The Book

Introduction What is it all good for? Scope of work Project History

Music theory in nutshell Harmony Chord notation used in the analyses The degrees of notes Chord functions Keys, Sharps and flats, neighbour keys Guitar friendly and piano-friendly keys Modulations, key changes Parallel key modulations Relative key modulations Neighbour key modulations Combined modulations Step-up/down modulations Unusual modulations Key-shifts Pivot Modulation Borrowed chords Cliche chord progressions Modes Ambigous harmony Rhythms Exercies Syncopations Shuffle beat Metrical modulations, metrical anomalies Compound meters Disorienting Rhythms Songforms General aesthatics of popular and rock music

Repetitions and variants

Queen - The four of them as musicians Brian May Roger Taylor Freddie Mercury John Deacon

Songwriting Analyses Smile Ibex "No Synth" era expandcollapse Queen Keep Yourself Alive Doing All Right Great King Rat My Fairy King Liar The Night Comes Down Modern Times Rock'n'roll Son And Daughter Jesus Seven Seas Of Rhye Silver Salmon Hangman Mad The Swine expandcollapse Queen II Procession Father To Son White Queen (As It Began) Some Day One Day The Loser In The End Ogre Battle The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke Nevermore March Of The Black Queen Funny How Love Is Seven Seas Of Rhye See What A Fool I've Been expandcollapse Sheer Heart Attack Brighton Rock Killer Queen Tenement Funster Flick Of The Wrist Lily Of The Valley Now I'm Here In The Lap Of The Gods Stone Cold Crazy Dear Friends Misfire Bring Back That Leroy Brown She Makes Me In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited expandcollapse A Night At The Opera Death On Two Legs Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon I'm In Love With My Car You're My Best Friend Sweet Lady '39 Seaside Rendezvous The Prophet's Song Love Of My Life Good Company Bohemian Rhapsody God Save The Queen expandcollapse A Day At The Races Tie Your Mother Down You Take My Breath Away Long Away The Millionaire Waltz You And I Somebody To Love White Man Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy Drowse Teo Torriate expandcollapse News Of The World We Will Rock You We Are The Champions Sheer Heart Attack All Dead All Dead Spread Your Wings Fight From The Inside Get Down Make Love Sleeping On The Sidewalk Who Needs You It's Late My Melancholy Blues Feelings expandcollapse Jazz Mustapha Fat Bottomed Girls Jealousy Bicycle Race If You Can't Beat Them Let Me Entertain You Dead On Time In Only Seven Days Dreamers Ball Fun It Leaving Home Ain't Easy Don't Stop Me Now More Of That Jazz Live performances in the 70s Modern-era Queen expandcollapse The Game Play The Game Dragon Attack Another One Bites The Dust Need Your Loving Tonight Crazy Little Thing Called Love Rock It (prime Jive) Don't Try Suicide Sail Away Sweet Sister Coming Soon Save Me Human Body Sandbox expandcollapse Flash Gordon Flash's Theme In The Space Capsule Ming's Theme The Ring Football Fight In The Death Cell Execution Of Flash The Kiss Arboria Escape From The Swamp Flash To The Rescue Vultan's Theme Battle Theme The Wedding March Marriage Of Dale And Ming Flash's Theme Reprise Crash Dive On Mingo City The Hero expandcollapse Hot Space Staying Power Dancer Back Chat Body Language Action This Day Put Out The Fire Life Is Real Calling All Girls Las Palabras De Amor Cool Cat Under Pressure Soul Brother expandcollapse The Works Radio Ga Ga Tear It Up It's A Hard Life Man On The Prowl Machines (or 'Back To Humans') I Want To Break Free Keep Passing The Open Windows Hammer To Fall Is This The World We Created? I Go Crazy expandcollapse A Kind Of Magic One Vision A Kind Of Magic One Year Of Love Pain Is So Close To Pleasure Friends Will Be Friends Who Wants To Live Forever Gimme The Prize (Kurgan's Theme) Don't Lose Your Head Princes Of The Universe expandcollapse The Miracle Party Khashoggi's Ship The Miracle I Want It All The Invisible Man Breakthru Rain Must Fall Scandal My Baby Does Me Was It All Worth It Hang On In There Chinese Torture Hijack My Heart My Life Has Been Saved Stealin' New Life Is Born Dog With A Bone Guess We're Fallin Out expandcollapse Innuendo Innuendo I'm Going Slightly Mad Headlong I Can't Live With You Don't Try So Hard Ride The Wild Wind All God's People These Are The Days Of Our Lives Delilah The Hitman Bijou The Show Must Go On Lost Opportunity Face It Alone Self Made Man My Secret Fantasy expandcollapse Made In Heaven It's A Beautiful Day Made In Heaven Let Me Live Mother Love My Life Has Been Saved I Was Born To Love You Heaven For Everyone Too Much Love Will Kill You You Don't Fool Me A Winter's Tale My Life Has Been Saved It's A Beautiful Day (reprise) No-One But You Live performances in the 80s

Appendix Special instruments Special effects Special playing techniques Classical quotes Musical terms Index References

