Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PMCPP PRESENTS: Good Day Sunshine

PMCPP Analysis #4
KEY: B Major?! Oh, wait. A Major. Ho Hum.
RHYTHM USED: Chunking with a small bit of actual melody

Whoo, 4th analysis already? We're ripping along here! This song is one of the first songs we'll cover that contain material that isn't 100% horrible, but still lingers on crap. Remember, looks (er, sounds) can be deciving in some cases, and this song isn't nearly as hard to do as it sounds.

THE PIANO: This song contains 2 seperate piano parts overdubbed. Now, it's not really that complicated of a piece, so I can't see why Paul would even need to attempt 2 piano parts (Since one of them is basically just banging on an open octave in Bass Clef the whole damn song) but we all know Paul. Silly man, thinking we wouldn't notice your lazy overdubs.

As I had mentioned before, Paul actually sticks some semblance of melody into this one, but as we know him for, all of it is running down whatever chord scale he happens to be on in seconds. For one small point he does actually change it up, but it's still a scale and it's still seconds, just the same 3 note riff repeated a few times with only the marginal leap of a 3rd between them. Don't even have to move your fingers for that. Hell, I could play that riff if I wanted, in my sleep. A dead dolphin caught in a fishing net could play that riff.

Man, I've wanted to use that dead dolphin line for so long. Uh, anyway.

Even after the notes are dismissed, the rhythm of the entire piece is mainly devoted to 4-on-the-floor style chunking on every quarter note. The most complex said rhythm gets is when for three measures he switches to swung style eighth notes during that aforementioned 3 note riff. Throw in a small number of triplets and voila, we have enough distractions to keep our ears off the total lack of fun rhythm. Even in the attempt at funky time changing I'll mention soon, the piano is STILL smashing those quarter notes down. It's enough to make a grown man cry. (Not me, of course, some other poor dude who reads this.)

LAZINESS IN SONGWRITING: Here's an example of Paul trying to make us think he's doing something he's not. At first listen, the song sounds like a textbook example of being in B Major, with all it's 5 sharped goodness. But no, says Alan Pollack, it's actually in A Major. WE'VE BEEN HAD! V-V chords sounding like I chords aside, let's discuss how Paul even manages to make A Major (3 sharps, still far away from his happy zone) sound bad. Every chord is major in this piece, giving it such a happy sound it borders on painful to listen to. We have B, F#, A, and E chords for a grand total of... 4. Jesus, even RINGO was able to fit 4 chords into Octopus' Garden. Show a little variety, will ya Macca?

I'll give him one thing, the major VI chord (F#) and the V-V (B) aren't normal chord choices in the home key of A, but at this point, John had already used pretty much every awesome progression he could find using chords like that, so this almost seems forced by Paul to catch up. At least John knew what MINOR chords were. Jeez.

I know what you're thinking, readers. "What about that piano solo?" Well, notice that he does a pivot switch into his beloved D Major leading up to that, giving him 1 whole less sharp to have to work with. In fact, incredibly close analysis of the solo only has him playing 5 sharp notes in the whole damn thing. Hell, I'd not be surprised if he just made George Martin do the solo for him so it'd sound good. Paulie certainly didn't try the ones in In My Life or Rocky Raccoon, both somewhat difficult. Makes the mind wonder...

You may also mention the wrenching meter change that Paul pulls in the refrain of the song to me. Well, you've been fooled again. This is nothing more than some odd syncopation on a regular old 4/4 bar that you've heard over and over again. And as I stated before, even among that odd syncing, that piano gives it all away with it's 4/4 unchanging smacking on that chord. BOOM, and suddenly this piece in B Major with time changes abound becomes a much less exciting piece in A Major all in 4/4. How exciting.

WHY PAUL GOT AWAY WITH IT: Well, technecally it might not be all that awesome, but it still sounded good even with the minimal effort. Besides, the entire song is made awesome when Ringo does that "She fuckin' does" whisper in the final verse. Oh that Ringo, he's such a card. Even after that, this was still one of the earlier PPS, so chunking hadn't yet been overburned into our poor minds. Having to listen to them all in 2008, now that's an excuse for pain.

- UZ


Anonymous said...

In case you weren't sure, that is in fact George Martin playing the piano solo. Actually I think one of the two piano parts you reference is Martin all the way through.

When McCartney re-recorded the song nearly twenty years later for his Broadstreet soundtrack, he did it the same way - with Martin playing as well. Except - since Ringo had the good sense to refuse doing studio re-recordings of Beatles songs - Paul also handled the drums on that version.

UZ said...

Hm, I figured the solo was by him, but I was unaware that he did an entire overdub. Thanks.

Heh, does that also mean that the "she fucking does" line from the drums was missing?

Haha, you're commenting every article I write, ain't ya?

Anonymous said...

Haha - not every article, just the ones where I think I might have something relevant to add. It's an interesting blog - as a McCartney fan who tirelessly defends the man's work, while also trying to keep some perspective about his weaknessess, this kind of examination you're doing forces me to look at my own arguments from a different point of view. I get tired of the fanboy mentality that breathlessly praises his every move, as if nothing he's done has been bad. At the same time, I get tired of the outright bashing that often occurs...


This series and blog is totally tongue in cheek. I really do love Paul McCartney.