play song

A long track that is really two different pieces of music stitched together.

The first half is the famous riff and verse chorus song. The second half is a piano driven instrumental piece.

It starts with an electric guitar intro – two guitars, one playing the lead line while the second provides rhythm. The lead line sounds doubled or more likely ADT. The rhythm guitar is more distorted and chunky. Technically the intro is only the first half of the riff repeated, and it acts like a call.

When the full band kicks in there are three guitars – the rhythm continues, the lead jumps an octave and plays the full riff, call and response, and a third electric guitar panned left is soloing away doing counterpoint and is almost mixed out of the track. Meanwhile the bass and drums thunder away in the centre with added percussion (tambourine).

When the vocal enters the song changes key and the mix changes to focus on the vocal instead of the guitar. In fact it sounds like the main lead guitar drops out altogether as does the tambourine. The rhythm guitar continues on and the soloing guitar keeps noodling away in the centre. Or possibly it is the main lead guitar that is continuing under the vocal and it is the counterpoint guitar that drops out or joins the rhythm part. The drums have toms placed around the stereo image and the bass plays a more involved melodic role in the verses.

The chorus is the return of the riff but with lead vocals and backing vocals. The vocals are pushed back in the mix with reverb and are quite forcefully sung, almost shouted.

A second verse the same as the first and another chorus and then a third verse and double chorus.

Then there is an instrumental section where the guitars go nuts, there are multiple drum fills and there is shouted whooping. This section slows down and stops as the track segues into the second, piano driven part of the song.

The bass and drums and guitars return (but vocals never return). There is an acoustic guitar doubling the piano melody later on.

In this second part of the song the mix stays fairly much the same in terms of the drums and bass. The guitars are pushed back in the mix, allowing the piano and acoustic to come to the fore. There are some nice cymbal crescendos throughout this section that shimmer over the top of the mix (i wonder if these and the tambourine in the first section are overdubs). The track features a natural ending – meaning it is played rather than faded out.

The two sections are fairly even in terms of overall volume which makes the piano section seem a little more intimate than the first section that features screaming guitars and shouted vocals but distant in the mix.

Overall a fairly straight forward production except for the stitching together of two different pieces of music. It’s impossible to tell if it was recorded in a single take or if the two sections were recorded at different times – so in terms of creating the feeling that it is all one performance it is very successful.