Classic or dud?
― Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 8 September 2005 23:02 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Thursday, 8 September 2005 23:06 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Rock Hardy (Rock Hardy), Thursday, 8 September 2005 23:11 (7 years ago) Permalink
― derrick (derrick), Friday, 9 September 2005 01:55 (7 years ago) Permalink
For people who are able to understand and articulate music on an a technical level: what is the magic trick that he does on the title track when the chord change happens at each point in the song after the line "the arc of a love affair..."? Is he just changing keys in some unexpected way? Or is it more subtle than that? For whatever reason, those bits slay me.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 20:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
Or is there a key change in the phrase just before that? What's he doing there??
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 20:49 (5 years ago) Permalink
The change happens happens a beat after the new line, right? "The arc of a love affair...bumm..."
The re-release of this record has a fantastic bonus-track demo version of "Train in the Distance", just voice and guitar.
― Eazy, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 20:50 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, that's the part that gets me the most, but I think that there is a part before that where there is maybe a proper key change which sets the stage (obviously I have no technical knowledge of music, hence my question...)
That demo sounds like it could be great! I like that song lots, but sometimes the background vocals seem a bit overdone...and corny...
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 20:59 (5 years ago) Permalink
Regardless, he does that great thing in "Hearts and Bones" where, you're listening and thinking, "okay, he's gonna go here...but then he goes somewhere else completely unenvisioned...but not in a dissonant way, but more like he slides into some magical pocket that you never previously suspected existed, what with all manner of chord changes having been drummed into your brain to the point where it seems like there is nothing new under the sun. I mean, I guess straight-up jazz music does this sort of thing all the time, but truth be told, I sometimes get dizzy with the flurry of unorthodox chord changes and just general overflow of musical information that is being streamed at me in much "jazz" stuff.
I guess that's why I tend to be a sucker for music which exists in the pop idiom, but here and there incorporates jazz inflections? It's like I am some struggling algebra student who once in a while makes sense of some of the equations involving x's and y's, while meanwhile, the hardcore jazz dudes are making inside jokes about calculus-level stuff?
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:27 (5 years ago) Permalink
That "Train In The Distance" demo is on iTunes for 99 cents.
― Eazy, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:28 (5 years ago) Permalink
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:38 (5 years ago) Permalink
ok, this is first time i've heard this song, and it's nice! from what I can tell, he's isn't actually doing a lot that's "tricky" except for playing a chord w/a maj 7th instead of an expected flatted 7th. so, the tech part. the song is in E major, and chords would be:
Thinking back to the season before
Looking back through the cracks in the door
Two people were married
The act was outrageous
The bride was contagious
She burned like a bride
Eb dim7 (which is really a substite for Ab7, i.e. the V7 of vi in E)
These events may have had some effect
On the man with the
C# minor (i.e., the vi chord) -- -- -- > resolving to F#7 (i.e. the II7 of the V chord in E)
girl by his side
...then to B MAJ7 (normally you'd just expect B7, which is the V7 of E)
The arc of a love affair
...and furthermore to A MAJ7 (another unexpected raised 7th for an otherwise normal IV chord in E)
His hands rolling down her hair
...and back to E
Love like lightning shaking till it moans
― Dominique, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:44 (5 years ago) Permalink
Wow, thanks, that's an awesome explication!
I always get positively lost on the roman numeral stuff in chord theory, though. Also, it would help if I had a guitar or keyboard instrument in front of me, which I don't at the moment...
It makes sense though, if only because I've found that I'm a sucker for major 7th chords...but I've been lead to understand that major 7th's are an overused schmaltzy faux jazz trick of sorts? Does that amount to a consensus of sorts among proper muso folk, or am I making that up?
I would like at some point to take proper musical lessons, or to at least understand some of this theoretical stuff on my own, but I feel like there are two parts of my brain necessary to understanding all of that which for whatever reasons don't seem to want to coordinate. I think I stumble upon similarly pretty stuff when I'm messing around on guitar or piano, but I have fuck-all of an idea of what any of it translates to on paper...but I'm still curious, because part of me wants to diagram, as it were, whatever the weird stuff is that has such insistent visceral effects on me
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 21:57 (5 years ago) Permalink
i've been meaning to pick up this album for a year or so. i LOVE 'think too much' but didn't know chic was behind it. only makes sense.
― jaxon, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:04 (5 years ago) Permalink
I cannot understand why I haven't responded to this thread, but the fact is that this is actually his best album. Sort of the pinnacle of his "sophisticated" singer/songwriter style just before he discovered World Music.
