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OK, here's a bizarre thing I noticed...


Trindy

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OK, here's something I noticed while listening to "IT" on XM Radio...the "history of pop music."

I was listening along in the early '70s, I think it was, when along came a song I'd never heard before by a soul group called the Impressions--"Choice of Colors."

I stopped dead in my tracks, and here's why.

Although the main VOCAL line was nothing like any Raspberries song I had heard...the MELODY line of the song was so much like the melody line of the backing vocals in "I Can Remember" (the one sung "Memories, memories..." etc.) that I was just STUNNED.

I couldn't help but wonder...could this song have somehow influenced "I Can Remember"? Did Eric, or even Wally, ever hear it? Not saying anyone deliberately set out to copy it, but could it have wiggled its way into the back of their heads and somehow proved an inspiration?

One of the reasons it struck me as strongly as it did was that here, once again, that melody line was not playing the role of the line the lead vocal was being sung to, but rather a contrast to that vocal. The lead line was being sung AGAINST that melody. So it really stood out for me.

Anyone else heard this song and understand what I'm talking about? Or am I just hearing things where they aren't?

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I've never heard it nor heard *of* it, but now I want to. There are so many similarities in music, whether in melody, rhythm, chords or just the "treatment" of a background word like "memories." There are only so many things one can do to the word "memories," (or any other word), and that can lead to sound-alikes.

Background vocals of a repeated word are usually sung "against" the melody, or they would get lost. Then, given that there are only so many logical possibilities of chord progressions/melodic sequences that make sense, songwriters are really pretty limited as to what they can do. Hence, MORE sound-alikes.

Then there is my theory that certain songs and/or parts of songs are just so great they would "have" to get written. Yep, I do believe that if old Ludwig van Beethoven didn't write his "fifth," somebody else would have. There have been a few times the most gorgeous melody (and sometimes with words!) came into my head, but I was driving or teaching and didn't have time to write it down. Later, when I tried to remember it I couldn't. Just couldn't get it back. Too late--somebody else grabbed it!

Maybe parts of this song filtered out of the cosmos into a couple (or maybe more, who knows?!) songwriters' heads. George Harrison never heard "He's So Fine" when he wrote "My Sweet Lord," but that song is "so fine" it was just CRYING to be written. And at least TWO people heard it!

smile --Darlene

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I was under the impression that "I Can Remember" has it roots in classical music. Eric has gone to his classical roots a few times to find melodies to adapt and ICR seems like it could be one of those. But maybe I have that impression because the song just seems like a symphony for a rock band.

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With all the similarities we hear in music, (and, given the nature of music and words also, there is more music that sounds alike than that sounds different) it's tempting to say that a songwriter or composer got his/her idea from "that song" or this one.

The truth is that everyone is simultaneously influenced by so many different elements that often the *songwriter* isn't even sure what the major influence was for his/her creation. Such influences are very subtle and often go completely unnoticed by the writer of record until someone else announces, "This song sounds like (whatever)."

All his/her influences, working together, shape a writer's style, and sometimes not even for long, as that style evolves. As we each hear different details of a song or style, we all have different ideas as to what influenced whom. It's very interesting to speculate, though. cool

smile --Darlene

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The "I Can Remember" riff (basically a major 7th to a root chord) has been used in a lot of songs. The one that comes to mind right away is "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra. "I Can Remember"'s pattern is 1-2-2, while "Love's Theme"'s is 1-1-2. Other than that, they're identical.

"Choice of Colors" is a wonderful song, and Trindy's analysis is spot-on...that same chord pattern is played beneath the lead vocal's melody line.

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You know what, mamacote...the very first time I heard "Never Be the Same," I fell hard for it.

You have pinpointed why...the unconscious reason I was not even aware of until you nailed it.

It's the damn chord line.

And thanks, Mike, for confirming my "impression"...because it's even more profound on "Choice of Colors."

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