Here is a look at three popular songs of the early-mid Sixties. “Sealed with a Kiss” that was originally released by the popular Four Brothers but became a hit for Brian Hyland…
Save your heart for me, which was released by Brian Hyland, but became a hit (number two at the end of 1965) for Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and….
and “This Diamond Ring” (chords and lyrics here) recorded first by Sammy Ambrose, but made a number one hit by “Gary and the Playboys” (competing with great songs of the era such as “I Feel Fine” “You’ve Got that Loving Feeling” “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” “My Girl” and “Downtown”).
What does “This Diamond Ring” remind you of? Beatles’songs? Perhaps the Shadows?
I’m reminded of “Sukiyaki” which is a story in itself
According to David Brackett and his predecessors, we can analyze songs in terms of the
a. norms – mainstream conventions since 1900
b. sub-norms – particular era, say the 60s
c. style – e.g., teenybop, tin pan alley, British, Motown etc.
d. idiolect – style traits
e. works and performances – the particular recording or show
But professors sometimes parse and theorize too much. For example, he writes “The advantage of Stefani’s model over either a purely structuralist emphasis on codes which ignores their reception or a Chomskyian notion of linguistic competence which posits a trans-cultural human “nature” notion of context.“ This is a sentence only academics can understand. If at all.
After all, if researchers could analyze why certain songs succeed while others fail, wouldn’t computers be really good at composing the best popular songs of ever?
And to what extent does the actual recording influence its success? Have a look at the video comparing covers and originals.
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