What do you think is the most complex structured pop song under 3 minutes?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by steeler1979, Apr 3, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. steeler1979

    steeler1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nashville,Tn. USA
    My choice is ELO's "Hold On Tight". This song continues to blow my mind after all these years. What at first seems like a typical blues progression is much deeper when you take a closer listen. There's a verse melody reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis, stacked harmonies that sound like Paul and John, and if that weren't enough, Jeff Lynne even makes room for a verse in French! Then the closing "Chuck Berryesque" guitar solo tops it off! As if I needed another reason, it's more proof why I feel Jeff Lynne is a genius. A classic example of using your influences properly and mixing them together to create a classic pop song. What are some of your selections for "most complex pop song under 3 minutes"?
  2. gilbert green

    gilbert green Ben Sumner

    "Autumn Almanac" by The Kinks. This song is constantly adding news sections, and hardly ever repeats. Instead of the usual ABACAB, the track goes like ABCDEBFGHBI...etc. all in less than 3 minutes. At the same time, it always sounds natural and was a big hit in Europe.

    Also, several Randy Newman songs from the 60s have this kind of Structure ("Vine Street", etc.).
  3. steeler1979

    steeler1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nashville,Tn. USA
    I'm gonna go listen to AA right now.....then I will tell you what I think. Thanks for posting!
  4. 120dB

    120dB Active Member

    Baltimore, MD
    Ever hear the song "Imposters Of Life's Magazine" by The Idle Race? Jeff Lynne manages to cram quite a few musical ideas into that one as well.
  5. Lord_Gastwick

    Lord_Gastwick Well-Known Member

    Pasadena, CA, USA
    Is Simon & Garfunkel's "America" under 3 minutes? If so, that wins for me.
  6. gilbert green

    gilbert green Ben Sumner

    Beautiful, maybe his best ever song. But is it 'complex"?
  7. Yes' version has a more complex arrangement but it's also a lot longer.

    Funny thing about that tune, none of the lyrics rhyme but it works somehow. Brilliant songwriting.
  8. vivatones

    vivatones Forum Resident

    Everlasting Love -- Robert Knight, Carl Carlton, and others

    A very artful combination of two different songs.
  9. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    The Easybeats "Heaven And Hell" - prog-mod-pop-rock in 1967!

    Attached Files:

  10. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Does it have to be rock?

    There are plenty of popular songs in other idioms that have extremely complex musical structures. For example, "Lush Life" by Billy Strayhorn or "Chega de Saudade" by A.C. Jobim.

    P.S. Or, is the OP looking for the most complex audio production?
  11. Dunno for sure but it just may be sitting there calling out to us on something like Rubber Soul or Revolver ... ;)
  12. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Mobile, AL USA
    The Beach Boys- "This Whole World" and under two minutes! :)
  13. steeler1979

    steeler1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nashville,Tn. USA
    Whatever you wanna bring to the party is fine with me :)
  14. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    Traffic- Hole In My Shoe
  15. jgarnet

    jgarnet Active Member

    Pity Good Vibrations comes in at 3.35, otherwise that would win for me!
  16. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    "God Only Knows" has some pretty complex chord changes and counterpoint.
  17. steeler1979

    steeler1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nashville,Tn. USA
    hey guys, around 3 minutes is acceptable, Hold On Tight is like 3:07 :D If it's over, so be it!
  18. steeler1979

    steeler1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nashville,Tn. USA
    I agree Jamie! Good to hear from you on here!
  19. "Lush Life" and "Chega de Saudade" are wonderfully complex compositions but over 3 minutes in length.
  20. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Not necessarily--it depends on who is performing them. The iconic original version of "Chega de Saudade" by João Gilberto is 1:59. It was an enormously popular hit single in Brazil in the late 1950s.

    But you're right, many performers love to stretch out on those songs...
  21. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I've always thought that The Turtles "Do You Know What I Mean" does a lot in a minimum amount of time.
  22. Good point and straight on the mark with the João Gilberto version of Chega de Saudade. :righton:
  23. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA
    Does "St. Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast" by Frank Zappa count as a pop song?
  24. extravaganza

    extravaganza Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA USA
    This is the first one I thought of - I just love all the twists and turns in this one. Brilliant. (I do have to comment that "Hold on Tight" is way underrated.)
  25. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    In Dreams by Roy Orbison is through-composed, with five distinct sections.

    Other tracks I'm a big fan of that are not straightforward in structure are Alice Long by Boyce and Hart and Incense and Peppermints by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page