Friday, May 08, 2015

17: I don't want to talk about it - Everything But The Girl

Yes, this specific version. Not Rod Stewart (although his is, of course, good) nor Crazy Horse's original from 1971. From 1988, this was one of the summer tracks that was not only a pop hit but was easy-listening enough to be played on just about every radio station/genre at the time. So for about two months it was everywhere.

But coming back to it, after years and after self-teaching acoustic guitar, it suddenly became the track I wanted to play along to. Either following the finger-picking and solos on the track, or ad-libbing something else in the same key, it's one of the few tracks that when I hear it my first, immediate, and usually acted-on thought is: "where's the guitar?" As much as 'Piano In The Dark' up at number 32 was the start of my journey into piano instrumentals, this track is a huge, huge reason why I play the acoustic.

As for the song itself - I remember hearing it on the radio and thinking it was a song that just went round and round, no real progression to it, start and end points just arbitrary spots on the circle - hop on, go round a few times, hop off. Having played it since, I know there is some structure to it beyond just that, but listening to the song itself without paying much attention and it might as well just be round and round. And there's the hook - at least in EBTG's version - of the chord structure towards the end of the 'chorus' "if I stay here just a little bit longer..." (if you play it in B) going E to F# then back down to E and up to F# again... but that move from F# back down to E is played with the notes Bb and F# (part of F#) stepping quickly to A and F and then on to G# and E (part of E), probably the most memorable musical hook in the thing.

But really it makes the list just because I've never, ever got sick of it in twenty-seven years and it still makes me want to pick up the guitar today and see if I can do the Bb-A-G# drop while continuing to finger-pick the rest of it. It's a quality, quality arrangement of a decent, if unremarkable song, that for whatever reason has stuck with me and makes me WANT to play the guitar.

In fact as you listen to this, I think it might be time to go and pick the old Yamaha off the stand and see if it's in tune...

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