Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts I–V) vs. The Rainbow

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Poll Closing Date: Saturday, 20 April 2024 00:00 (in 10 months)

Two very distinct songs with enough similarities that we may poll them
- long
- similar horn / synth openings
- the guitar "drop"
- great toms
- 420 music
- great openers, arguably overshadowing rest of respective albums
- artsy rock
- (I guess "The Rainbow" is also somehow parts I-V and then "Eden" is kinda parts VI etc. but "Eden" >>> "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts VI–IX) but that's not this poll)
- feel free to add more parallels

Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts I–V) (1975)
The Rainbow (1988)


corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 17 May 2023 10:35 (one week ago) link

This is making my brain hurt.

Alex in NYC, Wednesday, 17 May 2023 12:50 (one week ago) link

I love them both, so shall not choose. That said, I don't think they're as parallel as you suggest. The Floyd were comparatively very disciplined and precise with their specific placement of notes and instrumentation, whereas I believe Talk Talk took a more entirely improvisational approach.

I mean, sure, I could be wrong, but I think they're different beasts entirely.

Alex in NYC, Wednesday, 17 May 2023 12:52 (one week ago) link

I kind of agree

but the appeal is somewhat similar, to me anyway

must've listened to diamond a million times in my teens

these days I'm more a rainbow person

but which one is it??

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 17 May 2023 16:12 (one week ago) link

Pink Floyd are painting with broader brushstrokes and making bolder statements; Talk Talk are indirect throughout (but not as indirect as they would be by opening their next album with "Myrrhman"). It's also worth noting that, even though both songs are "artsy rock", they owe a lot to blues and jazz in terms of chord changes and instrumental tones.
I'd also parallel the moment in "Shine On" when the tuned glasses change from the G minor they've held since the beginning to a D minor to the key change after each verse in "The Rainbow" (where Hollis sings, "Lenient, the song the lawyer sang..."). Both songs also mention imprisonment.
I'd have to pick "Shine On" because it feels like a more complete entity. However, I've never loved "Eden" and consider Part IX of "Shine On" to be the destination point to which the whole Wish You Were Here album leads.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 18 May 2023 19:25 (one week ago) link

those are very good points, both songs rock, and I imagine that has to do with the blues/jazz influences, although I'm not strong with musical theory

when's the key change you mention?

lyrics are indeed very different, Hollis juxtaposing the colloquial with the otherworldly (overworldly?) music, Waters going for the biggest payoff possible (along the way applying some surprising metaphor, similar to Wish You Were Here)

corrs unplugged, Friday, 19 May 2023 16:27 (one week ago) link

talk talk song is okay but wish the guitarist would go through some various moods instead of playing the same blues rock stuff over an incessant beat for minutes

budo jeru, Friday, 19 May 2023 17:08 (one week ago) link

The Floyd were comparatively very disciplined and precise with their specific placement of notes and instrumentation, whereas I believe Talk Talk took a more entirely improvisational approach.

i don't know a ton about talk talk's recording approach with their last two albums, but iirc, it seemed to me to be curated improv, as in, lots and lots of time spent experimenting and improvising over many months, often in the dark surrounded by lava lamps and stuff? if that's the case, to get from a bunch of improvisations and experiments to the final recording might have been a very decision-heavy, intentional process (and a very patient one), albeit one where the sound elements were originally improvised

z_tbd, Friday, 19 May 2023 18:00 (one week ago) link

“Shine on” is the best, it’s what imagine the maxell dude in the armchair is listening to.

not really a fan of Eden

brimstead, Friday, 19 May 2023 20:13 (one week ago) link

z_tbd is right. The sessions for *Spirit of Eden* and especially *Laughing Stock* were insane. Darkness, lava lamps, lots of acid. Tens of musicians passed through the studio, were given no real idea what they were contributing to, and simply encouraged to improvise. The songs were pieced together by Hollis and Phill Brown over the course of months. It basically broke everyone involved.

Stars of the Lidl (Chinaski), Saturday, 20 May 2023 09:15 (one week ago) link

when's the key change you mention?

2:28, and it's not even a key change, just a chord change from i to v, but it feels monumental.
The Floyd get a lot of mileage in this piece switching back and forth between G natural minor (which scale includes E♭), and G dorian (where E is natural); they first introduce the latter in the four note guitar fanfare.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 21 May 2023 01:58 (one week ago) link

just realized the length of this poll lol nice

voted talk talk, but there's really no wrong answer.

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Sunday, 21 May 2023 04:33 (one week ago) link


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