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PD: The chromatic flat-VII chord30 Oct 2002 07:23
Last updated june 2003

Probably everyone here knows the "hard-rock" riff in Doing All Right. It goes like this:
E > B > D > A

the same with functions:
I > V > bVII > IV

It has a nice descending chromatic inner line:
E - D# - D - C#

There is at least another Queen song with this progression:
Pain Is So Close To Pleasure ("when I was young...")
It is followed by I > V > bVII > ii , that also has that chormatic line.

Beatles scholar Ian Hammond has made a nice research of this chord progression:

I add a pre-"It's Only Love" example from 1963:
"Popsicles and Icicles" by the Murmaids (it was a #3 song back then) opens with the same chord progression:
I > iii > bVII > IV
The actual songwriter (David Gates) in an interview considered himself the first to use it.

This one is even eralier:
Shadows: Wonderful Land from 1962 (1,5,b7,4)
the chromatic line is not "highlighted"

other early examples:
Rolling Stones: Ruby Tuesday (early 1967)
Jimi Hendrix: One Rainy Wish
Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata:

Doing All Right (written and first recorded in 1968-69)

Now I'm Here has something similar progression, but reversed and twice as long.
There is a guitar fill in Was It All Worth It too, but functionally not the discussed case.

Does enyone know about the 1-5-b7-4 progression used anywhere else?
My founds:
Deep Purple's "Highway Star" has something like that (keyboard solo).
TLC: Waterfalls
Lionel Richie: My Destiny
Belinda Carlisle: Leave A Light On For Me
Beach Boys: Finders Keepers (1963): E > B > D > A, close but no cigar.
Functionally it is another case: V > II > IV > I  and the last chord (A) pivots to D Major.

And finally a classical example: Couperin:  "Le RevĂ©ille-Matin" with a close variation of the cliche:

I > V/3 > v/3 > IV/3

Note, that the v chord is the relative chord of bVII. (Also check "My Melancholy Blues")

Post was edited on 05 Sep 2009 06:41
1.Sebastian 04 Dec 2002 19:10
E > B > D > A, it's just the opposite of the intro of 'The End', you know, A D B E.

PS: The End of Beatles, not from the Doors
2.PD 06 Dec 2002 17:20
The functions in the intro of "The End" are I > IV > II > V. (bVII chord is not used, and the linked essay of I.H. also omits it). The progression of course has the chromatic line in question. The progression is also used in "Hold Me Tight".
Strangely the original "Doing All Right" predates the release of "Abbey Road". The more strange is that Paul McCartney have probably heard "Doing All Right" in 1969, when Smile sent their demos to Apple.
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