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Composer: John Deacon
Album: A Day At The Races
Key: D Major, b minor
Intro | Verse | Bridge I-II | | Verse | Bridge 2 | solo (Verse)| Bridge I-II | | Verse - tag - Outro |
This upbeat song is the pair of "You're My Best Friend". It's harmony is simple most of the time the rhythm department shows many assymetricity.
The form is a combination of the one bridge and the two/three bridge model. We have a twice recurring Bridge-pair (Bridge 1) and a classic contrasting single bridge (Bridge 2) located at approximately 2/3 of the song.
The 8 measure intro has simple phrasing (4+4+4+4 AAA'B). Solo piano for the first two phrases, bass and drums enter for the upbeat of the third phrase. The last phrase quotes the title phrase from the end of the Verses.
/---- 3x ----\\ | D | G/D | | I | IV | | G D/F# Em | D | |IV I ii | I |
The most tricky thing here is the rhythm. Try to pick up the 4/4 beat. Even though the intro starts right on downbeat for first try you'll probably fail becauase the the bass (on piano) notes disorient your sense of backing beat. The first bass guitar note helps you getting oriented, it's on downbeat. Unless you dont have a trained sense of rhythm you are going to have a hard time learning it.
The Verse sounds very simple: square 2+2+2+2 (ABCD melody-wise ABAC harmony-wise) phrasing. The harmony starts and closes on tonic - a closed harmonic shape. Each phrase starts on downbeat. The placement of the emphasysis shows more types of assymetricity: 3+5, 5+3, 3+3+2 pattern of eights.
| D | A | | I | V | | Bm | G G#dim| | vi | IV | | D | A | | I | V | | G D/F# Em | D | | IV i ii | I |
The second Verse closes with drum crescendo introducing the Bridge 2.
Third Verse adds lovely guitar harmonies in m.1-3.
The melodic guitar solo is an instrumental Verse. It is characterized by wide up and down oscillation.
Bridge 1 I
The 8 measure Bridge 1 has square phrasing: 4+4 AA' on the level of subphrases ABAC - a classic pattern (see also "Killer Queen"). Contrasting element compared to the Verse is the harmony being open at both end and the phrases starting not on downbeats.
| G | - | D | - | | IV | - | I | - | | G | - | E | A | | IV | - | V/V | V |
Bridge 1 II
The eight measure second subsection is also contrasting due to its chromatic harmony and vocal and guitar harmony arrangement. We have two paralelling phrases with chromatic descending bassline. The harmonic functions are very hard to sense in the second phrase where the drum uses 3+3+2 rhythmic pattern.
| G | F# | F | E | | G | D | Dm | E | | IV | I | i | V/V | | C | B | A# | A | | C | G | Gm | A | |bVII| IV | iv | V |
The most interesting pint is the I > i progression with chromatic bass. We will see it in "My Melancholy Blues" but very rarely in pop/rock music.
This 16 measure (AA'BC) "middle eight" has open harmonic shape. The harmony modulated to the relative minor key of D Major: b minor. The backing beat supported by cymbal hits is straight for most of the time except a triplet in m.11.
b: /---------- 2x----------\\ | F# | - | Bm | - | | V | - | i | - | | D | - | A |F#/A#| | III | - | VII | V | | Bm | E | A | -7,5+,2 | | i |V/VII| VII | - | D: | V/V | V | - |
We have antiphional and backing vocal harmonies mixed in fron of the lead vocal which is mixed into the left stereo (see also "...Best Friend") channel Galopping guitar notes in m.15-16 are introducing the guitar solo.
Finally take a closer look at the voice leading of the last measure:
A B A : Voice 1 E F# F# : voice 2 C# C# D : voice 3 A G (F#) : guitar
The last verse is added a slowed down repetition of the closing title phrase. Then the ensemble and the original tempo returns step by step.
The piano introduces the two measure two chord figure that will backing the rest of the song.
| D | G/D | | I | V |
Bass is playing D throughout, while the guitar occassionally plays C5 (bVII) instead of G.
The backing track returns full intensity from the fourth harmonic phrase on and gradually fades out after 9-10 cycles.