I don’t usually do ‘Song for Sunday’ type posts, but felt inspired today.
I was listening to Broadcasting House, the Sunday morning magazine programme on BBC Radio 4 this morning, and there was a feature on why Baby by Justin Bieber is a classic pop song. It has all the hallmarks – being written in E flat major – a classic key, and featuring the The Doo-Wop chord progression as used in Ben E King’s sublime Stand by me and also by Mozart in La Clemenza di Tito. That descending bassline is great; Baby may be a well-crafted pop-song, but it doesn’t do it for me, and I don’t believe it’ll have any longevity beyond being the Beibster’s first big hit.
I could offer you Procul Harum’s wonderful A Whiter Shade of Pale (based on Bach of course), which goes down the whole octave in its chord progressions – a ground bass. Instead, I offer one of my favourite pop songs of all time, which shares the same bassline, but has wonderful over the top orchestration and the wonderfully ironic dead-pan delivery of Neil Tennant’s singing. I love this song so much, it might even make my fantasy Desert Island Discs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you It’s a sin…