switches to falsetto mode for hitting the highest notes.
The original track used three keys, the Queen version adds two more (for the solo and for the outro as well). The sequence of keys in the song: g > Bb > Ab > g > Bb > Ab > B > Bb > Ab > g#
We have 18 basic chords in "Made In Heaven": Ab, Bb, Bbm, B, Bdim7, Cm, Db, Dbm, Dbdim7, Dm, D#m, Eb, E, F, Fm, F#, Gm, G#m. On the other hand function-wise the most of them are diatonic, borrowed chords are II and iv.
The intro starts with single a pair of G1 note backed by drum. The synth plays pedal point Db note fading in then mixed down. This Db note foreshadows the minor tonality and the Gm > Eb/G intro motif which is mainly just an inner line movement by half-step.
g: /---- 2x ----\\ | G1 | | | 1 | |
From m.5 we have four phrases of the fanfare-like intro hook arranged for guitar harmonies. In the original track there were just single piano notes here. The phrasing is 2+2+2+3, A A'A A'-ext. The last phrase adds more drums and synths. The harmony closes with a textbook-like modulation to the relative Major key established just for the Verse.
| G1 Gm |Eb/G Gm | | 1 i | VI i | | G1 Gm |Eb/G | | 1 i | VI | | G1 Gm |Eb/G Gm | | 1 i | VI i | | G1 Gm |Eb/G | - F | | 1 i | VI | - VII | Bb:| IV | - V |
There is a re-intro section opening the second cycle. The modulation (from Ab-Major to g-minor) is executed abruptly.
The first phrase of the re-intro is arranged as a solo guitar riff, a nice touch of hard rock.
The 8 measure verse section has 4+4, AA' phrasing, where the vocal phrasing start right on downbeat. The original piano accmpaniment enters for the last phrase, until then synth plays the chords. The lead melody starts with 3+3+3+3 syncopation. We have a pivot modulation to the key of Ab-Major (bVII of Bb).
Bb: | Bb | - | Dm | Gm7 | | I | - | iii | vi | | Bb | - | Eb | Cm | | I | - | IV | ii | Ab: iii |
The third verse (in the Queen version) applies some minor modifications. Beside the hold back drum track, there is a leading chord (V6/3) added between vi and I resulting in the reversed version of the "Queen-cliche". Strangely this reversed version is rarely used in the Queen songbook albeit it sounds the same ear-pleasing. The two extra measures with guitar glissandos at the end of this section was added only for the Queen version.
| Bb | - | Dm | Gm F/A | | I | - | iii | vi V6/3| | Bb | -7 | Eb | Cm | | | | I | V/IV | IV | ii | | | Ab: iii
The 12 measure chorus has 2+2+4+2+2 phrasing. The bigger part of the vocal phrases are located before the downbeat of the assigned harmonic phrase. Strangely for a chorus its harmony is open at both end. Note the chain of fifths in m5-8 not resolved to the tonic.
Ab: | Db | - | | IV | - | | Ab | - | | I | - | | Fm | Bb | Eb | - | | vi | V/V | V | - | | Db | - | | IV | - | | Bb7 | - | | V/V | - |
The buttleneck slide guitar solo starts as an instrumental version of the Chorus I with transposed up harmony by a minor third to B. From m13 the chorus's harmony is extended:
B: m13 | B | -9 | F#sus4 | F# | | I | - | V | - | | C# | - | Absus4 | Ab F/A | | V/V | - | V/V/V | Bb: (bIII) V |
We have triplets in m.13. The bIII > V > I progression uses chromatic inner line (see also in "Something" Beatles).
Post-choruses aren't mentioned in the textbooks as standard section, but this section is not really a subsection of the chorus and not a proper bridge either. Our post-chorus has two subsections (AA') with closed harmonic shape at both end.
| Ab | /G | Fm7 | - | | I |"V6/3"| vi | - | | Bbm | -M7 | Dbdim7 | /Eb /E | | ii | - | ivdim7 | | | Ab | /G | Fm7 | - | | I | | vi | - | | Bb7 | - | | V/V | - | | Dbm/E | Ab | - | | "iv" | I | - |
In the original version measure 15 played Abhalfdim/E > Eb chords.
In the last cycle the last phrase is longer:
| Db | - | Dbm/E | - | | IV | - | iv | - |
This is a very ordinary Bridge: it is placed around the 2/3 of the song and has open harmony at both end.
| Db | - | Bbm | - | Ab | -9 | - | - | | IV | - | ii | - | I | - | - | - | | Db | - Cm | Bb7 | - | | IV | - iii| V/V | - | | Ab | Eb/G | Fm7 | - | | I | v6/3 | vi | - | | Bb | Bbm7 | | II | ii | | Bb | Bdim7 | | II | iidim7|
The last two chords are arpeggiated on guitar in palm muted triplets.
In the original track there's no solo section, and the diminished chord in m16 resolves to Ab instead of E (IV of B):
| Bb7/D | Ddim7 | Ab/Eb | - | Eb | - F | | II | | I | - | V | - | Bb: IV | - V |
The outro reprises the intro hook but this time centered a half step higher (on G#). We have a parallel key (Ab to g#) modulation here softened by a iv chord (Dbm) preceding the outro. The least chord stays unresolved and prolonged until it fades out. Only the drum puntuations do not fade out.
| G#1 G#m |E/G# G#m | | G#1 G#m |E/G# | | G#1 G#m |E/G# G#m | | G#1 G#m |E/G# | | G#1 G#m |E/G# G#m | | G#1 D#m | E |... | 1st v | VI |
In the original track the outro was backed by Ab notes (pedal and vamp as well) throughout with the feel of Major tonality due to the melodic M7th degree (ie. the G note) sung.