Wow. My head was spinning, 'cause I didn't remember much guitar on this song…until I remembered oh yeah, Volume 2 of the Warbles!
But I didn't think that's what the band did at all in the album version verses. So I dusted off The Big Express (whereas I played ES just the other day) and started dissecting the verses.
(WARNING: If music dissection makes you queazy, stop reading now. For me, this is fun.)
The verse chords on Andy's demo are Cadd2 (870088, CEDGGC) to B7. His melody stays in Bm over the C(2) - fairly dissonant. The band went for a different kind of dissonance.
Colin (flanged? Newport?) Bass:
8th note hi Bs, then 8va (octave up) riff: B D E A B D E F# E F# (3x) to low B 8ths, and repeats from riff.
E7sus4/B: notes B D E A (on guitar this is x.x.184.108.40.206, a stretch)
1st riff notes: D E A B D E A B E7sus4/B: notes B D E A B5 8ths
then repeats except for 2nd riff notes are: A B D A B D
On V2, the high harmony voice (Colin?) moves up a half step on the 2nd half of "mind" as Andy moves down from the major 3rd to the 2nd, so vocally the chords move from B (B D# F#) to Bsus2#5 (B C# G) - even though the keys seem to stay on the B5. I assume Colin sings the Chorus falsetto, but can't tell if its Andy or Colin doing the counter line.
This is exactly what I love about XTC: the contrasting parts, the voice leading between consonance and dissonance, the contrary motion, the counter vocal lines. Those guys were pretty good! A great lesson on how great bands make great songs better.
I'd love to know how this song morphed from the demo to the album. I assume you liked the changes or they wouldn't have happened (good call IMHO.) Were they done internally before David Lord appeared, or did he make suggestions? Are there other things you tried/recorded but didn't use? And is this too many questions?
I confess I've not played the piano part to 'You're The Wish...' since we re-recorded it for a BBC session 27 years ago, and I'm too busy at the moment to re-examine it! I liked the dissonance of the verses and the instantly-appealing sing-along nature of the choruses, and it was fun to play, but there are a lot more chord movements in it than those charted by Andy's APE transcription. I was living out my Donald Fagen fantasy at the time.
I wonder if Andy realizes how much his guitar was mixed down on the Big Express recording. I don't even hear it until halfway through the chorus, on the big hit chords of "I wonder…." But I'm sure not going to bring it up to him.
The "Transistor Blast" recording - the one Dave refers to - is, I think, a better guide to use for Andy's guitar chart.
bluedemon25: No ones going to comment on the new Colin song/music video out? I liked it. I know it's not about puns, body parts, or sports, but I thought it'd get excited mention from someone.
Jul 8, 2021 0:55:05 GMT