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Fat Bottomed Girls

Composer: Brian May
Meter: 4/4
Key: D-major with Mixolydian inflection in the choruses

               | Intro I (Chorus')| Intro II |
                | Verse | Connector 1 |
                | Verse | Chorus | Connector 2 |
                | Verse | Chorus | Outro |

Brian has composed for Queen some harmonically simple songs with only a few chords. Fat Bottomed Girls is one of them (more: Tie Your Mother Down, Tear It Up, Las Palabras De Amor, Put Out The Fire, Long Away). The rhythm of the song (especially the rhythm guitars) is much trickier than its harmony.
The song is built up from three Choruses (that is relatively few in the pop-business, for instance) and three Verses with instrumental connectors plus the outro. The song opens with a double intro: an a capella performed Chorus followed by an instrumental introducing the main riff. The single version has shortened instrumental parts resulting in a more radio-friendly shape. Without the instrumental sections the form is simple:  C > V > V > C > V > C.

Section by section walkthrough

Intro I and Chorus
It is performed a capella (without instrumental backing). Queen examples for a capella chorus-intros: Bicycle Race, I Want It All (single version). Each three parts are overdubbed to get a really fat sound. The length of the intro is four measures; the two later Choruses are two measures longer. The lead part is on the top, but on stage this arrangement was inverted so that the lead was harmonized both on top (by Roger) and bottom (by Brian). The harmonies are built up from chords. The half-step shift (Db>D) on the first syllable can be found in the rhythm guitar parts, too. Other chords: D, C, G, A (the "guitar" chords), moreover Fm ("fat bottom.."), and Em ("rockING"), and suspended fourth-chords that bridge the D and A, and moreover the D and G chords. Except the half-measure with A chord, the harmoniesuse the flat 7th degree. The lead melody doesn't use it, though; only the "major" 7th during the A-chord is played (in the chorus). The rhythm is shot through syncopations. The chorus is the same as the intro with added instrumental backing and an extra phrase of two measures.
The phrasing is AA'A"BB'.

| D    | C    G  |
| I    |bVII  IV |

| D    | C    A  |
| I    |bVII  V  |

| D    | G  (Fm) |
| I    | IV biii |
| D  A  | D  G  | D  A | D   |
| I  V  | I  IV | I  V | I   |

That strange biii chords does not appear in the guitar accompaniment. It's possible to replace it with a C-chord (bVII).

This section has a very simple even phrasing: eight measures and ABA'C. Only the three basic chords are used (I, IV, V), the harmonic rhythm is speeding up during the section.

| D   | -   | -   | A   |
| I   | -   | -   | V   |

| D   | G   | D A | D   |
| I   | IV  | I V | I   |

Roger uses very simple rhythm during the first Verse hitting only the fourths. The only twist we can find in the Verses is the guitar part as Brian plays some fills seemingly not synchronized with the lead vocal. (See also "The Prophet's Song", "White Man", or listen to Extreme's song "Pornograffiti"). Bass opens the second Verse. Third Verse adds solo guitar and more complex drum part. Second Verse seems to have an extra half-measure added around "blue eye". This effect is caused by the combination of the upbeat and the lead melody featuring a stepping up and a syncopation one or two beats earlier than it was predictable.

Intro II
The instrumental Intro II is eight measures long (the single version is shortened) and consists of four phrases. Brian, while strumming his guitar (D-chord throughout almost all the eight measures) and playing descending guitar fills, applies some crazy rhythm. Try to count and hold the beats (or the eighths)!
Second rhythm guitar and drums enter by the upbeat of the fourth phrase leaving a hole on the wall of sound during the first phrases. Similar examples: intro of If You Can't Beat Them (1978) and Long Away (1976), and outro of '39 (1975).

Connector 1
It is ten measures long (the single version is shorter). Similarly to Connector 2, it goes with only one guitar (and drums). Started  from the middle of the third measure there is a sort of guitar solo with double-stop harmonies upon a "pedal bass" D. This solo, using some off-beat rhythm, will reappear in the Outro. The section ends with a pause of half measure.

Connector 2
The second connector is four and a half measures long. The phrasing (2x2+half) is symmetric, except for the second phrase that gets an extra half measure to introduce the last Verse. The section begins with one of the best known "mistake" on a Queen record: Brian strums a G chord, but the low string is tuned down to D, resulting in an F bass note in the G-chord (*).

| G*  D  | A   D  |
| IV  I  | V   I  |
| G   D  | A   G  | - |
| IV  I  | V   I  | - |

The last Chorus ends with fermata introducing the outro with a shout by Freddie. The Outro is almost twenty measures long (single version is again shorter) and dominated by the D chord. Extra track are Freddie's signature shout-ins and some vocal fills with the title phrase similarly as in the outro of Crazy Little Thing Called Love (1979) or Radio Ga Ga (1984). Guitar harmonies enter in the middle of the 5th measure. In the middle of the 13th measure starts the double-tracked guitar solo that we already saw in Connector 2. After this, 11 simple half-measures (2x4+3) close the song with three short D chords at the end.