Let Me Entertain You

Composer: Freddie Mercury
Meter: 4/4 shuffle beat, 3/4 (intro, outro)
Key: e-minor, b-minor, f#-minor pentatonic
Form:

    | Intro I-II-III | Verse | Chorus || Bridge I-II |
                     | Verse'| Chorus | Solo | Bridge II' |
                     | Verse"| Outro 

"Let Me Entertain You" a driving hard rock number, the last one from Mercury until "Princes...". Instead of triadic chords we mostly have just riffs and powercords which suggests the song was written probably on guitar.
The songform shows cyclic design, with the usual changes. The third cycle is restricted to a single verse plus outro.
The song starts and closes in 3/4 while the body of the song is transcribed in 4/4 with shuffle beat. The shuffle pulse is not very convincing though due to the heavy use of full shuffle-triplets and triplets (hemiolas) and some phrase fragments in the first verse starting on the weak second eigth.


Intro
The intro has three subsections. What meter is the intro I-II in? Easy question: 3/4 throughout:

1 2 3 1 2 3...* *   * *

You will be surprised that this SAME drum-pattern in the chorus will fit in straight 4/4 with the double beats kept starting on strong (1st and 3rd) beats! Impossible? Before you go to the chorus section think about it how would you solve this "problem"! You can test your friends as well.
The first subsection is eight measure long and charatcerized by double-beat pulses. A single bass slide and a brief guitar feedback dyad (A, G) is dropped in.

/------------ 2x -----------\\
| E1(7)| -    | -    | -    |

The second subsection adds pentatonic guitar riffs with repeated one-measure fragments until m.16. The riffs are distant variants of the verse riffs.

m.9                                                4/4
| E5*  | -    | -    | -    | -    | -    | -    | G1   |

The last four bar subsection of the intro exposes the verse-riff.


Verse
The ten measure verse is built up of five two measure phrases creating three subsections the second of which is mainly a transposed up variant of the first. Both subsection are pentatonic the combination of the three uses the full e minor pitch-set.

| E5    | E5  G5   |
| i     | -   III  |

| E5    | E1... G1 |
| i     | 1st  3rd |

| A5    | A5  C5 |
| iv    | iv  VI |

| A5    | A1... C1 |
| iV    | 4th...6th|

| B1... G1 | B5    |
| 5th...3rd| V     |

The 2nd Verse is transposed down by a fourth except the closing title phrase. This is relatively hard to notice without knowing about it. The m.4 is turned to instrumental.

b:
| B5    | B5  B5   |
| i     | -   III  |

| B5    | B1... D1 |
| i     | 1st  3rd |

| E5    | E5  G5   |
b: iv   | iv  VI   |
e: i    | -   III  |

| E5    | E1... G1 |
b: iV   | 4th...6th|
e: i    | 1st  3rd |

|  B1... G1 | B5    |
e: 5th...3rd| V     |

The low D note (!) in m.4 is probably achived by pushing the tremolo bar.

The third verse is harmony-wise a variant of the first one  but it closes with a triple-tag ending. Note the repeated tags start before the downbeat in sontrast with the first (m9). Two phrase fragments (m.4, m7) are sung semi-spoken.


Chorus
We have two seven measure choruses. The arrangement is economic in terms of harmony: single E notes in the first phrases the fifths are added by the lead vocal. The last phrase has pentatonic lead vocal doubled by the guitars.

/---- 2x ----\\
| E5   | -   |
| E5   | E1...| B1   |

And now the solution of the rhythmial quiz of the Intro:

1 .2 .3 .4 .1 .2 .3 .4 .1
* *   * *   * *        -   : bass and drums
   * *   * *   * *         : vocals

Once you know it's in shuffle-beat, it's easy to learn.


Bridge
The section consists of two subsections that are preceded introduced by an "exposition" phrase:

| B5  | B1   |
| V   |      |

The body of the first subsection is eighth measure long of mostly spoken phrases with a touch of drunken feel. The accompaniment is narrowed down to drums and some ocassional bass notes. The last measure leads to the next subsection with a pentatonic figure.
The drums alter the backing beat to be dominated by hemiolas (2+2+2+2+2+2 pattern)

|      | B1   |

|      | B1   |

| B1   | B1   |      | E1... |

The second subsection has the reachest harmony of all sections due to the three part harmonies. The tonal center is
ambiguos (a minor or e-minor), due to the absence of Am and Em chord in the neighbour subsections.

| Am   | -    |
| Am   | -    |
| Am   | -    |
| G1   | F#1  | F#1  |

In the second cycle the bridge starts with the II subsection. May adds a triadic figure with guitar feedback in m.2 turning the chord to A7. The subsection changes more radically from the third phrase on. Retrospectively seen (from the next verse in e-minor) its functional analysis goes like this:

m.5
|  Am   | G    | F#5  | B   | -   |
e: iv   | III  | V/V  | V   | -   |

Note the  use of triplets (hemiolas) in m7.


Solo
The eith measure solo prolonges F# note throughout while the lead guitar plays pentatonic figures around it. The last measures are played with doublestops.

Outro
The outro reprises the 3/4 double beat of the intro. From m.3 starts a collage of chats-fragments fading out.