Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The best rock song ever written

A '59 Gretsch shatters the silence with a lone A chord, backed by manic stabs at a processed Lowery Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ. Thirty seconds later, another A chord explodes from the guitar, paired with thunderclap drums, and an earth-shattering note from the famous Frankenstein bass. Thus opens the greatest rock song ever written, "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who.

Forty-three seconds into the song come the lyrics. The song depicts the potential fallibility of the democratic political system. The first verse describes political unrest and protest as it becomes increasingly violent. In the second verse, those in power are ousted in favor of the revolutionaries, but the lightning-fast changes expected by the protesters do not come as quickly as expected. The bridge foreshadows the third verse, in which our revolutionaries find out that their leaders are just as lacking as those they cast out, and that in the end, nothing gets changed.
The frustration at this situation builds through the guitar solo, then into a quiet, reflective, fifty-five seconds of organ stabs. The chords build in intensity, culminating in one of the best drum solos ever recorded, which in itself builds to the crescendo, the final release of all the tension created in the song through a soul-rending scream.

The lyrics finish off with a reminder that in the end, everything is same old, same old, and the music ends with powerful, angry chords ripped from the guitar, matched in intensity by the bass and drums.

Is it any wonder I get goose bumps every time I see the open to CSI: Miami? No, it's not Emily Procter and Khandi Alexander that do it to me, it's Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon.

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