Monday, June 6, 2011

An Indispensable Passage

"Don't Worry Baby"
Recorded in January-February 1964

June 2011, Greensboro, N.C.

"After the second hook, [in] the
average pop song [an] instrumental obbligato
[an indispensable passage] often happens....

[Composer] Brian [Wilson] chooses
to...restate the intro, with its trick of remaining
on an A chord in the fourth measure
while the bass goes to B.

"However, this new beginning differs from the
first one because the background singers lay out
again, and the foreground is occupied by 
the surf guitar hitting simple
staccatto E and A chords 
over the intro harmony....

"In its own way, this is totally brilliant.
The last thing that would work 
here would be [an] intricate noodle solo 
on guitar. That would totally ruin the mood.

Anything smarmy on [a] new instrument (strings? horns?)
would err as egregiously in the other direction.
Nonetheless, we needed some relief, and this
choice re-uses the nice intro trick with a slightly
different color to set up the song's essential message:

"True love should eliminate the worries that
accompany day-to-day life and its conflicts."

--Music critic Greg Panfile

I couldn't have said it better myself.