Saturday, April 30, 2011

Something or Nothing

In February, while at the SFY program cleaning (it was a day in which the room needed cleaning up), they had the radio playing in the room on Bob Fm.

I wasn't really listening to it, really, but at one point after I'd gone somewhere and then came back, there was a chorus playing. I didn't know the band nor the song. I just recognized the bass line, because it was the kind of bass line I've heard many times.

I would leave the room to get something several times during the song, and like an idiot I didn't pay attention to the radio to see if the commentator mentioned what it was and who did it. So I just had the recognizable bass line, and the fact the singers had high-pitched voices, to go from.

My last post mentions this. "I went about looking for it by telling people the bass goes DACG. No one ever understood and searches on Google have yielded nothing but for a nice song called 'Something or Nothing.'"

Many songs tend to go DACG. It's a popular progression, though I don't know what it's called. Maybe it's a pop chord one? I just know it's popular. You start on D, then go down to A, or the open A string on a bass, then C, which is one full tone down from D, down to G, on the same fret as C but on the low E string. If you don't use the open A string, the A note is the same fret as the D note, but on the low E string.

I guess it's like simply hitting two notes that are on the same fret but one's a string lower. Then the other two are full tones down from each other, but doing the same thing. The movements made by the fingers kind of create a backwards 'N' - go down, then back up to the A string to C, then straight back down to G on the E string again.

I wanted to elaborate on the 'Something or Nothing' mention though. This post is intended to be my review on the song. The intro was how I got to it, after haplessly asking people about a song using musical notes to describe it.
Google didn't necessarily understand me much better than people did, but it did get somewhere. I got many results that were from music forums mentioning the letters, or notes. One result, though, was a guitar/bass website that had the notes for a song called 'Something or Nothing' with the D-A-C-G notes written down.

Knowing what to expect, I decided to find it on YouTube and listen to it.

Note: This being an audio video using images, I must warn that there are images of nude woman in the video. The uploader who created the slideshow really went for a graphic presentation to the song.

By Uriah Heep, the song was released in 1974 on their album 'Wonderworld.' It starts off simply just playing 'D,' until you get to the first verse, which then goes D-A-C-G. What's more, it also goes 'D-C-G,' another very popular pattern notably used in songs like 'Sweet Home Alabama,' and 'Werewolves in London.'

It's true that it's a pretty good song, though the thing about that is that's almost solely because of the bass pattern. It's a popular, likable sound. Anything that uses that pattern is, at least to me, very easy to listen to, to like and appeal to the ears. The guitars (many of them) follow this pattern, as does the organ. There's a piano in the beginning that starts a Dm chord but then goes to E and then G. It goes up. That's a well-known pattern as well.

I can play the song on the bass as easy as ever, but it's a very fast-paced song. I've seen them play it in concert on Youtube and the bassist's picking hand is just drumming on the strings like crazy. The drums are not that easy to hear in terms of snare pattern but it's a constant beat. And I've figured out how to (at least) follow the bass line in chord-form on the piano, using it as an organ like in the song.

Most of the song is orange and white to me synesthetically. Though I also see, virtually, the perfect girl in terms of the organ during the verses. Perfect emotionally, physically, and how I relate well to them.

The song's lyrics seem to talk about how people's opinions and points of view always differ, and that in one sense there's something, and in another, nothing. The first and last verses end with the words "we'll find the line that's in the middle and run." I guess that means we'll find the merit in both things and use it, or we'll compromise equally.

Overall the song is bright, fun, enthusiastic and likable due to it's note progression. And that's the one problem with it - the D-A-C-G note progression is the main source of most of that. But the lyrics are good too, and combining it with the D-C-G pattern is a plus. Especially having an organ to play along as well, though that could be me deriving the perfect girl out of it.

Song overall: A-

By the way, I still haven't found that original song that my searching for led to this. Because searching for songs that use that progression has proved unfeasible, I've switched to locating songs by artists who sing in high-pitched voices. I've gone through the BeeGees, Seals & Croft, Journey, The Police, and a few others. No luck. Then again, I haven't listened to every single one of any of their songs. If you read this and know what song I'm looking for, don't hesitate to direct me to it.

Justin C.

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