Read all 5 events for 16 December at diary.QueenSongs.info
Composer: Roger Taylor
Album: The Game
Meter: 4/4, 6/8 (intro)
Key: B Major (with a touch of F#-Major)
Intro I - I' - II | Verse | Bridge | | Verse'| Bridge | | Solo | Bridge | Coda (AA) - Outro (AAAAA') |
Rock it is a rock and roll song, nicely fit into the Game album. Its harmony is among the most simple ones in the Queen songbook: the three basic chords plus we have a V-of-V chord in the Bridge. There are some Roger-esque detail to note: the slow harmonic rhythm as in "I'm In Love...", the guitar arpeggio intro as in "Tenement Funster" and "Human Body", the ternary meter as in "I'm In Love...", "Drowse" and "Human Body", a coda as in "Hijack My Heart", pumping bass and chords as on "Coming Soon", "Sheer Heart Attack".
The form is relatively simple with a long (one minute) two parted intro, a solo section not derived from other sections, and a climactic coda which first sounds like a Chorus.
The IntrO is sung by Freddie, the rest of the song by Roger. The lead melody of the Verse and Bridge features lots of "horizontal" fragments.
The first part of the intro consists of two close variant subsections with square 4+4+4+4 phrasing and passionate singing by Mercury. Roger sings harmony for the "to my soul" words in the second subsection. The meter is 6/8 , the harmonic rhythm speeds up only in the last phrase. Beside the guitar arpeggio accompaniment features only bass guitar with phrase long sustained notes.
B: | B | - | - | - | | I | - | - | - | | E | - | - | - | | IV | - | - | - | | F# | - | - | - | | V | - | - | - | | B | - | F# | - | | I | - | V | - |
The second part of the intro changes to a faster 4/4, joined by drums and guitar power chords and Roger on lead vocals. Harmony-wise it merely prolonges the tonic chord. The 6 measure phrase lenght makes the intro less four-squared.
| B | - | - | - | - | - | | I | - | - | - | - | - |
The harmony of the Verse is open at both end. This openness creates an ambiguity of the tonal center (B Major - F# Major). Similar ambiguity had we seen in "Coming Soon". Each melodic phrases end and move around the F# note (5th grad) and strengthen the "F#-Major is the homekey" feel.
The harmonic phrasing is foursquared except we have five phrases. The melodic phrasing relies on two measure phrases.
The fourth harmonic phrase creates a slight illusion of starting a new verse. The accompaniment consists of pumping bass and guitar chords with occassionally added sixth and synth octave figures (shades of bassline"coming soon").
| F# | - | - | - | | V | - | - | - | | B | - | - | - | | I | - | - | - | |F#(6)| - | - | - | | V | - | - | - | | B | - | - | - | | I | - | - | - | |F#(6)| - | - | - | | V | - | - | - |
The second Verse starts with tonic as it omits the first phrase. Its 2nd (3rd) phrase is altered with blue notes (b3rd > 3rd of F# = b7th > 7th of B)
Arrangement-wise the bridge does not sharply separated from the preceding verses. The phrasing is 4+6 with 2 measure subphrases.
| C# | - | - | - | | V/V | - | - | - | | F# | - | E | - | B | - | | V | - | IV | - | I | - |
This 12 measures section prolonges the dominant chord (F#) throughout. In the beginning the guitar solo uses slow non-quantized rhythms creating lots of tension that explodes in some speedy pentatonic runs.
After the third Bridge we have a chorus-like section that I threated as Coda. The whole section until the end of the song is buit on seven cycles where one cycle consists of 2x2 mini-phrases each with two measures. One cycle:
/--- 2x ----\\ | F# | - | | V | - | /--- 2x ----\\ | B | - | | I | - |
The first two cycles sound like a chorus, with vocal harmonies of A A A'A' phrasing. The rest five cycles are expanding this Coda/Chorus hybrid section where the bassline gets more interesting. More musical details:
1st cycle: 3+3 rhythmic figures ("come on..."), adds lead guitar fills, drops the "Prime jive" phrases, keeps the "o-o-o-ohh..." vocals (until the end of the song)
2nd cycle: again the 3+3+3... figures.
3rd cycle: synth chords added, "glissanded" always upwards until the final "get down" phrase. The repeated "get" words fall off-beat:
3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 * * * * *
4th cycle: more 3+3 "come-on" subphrases.
5th, last cycle: it prolonges the "B-chord" phrase for five and half measure where the song ends with an off-beat fermata:
3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4... ***** *******