Tuesday, April 14, 2015

40: Bad Day - Daniel Powter

I have an occasional dream of going back in time some twenty years or so, with nothing (perhaps some clothes) but my memory of everything is intact. What do I do in that scenario? Try to remember football results and make millions from the bookies? Try to avert major disasters? Buy shares in Apple?

No, of course not. I remember tunes, lyrics and arrangements of popular songs years before the actual songwriter publishes them and I get there first. I could get a whole string of success from songs and singers previously regarded as one-hit wonders. And the publishers would love it because there's an awful lot of songs and lyrics rattling around in this forty-year-old brain, could probably get a few strong albums out before having to resort to Billy Ray Cyrus.

And here's the first of them. I'd get into the studio, teach the session pianist how to play the basic tune (I don't really play the piano much), try to remember the rhythm for the loop track and record 'Bad Day' a couple of notes down from Powter's key. And I'd be a big smash hit, because it's such a darn fine song.

It's happy. That's the bottom line. It's a song about a bad day but it's happy. The gentle swing-rhythm carries you through the whole thing, the piano bubbles like a mountain spring a little like Bruce Hornsby on 'The Way It Is' but without dominating. You can't always make out the lyrics (although Powter is no David Gray in that regard) but the melody is happy, rambling and the verse melody in particular is strong enough that when he comes out of the bridge, progression can go back to the verse rather than straight back to the chorus.

Oh, and then there's the video. If you've never seen it, watch it through to the end. Not earth-shattering but it does what it does extremely well. There are only about two or three of the top forty where I'm going to stipulate that you gave to watch the video, but this is one.

You have to watch the video.

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