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bup
06-07-2013, 12:17 PM
What are some well-known pop songs since the birth of rock and roll that don't end on the "DO" of the scale - that just leave you hanging?

I'm not including songs that fade out into nothingness - I'm talking about songs that have an actual ending.

I've been trying since last night, and the only one I've come up with so far is Paul McCartney and Wings' Silly Love Songs, which ends with "and What's Wrong with That?..."

There must be a bunch more, right?

Flywheel
06-07-2013, 12:21 PM
Les Paul & Mary Ford's Magic Melody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxqh8JK9FyY).

Don't Panic
06-07-2013, 12:27 PM
Nitpick: Tonic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonic_%28music%29), not root.

JKellyMap
06-07-2013, 12:27 PM
It seems what you're really asking is not about songs whose melody ends on a note other than the root note of the scale of the key the song is in (this is quite common), but rather about songs which end on a chord that is not the tonic chord of the song's key -- this is quite unusual, as per the example you gave. Especially notable is when the other chord chosen to end the song is one which leaves the listener expecting a harmonic resolution which never arrives.* The example you gave is a good one. Another might be Steve Miller's The Joker, which, like the example you gave, ends in the middle of a verse.


(*Because there are lots of songs which, for example, change key for the last, repeated refrains -- typically, they go up a tone or half-tone -- e.g., Led Zeppelin's All My Love -- but this isn't what you're asking about.)

Labdad
06-07-2013, 12:30 PM
"Take it Easy" by the Eagles perhaps?

Crotalus
06-07-2013, 12:41 PM
Another might be Steve Miller's The Joker, which, like the example you gave, ends in the middle of a verse.Doesn't The Joker fade out?

And Labdad, good call. Take It Easy ends on the relative minor, Em in the key of G.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-07-2013, 01:13 PM
Take It Easy ends on the relative minor, Em in the key of G.

As does the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry."

bup
06-07-2013, 01:22 PM
As does the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry."
Oh, and Her Majesty. The root tonic, excuse me, is over at the beginning of Polythene Pam.

And I guess I Want You (She's So Heavy) counts as released, too, but isn't an example of unusual composition - just literal mid-note cut-the-tape.

74westy
06-07-2013, 01:40 PM
As does the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry."

At the end of side 2 of Abbey Road, Her Majesty ends on the 5. Sounds like it was supposed to be a quick 5-1 but the 1 got lost. In fact that's probably exactly what happened.

At the end of side 1, I Want You (She's So Heavy) ends on 6 but that's just a random point where they shut off the tape which is probably cheating. Hellbound Train by Savoy Brown does the same thing.

ETA: So I youtubed 2 Savoy Brown songs before posting and ... Darn you Bup! Darn you all to heck!

bup
06-07-2013, 01:48 PM
Darn you Bup! Darn you all to heck!It seems to be a rule in Cafe Society that you get all the Beatles' examples that fit a particular thread in early. I'm not one to eschew convention.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-07-2013, 01:59 PM
Jethro Tull's "Wind-Up" ends on the dominant (A in the key of D).

Kimble
06-07-2013, 02:26 PM
IIRC, Phil Collins's "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" ends somewhere weird -- I've forgotten too much music theory to remember exactly where.

Crotalus
06-07-2013, 02:35 PM
Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart ends on the 2 chord, F#m in the key of E.

K364
06-07-2013, 05:12 PM
As does the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry."I'm going to nitpick that one. The song is definitely in e minor, but starts with the chorus and a G major chord.

Anyway, on "Revolver" there are two successive tracks: "For No One" which ends on the V chord, and "And Your Bird Can Sing" which ends on the IV chord.

F. U. Shakespeare
06-07-2013, 05:59 PM
Another from the Beatles: "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away", which ends on a 5th.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-07-2013, 06:04 PM
I'm going to nitpick that one. The song is definitely in e minor, but starts with the chorus and a G major chord.

Nothing definite about it. The chorus, which both begins and ends the song, is firmly in G, which is what makes that final E minor chord sound weird. True, the verse melody switches to E minor, but even that resolves to a G chord after each line.

dataguy
06-07-2013, 06:09 PM
Traffic "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys"

I've wondered for ages what the hell is that last chord?
Whatever it is, I defy you to hear it in your head before it is played.
If someone can tell me what it is functionally, I'd appreciate it.

BigT
06-07-2013, 06:29 PM
At the end of side 2 of Abbey Road, Her Majesty ends on the 5. Sounds like it was supposed to be a quick 5-1 but the 1 got lost. In fact that's probably exactly what happened.

At the end of side 1, I Want You (She's So Heavy) ends on 6 but that's just a random point where they shut off the tape which is probably cheating. Hellbound Train by Savoy Brown does the same thing.

ETA: So I youtubed 2 Savoy Brown songs before posting and ... Darn you Bup! Darn you all to heck!

I don't know. Ending on the dominant is not that uncommon. I noticed a trend in doing it with worship music a few years back. Unfortunately, none of those songs will fit the thread.

BigT
06-07-2013, 06:39 PM
Nothing definite about it. The chorus, which both begins and ends the song, is firmly in G, which is what makes that final E minor chord sound weird. True, the verse melody switches to E minor, but even that resolves to a G chord after each line.

I'm not even sure I'd count the verses as being in E minor. There's an E minor chord throughout, but it always resolves in G major with a plagal cadence.

Plus the version I just listened to resolves on Fm, not Em.

