Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Silly Guitar Solos

In the past all pop songs with respect for themselves had a guitar solo or two. I remember reading this songwriting column in Keyboard Magazine in the 80s, and the solo was for all practical reasons considered to be a songwriting rule. Thus, not all solos that emerged could possibly be as innovative and exciting as, say, Free Bird or Stairway to Heaven. Starting with this entry I'll try to dig up some of the stuff that really don't impress me much. So without any further ado, I present to you:

Say You'll Be Mine (1:16 -> 1:36)
Offender: Jay Graydon
Christopher Cross (Christopher Cross, 1979)

This one sounds like a very poor Steely Dan leftover track. Fagen and Becker probably laughed their asses off (to lend an expression I learned from mr. Jason Hare) when they "charitably" decided to hand this track over to the young mr. Cross. It starts off with some nonsensical scale exercises, fumbles around, hangin' on to notes, repeating figures, in constant search of a way to end the misery. Even though it does end with those trademark Graydon multilayered chords that I usually love, there's no denying it: This is an utterly useless, pointless and ultimately laughable guitar solo. In his defence, the rhythm section doesn't make it easy for mr. Graydon, guiros not excepted.

Technical ability: 10. Artistic value:1. Silliness: 10.
(a perfect score for an ideal silly guitar solo)

3 comments:

Jason said...

Wow, that phrase came from me? I think it's actually a fairly typical American phrase...I'm honored to be the one to pass it on!

So the ony thing to add to this entry, of course...is a clip! (I recommend Audacity for all your sound editing needs. :)

Have you been to Jay Graydon's website? Check out the discography. I bet you have all of the stuff on there.

decadentsmooth said...

Jason, my English was a blank sheet, tabula rasa - the perfectly sterile and bland product of a Shakespeare-loving snob of an English teacher until I started to read blogs. Whenever I break the rules and use - gasp - slang and colloquialisms , I need someone to blame.

It needs a clip, I agree. I wasn't sure whether to use audio-clips on the blog, but... oh, what harm can 20 seconds of musical nonsense do? I'll add it...

You're right, of course - Graydon's prominently represented in my collection.

Jason said...

Thanks for adding the clip: you hit this one right on the mark!