Sunday, October 09, 2011

Refreshing Beverage -- Reggie's Solo on 'Hooked on a Feeling'

What a name for a site! Refreshing Beverage!

This post is about Reggie's solo on Hooked on a Feeling:

"Young provides the melodic intro for the song over a chromatically descending chord pattern, a figure he no doubt came up with on the spot. He fills here and there through a pair of verse-bridge-chorus progressions, whence, aided by swelling strings and a ringing ride symbol, he takes flight with a 5-bar solo that’s utterly perfect and concise and bluesy, but totally of-the-tune. You can’t help feeling a little cheated as he arpeggiates the F chord that leads back into the bridge…but hold on…before you know it, the chorus comes and goes and – he basically does it all over again! (The outro solo actually extends a couple of extra bars before the fade…bonus!)

The dude knew he had a good thing, a solo so nice he played it twice. It provides exactly you want from a solo in a pop song – it takes you to another place, providing respite from the form, and it gives a lift to the tune, however brief, before the verse-bridge-chorus resumes (in this case just the latter two), sounding fresh again from their momentary absence. It provides both tension – in being a break away from the rest of the song – and release, by virtue of Young’s note choices; here, it makes a good song great. I didn’t understand the mechanics of it at 10, of course. I just thought it sounded really, really good. Looking back 40 years later, it turns out – I was right."

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