Rent, the perfect pop song?

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jormis
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Re: Rent, the perfect pop song?

#16 Post by jormis »

rabagast wrote:
shaunh7 wrote:Anybody else read this in a newpaper a few years ago.
A professor of music said that rent was technically one of the best songs ever written.
It was on about the chord changes and the melody, not being a musician I can't remember exactly what was said but would be interested to know if anyone else could remember this.
The chorus chord change is indeed very clever, and impressive for someone who, at that point, had only written an handful of songs.
I the prof is referreing to "the" chord change (F-Bm) in Rent then
FYI, there's a similar chord change in Liberation, too.

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Aaron
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#17 Post by Aaron »

Rent is still in my top 3 PSB songs and I think it stands out on Actually. I think the album version is amazing and the best version but I have a fondness for that cold urban sound that the PSB used to be so good at.

However I do enjoy the acoustic versions that Neil does now as well and I also agree, I Want To Wake Up probably would have been a better choice for a single than Rent, but that wouldn't have stopped Rent from being one of my top three favourites.

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jamie1978
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#18 Post by jamie1978 »

Rent is one of the best songs the pet shop boys have ever written.

And actually, its probably one of the best songs ever written by anyone.

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Vince
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#19 Post by Vince »

I LOVE Rent.... it sorta carries you onto some strange plane of emotion.....
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Janet Street-Porter
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#20 Post by Janet Street-Porter »

jormis is correct - it's the chord change that the boffin was referring to. I think he must have been a fan though because it's hardly the most famous of songs.

Rent's a masterpiece; it's so icy cool and dismissive but heartbreaking at the same time. Pure Imperial PSB when they could do no wrong and the Palladium performance of it is one of my favourite PSB moments ever.

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Ewok
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#21 Post by Ewok »

The PSB studio-version still sounds rather simple and boring to me, but hearing the cover versions of this song (especially by Liza Minelli, Suede and Carter USM) or the Radio XFM version I think it's a masterpiece indeed.

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ArseSpanker
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#22 Post by ArseSpanker »

I remember this article, it was in a newspaper after someone had been sued by their neighbour for playing Whitney's 'I Will Always Love You' at full blast over and over. The article compared the two songs, saying that IWALY was technically irritating because it was a repetative two chord prgression (I may not be quite right on this point, it was years ago though, so sue me!) whereas 'Rent', being an eight chord progression, etc... was technically brilliant.

I like this because:

A) 'Rent' is my favorite song ever.

B) 'I Will Always Love You' is my least favorite song. Ever (especially that bit where the music stops... a moment to reflect... a drum beats... and... and... Whitney lets rip like a particularly emotionless whale that works at a fruit and veg stall and is trying to convince passers-by to buy Granny Smith's at a knock down rate by bellowing at them at the top of her voice, meanwhile people run for cover and a particularly large and hard of hearing sperm whale in the Atlantic gets 6 down in his fresh fruit wordsearch. This is the most terrible moments in the history of popular music and maybe sound itself. I envy the deaf sometimes, really I do. Am I rambling? Sorry...). And...

C) It suggests that the English legal system may in fact be doing good and making the sensible decisions. Next stop; outlaw the playing of Whitney records and my faith will be restored.

Thank you very much.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect or represent those of its author.

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#23 Post by Guest »

I also love the acoustic version performed live by Sylvia Mason :)

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Enrique
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#24 Post by Enrique »

Funnily enough, back in 1989 I got a Yamaha PSS170 toy keyboard (not even MIDI!) and the "8-beat" auto-accomp. sounded just like Rent is on Actually! It was sooo easy to recreate the track... :lol:

Years after, I discovered "We're the PSB" production is factory pattern #69 on Yamaha's DJX-II. Maybe My robot friend got it from that synth, but wonder if N&C know about that...!
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Jack
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#25 Post by Jack »

Rent is definitely a masterpiece AND a perfect pop song. But I think this is the case because it is more than the sum of it's parts. It just has that magic 'something' that some songs, however simple, have, whilst others don't. I bet it was written in five minutes flat, except the lyrics. But I really fail to see how there is anything clever about the chord progression per se.
I wonder if there are any other songs that use exactly the same chord progression? It's pretty simple so it wouldn't surprise me. It's the way the rhythm, the melody and the chord change work together (without wanting to state the obvious!).

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#26 Post by Eldritch »

Jack wrote:Rent is definitely a masterpiece AND a perfect pop song. But I think this is the case because it is more than the sum of it's parts.
I totally agree. It has a rare conceptual brilliance that's way beyond chord structures. The whole song speaks out an emotional truth ("I love you") but yet manages to put it in a completely fresh, economical context. The naked simplicity and honesty of the chorus opens the song to different possible interpretations, while in the same time the underlying melody and Neil's emotive vocals sort of confirm the romance inherent in the song – ie. that the narrator really loves the other person, no matter if he pays the rent or not.
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Dipso
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#27 Post by Dipso »

ArseSpanker wrote:I remember this article, it was in a newspaper after someone had been sued by their neighbour for playing Whitney's 'I Will Always Love You' at full blast over and over. The article compared the two songs, saying that IWALY was technically irritating because it was a repetative two chord prgression (I may not be quite right on this point, it was years ago though, so sue me!) whereas 'Rent', being an eight chord progression, etc... was technically brilliant.
Ooh yeah, I remember that article too. It was quite a few years ago now. I also recall an interview with Johnny Marr where he said that Neil was the most technically perfect musician he had ever met.

So there you go.
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