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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Now I'm Here

Composer: Brian May
Album: Sheer Heart Attack
Single: 17 january, 1975
Key: D Major, E Major, B mixolydian
Meter: 4/4

          Intro A A' | BB' | Riff |
      | Verse I-II-III - B'| Riff |
      | Verse I-II-III - B'| Solo (CCCCCCCC-D) |
      |   Verse II | Intro A"| Verse III'| Riff'|
      | Outro-solo I (CCCCCCCC) - II |

This is a hard rock song, something very expectable from a hard rock band. Interesting features abound: the complex form, the canon, some nice syncopations, heavy use of variants. All in all this is a very creative song which on the other manages to stay sounding catchy and "natural" in terms of hard rock.
The form is complex, weakly cyclic. The B section sounds like a pre-chorus, but it is followed by a guitar riff instead of a chorus. The Verse section has three subsection two of which are recycled individually.
The harmony of the song is built around three tonal centers sequenced as D > E > B > E > D > E > B respectively.


The song starts with 1/8 pulsing guitar power chords exposing the opening tonic. No drums yet.

| D5  | -   | -   | -   |
| I   | -   | -   | -   |

The "A" phrase starts with upbeat that ends on the 1/8 preceding the opening downbeat of the related harmonic phrase.

1 2 3 4 1
    ** *...

This syncopation is supported by the punctuation of the rhythm guitar and drum line. For the next phrase the lead vocal completes the guitar power chords to D major chord:
| D   | -   |

The second vocal phrase extends the first. Note that the "around-round-round..." words all fall off-beat despite they first sound deceptively on-beat. The harmony combines the D major chord created by the echoed lead vocal and the guitar (power) chords with the descending bass line (no bass guitar yet).

| D    | D    | D    | -    |
| C5   | G/B* | Gm/Bb| -    | (the G/B* chords is omitting the fifth)
|"bVII"| "IV" | "iv" | -    |

The last vocal phrase slightly alters that of the title ("A") phrase.

| D   | -    |
| I   | -    |

After the first guitar solo the intro motif returns again. The "A" motif is altered ending with scalar instead of triadic steps. The closing Gm/Bb is resolved this time downwards to A5.

The delay-canon is an early (pre-News era) trademark of the Queen-canon (read the "My Fairy King" article). A kind of antiphonal canon is established on the live version between the Mercury and the audience.

"BB'" section:
This section abruptly breaks the relative silence of the Intro. This pre-chorus-like sounding section prepeares the modulation to E major. The phrasing is AA-A'A' harmonically. The melodic phrasing is interesting: the shouted upbeat ends just before the opening downbeat. Lyrical-wise it remains unresolved for the next 4 measures. The tension is supported by the sus4 dissonances and the step up modulation. Additional varispeed guitar screams are echoed, similarly to the intro vocals. The vocals are powerfully harmonized. The top line is pedal until the last notes. For the sake of variation in the second circle the last vocal phrase is not harmonized.

/----- 2x -----\
|  A   | -sus4 |
D: V   | -     |
E: IV  | -     |

/----- 2x -----\
|  B   | -sus4 |
E: V   | -     |

Another subtle source of tension is the pre-downbeat accents (similar as in the intro):

    3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1
gtr    *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *        * (riff downbeat)
voc ***                                      ***  *          ***  * * **

Try out whether you can hum it and tap toe along the quarter beats.

The 6 measure section can be subdivided into two parts (4+2). Tad strange that a single riff works as a separate section. The catchy riff works almost like a chorus due to its preceding "B" section. The tune makes heavy use of hard to transcribe off-beat rhythms:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1
* **** *  * **** **  * ** ****** * ** **   * * **...

There is no chordal support behind the riff, but there are some built-in chords instead.

| E     | B5 A5 E1 | D5  A5 B5 | F#1... |  
| I     | V IV  I  |bVII IV V  | ...    |

| E        | -  D5  A |
| I        | - bVII IV|

The second riff-section ends with a harmonized "yeah". The guitar riff is triple-tracked, and additional guitars appear for the last phrase.
The last played (third) riff extends the "original" by one measure inserted between m.3 and 4. (chords: A5 E5)

The first verse starts one minute into the song. Two of the three (or four?) subsections appear separated from the others in the third cycle. The first section sounds bluesy: basic chords with 5-6-5 figures (first phrase), b3-3-5 figure (second phrase), blue notes in the lead vocal, square phrasing (4+4, AA').

| B   | -   | E    |    D A |
| V   | -   | I    | bVII IV|

| B   | -   | E    |  B E |
| V   | -   | I    |  V I |

The second subsection is not sharply contrasted from the fisrt, even though the harmonic logic is sharply different. It's driven by an 8 graded ascending chromatic line highlighted in the lead vocal. The first four chords can be threated as the "choromatic bVII cadence" (see in "Doing All Right") inverted, the rest of the phrase continues the just established voice leading pattern, cannot be functionalized anymore. Considering the song was inspired by the tour with "Mott The Hopple" a possible influence could have been their hit song "All The Young Dudes" (written by David Bowie).

| C# D   | D# E | F  F# | G  G# | : lead vocal
| A  D   | B  E | C# F# | D# G# | : harmony
| V bVII | V I ...chromatic

In the first cycle this phrase is harmonized, the second cycle drops the vocal harmonies, the third is harmonized again and adds organ (no synth) chords. The third subsection together with the subsequent B' section (the second, lifted half of the BB' section) works as post-Verse and pre-chorus at the same time. The first phrase semi-spoken (see also "Tie Your Mother Down").

| E    | - F# |
| I    | - II |

| G    | -    |
|bIII  | -    |

In the second cycle the from m.8. (first subsection) on till the end of the section the chords are transposed down by a whole step. This twist is executed hardly noticable. Also in the second cycle this susbsection closes with II > V progression instead of ii > bIII.
The "chromatic" subsection is transposed down also in the third cycle and with the nice F# > D change it is segued into the re-intro section.

The preceding section ended with A which retrospectively sounds like bVII of the B which dominates the solo section (should we call it a Bridge?). The phrasing of the backing track is 8 x 2 + 2 AAAAAAAAB. The first two phrase has lead vocal the first of which is harmonized. The last two measures sustain the tonic chord closing with crescendo drums and downwards pentatonic guitar figure (see also in "Killer Queen", "Stone Cold Crazy").

/----- 8x ------\
| B    | E   A  |
| I    | IV bVII|

| B    | -     |
| I    | -     |

The arrangement is joined by rocking piano. The guitar solo features lots of double stops in the vein of Chuck Berry ("Go Johnny, Go"), especially in the last fadeing out phrases of the Outro.
The phrasing of the Outro is AAAAAAAA'B'.... The outro drops (?) the piano, the rhythm guitars close the song with the bluesy 5-6-5-6 chords.