TonySinclair
06-07-2013, 06:43 PM
Would Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" qualify? It ends on a weird chord.

Edit: Same for Cream's "Badge."

K364
06-07-2013, 07:49 PM
Nothing definite about it. The chorus, which both begins and ends the song, is firmly in G, which is what makes that final E minor chord sound weird. True, the verse melody switches to E minor, but even that resolves to a G chord after each line.

I'm not even sure I'd count the verses as being in E minor. There's an E minor chord throughout, but it always resolves in G major with a plagal cadence.

Plus the version I just listened to resolves on Fm, not Em.
"Definitely" was definitely the wrong adverb. There are major/minor ambiguities in a lot of Beatles songs... this is uh, definitely one them :)

I can buy the G Major position. The lack of the V chord is interesting. BigT for f minor, are you referring to the "Can You Take Me Back..." part... this is usually considered a different song (although not split on the album).

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-07-2013, 09:19 PM
"Roundabout" by Yes doesn't really fit the OP since it does end on the I, but it's the major I in an otherwise minor key song. This effect is known as the Picardy third.

I mention that in order to mention this: the Mothers of Invention's "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" is in C major, but ends with a repeated phrase that resolves to A minor--until the last iteration, when with a Picardy third-like twist it finally lands on A major, the VI of the home key.

JKellyMap
06-07-2013, 10:23 PM
I was going to mention various songs that end on a Picardy third (major I of a song mostly rooted in minor i), but that doesn't quite fit the OP's example of an unresolved ending.

For that, how about Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean"? Ends on a V, IIRC.

Elendil's Heir
06-07-2013, 10:43 PM
David Cook's "Come Back to Me" - one note shy of a complete resolution (but that's OK): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBF6IV8W-80

Mean Mr. Mustard
06-07-2013, 11:02 PM
Oh, and Her Majesty. The root tonic, excuse me, is over at the beginning of Polythene Pam.

And I guess I Want You (She's So Heavy) counts as released, too, but isn't an example of unusual composition - just literal mid-note cut-the-tape.

I'm feeling left out for some reason. :mad:


mmm

JKellyMap
06-08-2013, 07:40 AM
I'm feeling left out for some reason. :mad:


:) It's because you're mean and old. And dirty, too.

R.E.M.'s "New Test Leper" ends on a strange chord which appears nowhere else in the song. They should have just let the final chorus repeats fade out.

BigT
06-08-2013, 08:47 AM
BigT for f minor, are you referring to the "Can You Take Me Back..." part... this is usually considered a different song (although not split on the album).

I was. I didn't know about that. I know it's sacrilege, but I'm not much a BeetlesBeatles fan. And both the video and the chord site I verified it with have that as part of the song.

(See, I even initially misspelled the name of the group.)

Amateur Barbarian
06-08-2013, 09:01 AM
Doesn't The Joker fade out?
Yeah, because Steve Miller was frantically hunting around for other music "to be inspired by."

Pitchmeister
06-08-2013, 09:08 AM
One more Beatles song: A Hard Day's Night ends on a very complicated chord that is most definitely not the tonic.

JKellyMap
06-08-2013, 09:18 AM
One more Beatles song: A Hard Day's Night ends on a very complicated chord that is most definitely not the tonic.

I think it's just the IV, arpeggiated. You're right that it's not the tonic, but I think the "complicated" chord you have in mind is the one at the BEGINNING of the song.

JKellyMap
06-08-2013, 09:28 AM
Also, the non-tonic ending was for a specific reason: because the song was completed (though not initiated) to serve as the title track to a film, the final chord SHOULDN'T resolve -- it's meant to lead right into the action of the film.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
06-08-2013, 09:45 AM
You're right that it's not the tonic, but I think the "complicated" chord you have in mind is the one at the BEGINNING of the song.

It's arguably the exact same chord: Dm7 (add 11), which is v in the key of G. The root of the v is heard only on the final word "right" (note the bass) while the 12-string pattern that flows out of that beat is made up of the remaining notes of the chord.

JKellyMap
06-08-2013, 10:50 AM
It's arguably the exact same chord: Dm7 (add 11), which is v in the key of G. The root of the v is heard only on the final word "right" (note the bass) while the 12-string pattern that flows out of that beat is made up of the remaining notes of the chord.

Cool! I stand corrected.

EmilyG
06-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Some versions of "Four Strong Winds" end on a V chord, though I don't know if you'd call it a rock song.

This isn't a famous person, but I have a friend who's a singer-songwriter, who seems to enjoy ending the majority of his songs on a IV chord.

Quimby
06-08-2013, 02:20 PM
I not 100% sure I am understanding the OPs criteria but I always felt the song "Silent Lucidity" was unfinished. It feels like they want to say "Silent Lucidity" one last time and they don't which I find frustrating.

Weedy
06-10-2013, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure if this is true, but someone told me Call Me Maybe finishes this way, which is what made people want to listen to it over and over (because it never resolved).

bup
06-10-2013, 11:48 AM
Quimby, I thought I was asking for songs where the final note of the melody line was not the first note of the scale.

But I don't know a lot about music theory. To me, a song that finishes on a different chord, but where the melody line does end on "DO" sounds more resolved than one where the melody does just end without getting back 'home.'

If people want to mention songs that end on funny chords, that's cool. And I'm sure they know more than me.

Weedy, I think you're right - it ends on "Call Me, Maybe?" and I think Maybe? is a quick 6th then 5th.

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