Friday, October 2, 2009

Two rebellious chords

David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" pulls off a good trick: it (almost) gets through the song using only the [four] and [five] chords. Usually when you put those two chords together, you can count on the [one] chord following soon after. It's practically a law. And the androgynous glam-rock teen of Bowie's song breaks that law. You keep thinking "oh dear, they've got to get to that [one] chord now!" But no, it just slides from [five] back to [four].

The [one] chord does sort of make an appearance in the brief leadup to the chorus, but it's not very convincing or satisfying.

Check out this singular songwriting accomplishment -- and see David posing with a guitar, barely pretending to play it: "Rebel Rebel" on YouTube

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