High Noon and Proof of Paradise for October 2nd, 2012
Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer vs. Guns n' Roses's Sweet Child O' Mine
Bring on the 80's rock! Both of these bands were created in the mid 80's and are still kicking strong today! Yes, they've undergone some huge changes, Bon Jovi in musicality and Guns in band members, but they're still hugely popular today! This week's High Noon takes a look at their "signature songs," two of the most popular and well-known songs of their time and even today!
Livin' on a Prayer draws heavily from "Reaganomics." Written in 1986, during the height of the Reagan administration, the song goes into depth about Tommy and Gina's struggle to make ends meet. When it was released, it spent a few weeks at the top of the charts. However, it also drew a lot of heat from listeners, who debated whether the band was trying to make a statement about anti-labor or pro-labor. Jon Bon Jovi later said that he wrote the song during the height of the Reagan administration, and so, it's lyrics were influenced by the trickle-down economy that was happening at the time. So the song was really just a product of its environment. An interesting note: Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording, which can be found as a hidden track in the album 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong However, band member Richie Sambora managed to convince him to re-record the song with a new bass riff, reworked drum fills, and the use of a talk box. Also of note is the ending. The album ending fades out. The original studio ending can be heard when you play the song on the video games Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour. It goes back to the intro riff and has a talk box solo. I don't know why they didn't use it in the album release, but both versions are amazing.
Sweet Child O' Mine was originally written as a result of a joke made by Slash. He was doing some "string skipping" exercises, which quickly turned into him playing a "circus" tune while making faces at drummer Steven Adler. Adler joined in on the fun, resulting in a jam session, sans Axl Rose. He was actually upstairs while this jam session was in progress, and wrote out lyrics when he heard the music. Thus, the bulk of Sweet Child O' Mine was born. Rose originally wrote in three verses, but the third verse was scrapped by the band's producer, who felt the song would end up being too long. He instead asked for a final dramatic breakdown. Axl had no idea where to start, saying "Where do we go? Where do we go now?" The producer suggested that he use that, and thus, Sweet Child O' Mine was created. It's because of this origin that Slash possess his disdain for the song. Musically, this song has somethin special to it. It was composed in D-flat/C-sharp mixolydian mode (the equivalent to G-flat/F-sharp major). At the beginning of the guitar solo, it shifts to the aeolian mode (or the relative minor key), E-flat/D-sharp natural minor. This kind of shift is not commonly seen in rock music. More common is a shift to the "blues scale" or a simple three-chord progression where the song will shift to either of the two scales the two chords are based off of. This kind of musicality is what makes this song unique.
Ultimately, it is the strange shift in key that gives Sweet Child O' Mine the win. It's hardly heard in rock music, and Guns manages to use it effectively to create an amazing song. Both of these songs are great, but Gun managed to create a great song with an unorthodox method.
Proof of Paradise
Who: Bang Ambulance, Ithaca Police Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and more!
When: This past weekend (9/28-9/30)
Where: The Commons
What: For helping make this year's Apple Fest an amazing success! Bangs, thanks for keeping us safe and sound! IPD, thanks for keeping things as orderly as was possible for the amount of people this eyar! Cornell Cooperative Extension, thanks for helping with composting and recycling! And to all other organizations that helped make this year's Apple Fest a record breaker! Yes, this year's Apple Festival drew over 35,000 people, a record high!