"Renee And Georgette Margritte With Their Dog After The War" also has a classic overlooked video, in addition to being his best ever song.
And then there's also "Train In The Distance" and "The Great Late Johnny Ace". Classic without a shadow of doubt!
― Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:06 (5 years ago) Permalink
I cannot understand why I haven't responded to this thread, but the fact is that this is actually his best album.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
I'm sorry, that was uncalled for. Sorta.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:10 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've been listening to some sundry Paul Simon stuff lately and am kind of in love with "The Late Great Johnny Ace," especially how it shifts seamlessly into that Philip Glass coda.
but I've been lead to understand that major 7th's are an overused schmaltzy faux jazz trick of sorts? Does that amount to a consensus of sorts among proper muso folk, or am I making that up?
Maj-7th chords are otherwise known as "jazz chords," but I wouldn't call them overused or schmaltzy. (Especially since I'm with you -- I'm a sucker for them.) Depends on the context, I guess.
― jaymc, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:10 (5 years ago) Permalink
― Eazy, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:11 (5 years ago) Permalink
trivia: this was the Simon and Garfunkle come back album, but Simon stripped him off it after they were done for some reason.
― akm, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:11 (5 years ago) Permalink
but I've been lead to understand that major 7th's are an overused schmaltzy faux jazz trick of sorts
haha, well...that's really more of a value judgment on a chord rather than any kind of actual theory axiom. As far as (western) music theory is concerned, there really isn't any logical explanation as to why you would use a MAJ7 chord at any point -- you hear it lots, in pop, jazz, and classical, but I think it is used a) because perhaps whatever melody the composer wants to use uses the raised 7th instead of the flatted one, or b)like you, people just think it sounds pretty. But as far as theoretical concerns, specifically how and why notes resolve the way they do, MAJ7 really doesn't make any sense.
Of course, that's all to do w/the way harmony has developed. You could easily make the case that we're all going to invent a different way of resolving. It's not really any different than any rule or law -- stuff gets changed when enough people decide it's better to do it a new way.
As far as roman numeral analysis, the most important stuff to know I think is a) the numbers = notes in the scale. V7 = a major triad (hence the capital letter) with a (typically flatted) 7th on to
and b) western theory axiom #1: V resolves to I. ie, in the Paul Simon song, a B chord (B being the 5th note in an E major scale) resolves back to E. When you start seeing stuff like "V7 of vi" or whatever, it's telling you, "let's pretend we're going to change the key to whatever the vi chord is -- C# minor for example -- ...if we did that, then we'd resolve to it by playing its V chord (ie, the 5th note in this new C#m scale)...in this case Ab7 (or the substituted diminished chord that P.S. uses instead, which is just one note different than an Ab7 chord). It's really just a neat way of making what might be an unexpected change in harmony sound a little more normal.
― Dominique, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:12 (5 years ago) Permalink
-- Eazy, Tuesday, February 26, 2008 10:11 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Link
Hah, reminds me of last week's Vampire Weekend in-store...ba-dum-pah!!!!
Seriously, though, I love Art Garfunkel's voice, absolutely, but Simon's ease of vocals is nothing to sneeze at...making it look so easy. wow.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:24 (5 years ago) Permalink
A sort of simplistic way I describe maj-7ths (and my fondness for them) is that they overlay a major chord (like C-E-G) with a minor chord (E-G-B), and so they have the ability to sound both happy and sad, or perhaps bittersweet. Satie knew this.
― jaymc, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:25 (5 years ago) Permalink
akm, really??? That's weird. I need to research that.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:26 (5 years ago) Permalink
yes, it was called 'think too much'; some of the songs on this were played at the central park concert (and are on the live album)
― akm, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:27 (5 years ago) Permalink
Is there truth to the thing that Debussy introduced the major 7th to the Western world and at the time it sounded so weird, but gradually gained acceptance, etc.?
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:28 (5 years ago) Permalink
Thanks so much for that response! I still lose it when it comes to talk of scales and such, but maybe I am simply rationalizing intellectual laziness with excuses of brain freeze...regardless, what you laid down there seems like a really helpful way of looking at it...I'm going to re-read and re-read that some more with my ears and brains.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:35 (5 years ago) Permalink
Hmm, I think Satie was using them in similar ways as Debussy, though, Debussy's methods of revelling in certain chords (especially without regard to their supposed "function" in the scheme of the work) were certainly the greatest support their distinctive sound could have asked for. You will find major chords with major sevenths quite far back (e.g., Bach and earlier), but generally only used as suspension elements (i.e., momentary tension to resolve soon after, rather than legit tonality).
