Monday, June 16, 2008

PMCPP PRESENTS: I'm Looking Through You

PMCPP Analysis #6
KEY: A-flat Major (Don't get excited.)
RHYTHM USED: N/A... Well, kind of chunk for 2 notes.

This is our first study not involving a Piano based song, but one full of plain old laziness in the songwriting, along with more of our favorite examples of Macca trying to fool us into thinking his songs are more complicated than they really are.

THE... uh... ORGAN: All right, so there's really not much of an organ part, but I had to replace the "PIANO" section with something, right? Another example, by the way, of Paul sticking keyboard instruments into songs where we really didn't need keyboard instruments. Hell, that 2 chord thing the organ does could've easily been done with a guitar or two. They knew what overdubbing was at this point, dammit!

And to add insult to injury, some stroke of genius gave Ringo the organ part. wat.

Hold on, if what I've heard is true and the organ is also playing that little riff with the guitar, that'd be one of the most complex pianorgansichord type of musical riffs we've heard out of Paul thus far. Hey, does Ringo being the one playing it make him a better keyboardist than Paul? Haha, this is getting better every second.

LAZINESS IN SONGWRITING: All right, we have to cover that key signature first before you get all giddy. Paul did not write this song in A-Flat Major. How did it wind up like that, then? Well, Macca wrote the song in G and used a capo to stick that guitar into Ab afterwards. The anthology version is in G, and I guess Macca thought it didn't sound just right... so capo time it was! So we're still in FCG territory, (He is just playing the same chords he would in G) he's just attempting to hide it at this point. This is the only Beatles song in A-Flat major, (except... Piggies?) it's just a key they never wrote in. And if any of them was going to start writing in exotic keys, I don't think Paul would be the number one suspect.

The percussion in this piece is obviously all done by Paul. Ringo would never have allowed himself to sit through a two and a half minute song with the entire drum part being snare hits on 2 and 4. (Not to mention he wouldn't have missed those 2 snare hits!) At the very least, he'd use cymbals. Drummers like cymbals. And I can't think of any other Beatles songs with drums where a tom or two don't come into play. 100% Maccafied rhythm section here, borderlining on almost incompetant. (And judging by his drumming in The Ballad of John and Yoko, it hardly got better throughout time.) Rounding it out is a tamborine ('cause there certainly weren't enough Beatles songs with tamborine in that era, eh?) and random hand smacks on knees and toe tapping and whatnot, all overdubbed into one big old percussive mess in the background.

Other than that organ, the instrumentation is all guitar here. Why? Because it's in A-Flat, and I'd like to see him trying to play anything in A-flat without capo-esque help. Chords follow a simple I-IV-V pattern with some ii chords to round out the cliche Major package. There's not even a V-V or flat-VII, the old Beatles standard chords, to be found in this one. The excitement is just too much to take, ain't it?

WHY PAUL GOT AWAY WITH IT: Well, that whole A-Flat thing probably threw everyone off the trail for a while in the case of lazy songwriting. Even if people had noticed, it was stuck way in the back of Rubber Soul anyway, where people start to not care as much about the quality. Had this been the FIRST song on RS, we might've heard some complaining.

- UZ


Dakota Panda said...

So in this case, does PMCPP stand for Paul McCartney Can't Play Percussion?

Anonymous said...

When you say this is obviously McCartney on drums/percussion - are you talking about the Anthology version on the Rubber Soul version?

Either way, I have never seen anything suggesting this was the case...

UZ said...

I was referring to the actual released Rubber Soul version of ILTY. The "Paul on Percussion" thing was a theory presented on the Anomolies website I link to. Lewisohn's instrumental reports don't actually put any credit to the various percussive items throughout the song except for Ringo on tamborine. There's really no proof either way, I suppose.

Besides, do you really think Ringo would've missed those snare hits among a drum part 100% made of snare hits on 2 and 4?

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Lewisohn hadn't credited anyone with the percussion parts - but I just looked it up in Recording Sessions to confirm it. Hmmm...weird. I guess considering the song was remade three times before McCartney was happy with it suggests maybe you are correct.

Steve Sailer said...

Do "Mr. Moonlight."

UZ said...

But... they didn't write Mr. Moonlight. :/


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