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Favorite Bridges: Eric's & Others


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I remember a while back when I wrote that the Brian Wilson was not the hottest bridge writer, and Eric commented via Bernie, that one of the greatest bridges is "maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true..." in "Wouldn't it Be Nice"....he is right...that is one amazing bridge.

bahoo

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I'm embarassed to say this...but I don't know what a 'bridge' is! (The extent of my musical understanding is limited to a bad rendition of the Theme to Jaws on the piano.) I've seen 'bridges' mentioned a million times here, but I'm not sure I could spot one unless I was driving on it. Can someone help me understand?

Dave

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I heard Billy Joel explain the construction of a song as a meal. You are eating a great meal of verse and chorus, and then comes a new and wonderful taste in the bridge. A good bridge compliments the rest of the meal, but offers a fresh and different flavor. I like his analogy.

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My Favorite Eric Carmen bridge "Never gonna fall in love again"

Another favorite bridge-First Class-"Beach Baby"

Another thing to remember about songs and bridges...You don't absolutely have to have a bridge...A bad bridge can wreck a great song...So if you feel a song doesn't need a bridge...Do as I do...Just chuck it!

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i just can't help putting lennon/mccartney at the top of THIS list/thread.

'this boy'

'if i fell'

'here there & everywhere'

'you're gonna lose that girl'

harrison jumped on the train, and got his writing chops wet with songs like 'if i needed someone'. then the masterpiece called 'something' put in the "bridge club" for life!

as for eric - he knew what he was doing at the START! gatw, iowbwy, let's pretend, etc.

can't forget pete ham, more so than tommy evans. he was a pop gem writer who left us too soon.

and yes - webb, bacharach, king, diamond, boyce/hart. i'll even throw albert hammond's name into the ring. oh, god...can't forget graham gouldman!!!! he wrote 'bus stop', 'look through any window', 'for your love', 'no milk today'...i'll stay on this posting forever if i don't stop now!

oh crap...i'm stuck in england and not america, aren't i???????

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HELLO???????????

1. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

2. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

3. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

4. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

5. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

6. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

7. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

8. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

9. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

10. GO ALL THE WAY- Raspberries

Get The Message???

IMHO the Über BRIDGE in "Go All The Way" is the "Pet Sounds" of bridges... just absolutely spectacular & so defining....

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Think about it this way, the basic components in most songs are the verse and chorus. The bridge is usually the part that isn't verse or chorus :-) Usually right after the bridge the song would progress back into a verse or chorus. Easy, right?

The best bridges are the ones that come out of nowhere and completely hijack the song into a new and different place. It is exhilirating when done well! In "Go All the Way," we'd be talking about the part where Eric sings:

Before her love I was cruel and mean,
I had a hole in the place where my heart should have been
But now I've changed,
And it feels so strange
I come alive when she does all those things to me

And she says,
"Come on" (Come on)
"Come on" (Come on)
"Come on" (Come on)
"Come on" (Come on)
"I need you" (Come on)
"I love you" (Come on)
"I need you" (Come on)

Quite a bridge, indeed.

Bernie

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Disclaimer: Me no songwriter.

Not to confuse, but you will also hear the term 'middle eight', which can be, but doesn't have to be, the same as the bridge. Middle eights are usually eight measures (hence the name), and can stand alone; whereas the bridge (as per the name), connects two other things (a verse and a chorus, or visa versa). Kirk.

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My Favorite Bridges: Baby's In Black, I Don't Want To Spoil The Party (They're almost identical but BIB is more magical). Wouldn't It Be Nice (sheer brilliance, this is where I learned that you could use the bridge as the intro to the song and add the element of familiarity to an otherwise "new" part of the song. *see Go All The Way.) I'll have to put some thought into which bridges of my own songs I really like. She Remembered was a very good one. It just fell out of my head. I didn't realize how odd the time signature was until afterward when I tried to find the proper drum beat for it. Jeff Porcaro played drums on it and he played only to the piano. It was almost like we had telepathy on that track. Jeff just instinctively played everything I heard in my head. Pure magic. ec

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"If I Fell" by the Beatles is one of my all-time favorites. Is the opening a bridge of sorts?

"If I fell in love with you,

Would you promise to be true?..."

It is a stand alone great piece that seems to fit Bernie's definition.

Also does this song have an unusual structure? It seems to have no chorus.

Sorry if I'm off-base. I'm not a musician-this song though always struck me as somehow unique for a "pop" song.-Ira.

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one of the coolest bridges is Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going out with Him?"...

"but if looks could kill, there a man ...."

What is really cool is that Joe starts the song with a musical intro...the same chords used during the bridge....that intro is KILLER...and magically when the bridge happens, it almost sounds like a complete different piece than the intro, yet they are one and the same...

bahoo

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Of course, Lennon & McCartney and Brian Wilson have catalogs full of great bridges. I always have loved the one in the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" ("Don't know why she's ridin' so high..."). And like Eric, I love the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" bridge. What a great "change-up" section....

One underrated EC song that has a similarly effective bridge is "My Girl." I especially love the 2nd part of it ("We'll stick together like the moon and the night time...."). The vocal arrangement in that section is awesome, and the whole effect is as uplifting as it gets.

Another great Brian Wilson bridge (among many) is: "I don't know where but she sends me there/Oh my my what a sensation...." etc.

Paul, I have a quick question for you: I love "If I Fell" --- I used it countless times as a soother for my younger daughter a couple years ago. She loves those harmonies. But what part is the bridge? It seems all verse-and-chorus, unless I somehow missed something after all these listenings.

I totally agree with you on the way George Harrison developed a real knack for the art. He learned from the best, didn't he?

--LC

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OOOPS on "If I Fell." Ira posed the same question 20 minutes before I did! Sorry about that.... I got waylaid while writing that last post.

"If I Fell" sure is an unusual structure, Ira! Pure genius by John Lennon, and among the best examples of harmonizing in the Beatles' catalog.

Eric, good call on "On the Beach." And for a real change-up, "Let's Pretend." All that sweet, melodic "yearning" suddenly gave way to "So take me now, my love can't wait..." Great example of what Bernie talked about in his description of a bridge.

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If you think of Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful," you have a song with two parts that are exactly the same. If you call them "choruses," then the song has no verses. If you call them verses, the song has no chorus. In either case, it has no "bridge," or part that is different from either the verse or the chorus.

A common formula for the structure of songs is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge and whatever you want after the bridge (verse and chorus, or chorus or just a coda {fancy ending} tacked onto the end).

A song can be written however you want. It doesn't have to have a bridge at all (like Joe Cocker's YASB).

I love Raspberries and Eric Carmen songs because in addition to world class elements, (especially bridges), they use chords and modulations (changing keys) to take you to places you would never expect. Truly ingenious. It isn't easy to write a "great" song.

smile --Darlene

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