-- dleone, Monday, June 10, 2002 7:00 PM (5 years ago) Bookmark Link
― jaymc, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:39 (5 years ago) Permalink
Ha, thanks. But I have perhaps only the vaguest grasp on what "legit tonality" means as opposed to some other use, unless someone is there to walk me through it and point to the relevant passages. Hence my saying that I should probably take a stab at some proper music lessons at some point...
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 22:49 (5 years ago) Permalink
trivia: this was the Simon and Garfunkle come back album, but Simon stripped him off it after they were done for some reason.
He told Rolling Stone that he stripped the Garfunkel vocal tracks because these songs were "too personal." Kind of a nasty move after touring and bringing the guy in to the studio and all.
― dad a, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:06 (5 years ago) Permalink
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:06 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've never read any serious bios of these guys (do any good ones exist? Yeah, I'm too lazy to google...)
What was the whole beef between them, anyhow?
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:08 (5 years ago) Permalink
beats me, they seem to come together and then break apart pretty regularly. anyway it was probably a good idea for this NOT to be the S&G comeback album, simply because, good as it is, it's not as good as any of their other albums, and would have gotten pretty panned (as it is, the album didn't get very many good reviews at the time...it seems to be much better regarded these days).
i know garfunkle said somewhere that Simon called him up and said, "oh btw I'm taking you off the album" and then invited him to his wedding the next month. What a weirdo.
― akm, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
Hmm, yeah, I guess I'm just confused as to which guy is the bigger ass. It seems like the scale would fall towards PS, but who knows?
Regardless, I think that Hearts and Bones is better than One Trick Pony, if only on the basis of the song "Think Too Much". I only mention that because of some other thread here which re-revisioned OTP ahead of Heats and Bones.
― dell, Tuesday, 26 February 2008 23:59 (5 years ago) Permalink
or "Hearts", even...
Sometimes I wish this place had a "preview" function.
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00 (5 years ago) Permalink
Simon seems to have been the obvious alpha in the relationship and wrote most of the material and so he comes across as the biggest ass when you read up on them, but I'm not so sure that's really the case. I get the feeling that they kind of wound up famous by accident (due to the remix of sounds of silence being a hit, after they'd already basically broken up and simon moved to england), and then tried it out as best they could for a few years, and then it stopped working. That they do anything together these days seems like it's either for money or for yucks, but not because they're the greatest working duo ever.
― akm, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:02 (5 years ago) Permalink
huh - I had never even heard of this album. v interesting
― Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:03 (5 years ago) Permalink
the magritte song is amazing, one of my favorite simon songs ever (w/ or w/o garfunkle)
― akm, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:05 (5 years ago) Permalink
Funny, because that song is one that especially bugs me. The title alone seems overly-strained in the singer-songwriter-ly way of trying to tell a story. I would rather listen to Paul Simon singing, whether in character, or out-of, about smoking himself a "J" and blowing the crowd away, etc.
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:11 (5 years ago) Permalink
smoking himself a "J" and blowing the crowd away
lolz I laugh every time I hear that song/think about this line now
― Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:14 (5 years ago) Permalink
But third-person storytelling in songs tends to rub me in the wrong way as a rule. "He's a real nowhere man"...stfu...the examples are legion.
I much prefer first-person to self-indulgence than shoddily created characters within the context of a two minute pop song.
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:16 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, it's hard to beat.
Also, it's been remarked elsewhere on this board, but the cheesy accompanying guitar line is almost gilding the lily in a sense.
Great song, though.
The entire thing could be taken as a weed equivalent to the Randy Newman joke about "A Horse with No Name"'s acid conceits, but it's fundamental genius can't be denied, as far as I'm concerned...
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:21 (5 years ago) Permalink
For that matter, the America song is pretty great, as well.
Sign me up for "Rolling Controversial Opinions on ILM" thread, I guess...
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:24 (5 years ago) Permalink
Agh, I wish this board had a preview function. The text that you type in the box is in such a graceless typeface, compared to the end result. And this damn small box, it's boxing me in.
― dell, Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:30 (5 years ago) Permalink
I'm a big picture kind of guy.
"When Numbers Get Serious."
― look at it, pwn3d, made u look at my peen/vadge (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 19 November 2010 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
Think Too Much (a) + (b) are both great songs. Playing these on repeat today.
― brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 30 December 2010 00:08 (2 years ago) Permalink
so is "Song About the Moon"
― Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 December 2010 01:20 (2 years ago) Permalink
hey did you know paul simon has a new record coming out? i didn't until yesterday: So Beautiful Or So What.
― tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 14:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
title track on this just kills me it is so perfect
― plax (ico), Thursday, 30 December 2010 14:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
jesus, the doo wop sections of rene and georgette -- so great.
― tylerw, Thursday, 6 January 2011 23:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
Did a search for the video to "René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War" but cannot find it anywhere on the net. Pity, that vid is awesome but hardly ever shown anywhere. Possibly some copyright issue as it contains a lot of René Margritte artwork.
― You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 6 January 2011 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
― plax (ico), Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:53 AM (2 months ago) Bookmark
i only ever knew the song, but just got the album and it's killing me in general
― ullr saves (gbx), Tuesday, 1 March 2011 23:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
This is the best Simon gets in his solo career to really hitting the goosebump buttons for me - - I have way more love for Graceland from a lifetime of joys with it, and all of the other solo albums through Saints are great listens, but this is the one I think that consistently makes me feel the most things. Some damned good songwriting here, god, "Think Too Much."
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 3 March 2011 04:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
cannot be said enough
― call all destroyer, Thursday, 3 March 2011 04:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
One and one-half wandering jewsFree to wander wherever they chooseAre travelling togetherIn the sangre de cristoThe blood of christ mountainsOf new mexicoOn the last leg of the journeyThey started a long time agoThe arc of a love affairRainbows in the high desert air
They don't write them like that anymore. Been obsessed with this album since i was about 12. Way better than Graceland. There's a good interview with him in Uncut mag this month, just came out this week over here in the UK. Real detailed stuff. He mentions Randy Newman as a favourite fellow songwriter. No surprises there i guess.
― piscesx, Thursday, 3 March 2011 06:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
THE SMARTEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLDHAVE GATHERED IN LOS ANGELESTO ANALYZE OUR LOVE AFFAIRAND POSSIBLY UNSCRAMBLE US
― difficult listening hour, Thursday, 3 March 2011 07:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
i need to get this
― just sayin, Thursday, 3 March 2011 09:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
― ullr saves (gbx), Thursday, 10 March 2011 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink
still dont have this
― just sayin, Thursday, 10 March 2011 08:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
By coincidence I picked this up dirt cheap in my local secondhand shop last week (before reading this thread). Will put it on tonight. Apart from Graceland, the pretty great 'Negotiations and Love Songs' comp is my only exposure to solo PS.
― sam500, Thursday, 10 March 2011 09:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
One thing that annoys me is that the great video for "Rene and Georgette Magritte with their Dog After the War" seems to be more or less wiped out. And whenever it briefly pops up, like in MTV's video archives or somebody posting it on Youtube, it disappears almost as soon as it got there. Back when I used to watch MTV's Greatest Hits and similar programs in the 90s, they also never ever played it. In fact I've never ever seen it on TV at all except for once on Norwegian TV back when it was new. A pity because it is such a great video.
Anyone know what's the deal? Is it Paul Simon himself who, for some reason, is not pleased with it and doesn't want it to have any attention, or is it some Magritte-family-related copyright issue as the video does indeed contain a lot of Magritte paintings?
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Monday, 29 August 2011 01:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
― iatee, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Uploaded by krakenek on Sep 11, 2006
― iatee, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah. There it is. Sound quality suggests it is an old recording though.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Monday, 29 August 2011 01:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
never seen this. was it a single in the US?
― piscesx, Monday, 29 August 2011 01:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
I thought I remembered the video showing on Saturday Night Live once either when Simon was host or musical guest, but I guess it was "The New Show" instead.
― Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Monday, 29 August 2011 03:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
the new show is the only time I ever saw that, it's weird that I remember that pretty vividly.
― akm, Monday, 29 August 2011 04:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
I saw it on HBO's Video Jukebox back in the day.
― reggae night staple center (Eazy), Monday, 29 August 2011 04:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
Not sure how long this will stay online, but this is the "Train in the Distance" demo included as a bonus track in the catalog re-release:
― Earth, Wind & Fire & Alabama (Eazy), Saturday, 8 September 2012 15:14 (8 months ago) Permalink
Really lovely, thanks for posting.
― Doctor Casino, Saturday, 8 September 2012 15:24 (8 months ago) Permalink