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All Posts Tagged Verse Chord Progression

Learn more about Verse Chord Progression here


City of Stars (La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | Sounds Like | Moves like Jagger (Maroon 5)

City of Stars by La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Moves like Jagger by Maroon 5

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Additional notes/observations: 

Elements of the song City of Stars (released August 31, 2016 and performed by Ryan Gosling in the film La La Land), are reminiscent of Maroon 5's Moves like Jagger (released June 21, 2011), Chris Isaak's Wicked Game (featured in the film Wild at Heart; released November 8, 1990), and Peter and Gordon's A World Without Love (penned by Sir Paul McCartney and released February 28, 1964). While City of Stars is in the key of A/F#min and Moves like Jagger is in D/Bmin, the first line of both verse melodies ("City of stars [...]" vs "[...] shoot for the stars [...]") are played over a B minor chord and feature the same sequence of diatonic notes with three short notes (B-C#-D, or 2-3-4) followed by a fourth sustained one (F#, or 6) on an identical word, and a whistled intro variation over B minor. Likewise, Chris Isaak's Wicked Game, which is in the same exact key as City of Stars, features these three short notes (B-C#-D) followed by a fourth sustained one (F# in the second verse, E in the first), over a B minor chord ("Strange word desire [...]"). Isaak's brooding baritone vocal also has a similar timbre/quality to Gosling's. Lastly, Peter & Gordon's A World Without Love (while in the key of E major), shares the same relative melody (2-3-4-6) as City of Stars, with three short notes followed by a fourth sustained one ("[...] care what they say").

City of Stars (:00) VS Moves like Jagger (1:12)

City of Stars
Key: A major/F# minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, E, F#min, F#min (ii, V7, vi, vi)
Bmin, E, Amaj7, Amaj7 (ii, V7, IM7, IM7)
Verse Vocal Melody:
B-C#-D-F# (2, 3, 4, 6)
G#-A-F#-G#-E-F#-C# (b7, 1, 6, b7, 5, 6, 3)


Moves like Jagger
Key: D major/B minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, Bmin, Bmin, Bmin (vi, vi, vi, vi)
Emin, Emin, Emin, Emin (ii, ii, ii, ii)
Verse Vocal Melody:
B-B-C#-D-F# (6, 6, b7, 1, 3)
F#-F#-F#-E-E (3, 3, 3, 2, 2)


Wicked Game
Key: A major/F# minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, A, E, E (ii, I, V, V)
Second Verse Vocal Melody:
B-C#-D-F# (2, 3, 4, 6)
E-D-C#-C#-B-A-G# (5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, b7)


City of Stars (:09) VS Wicked Game (Chris Isaak) (:26)


A World Without Love
Key: E major
Chorus Chord Progression:
F#min, B7, E (ii, V7, I)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
A-G# (4, 3)
F#-G#-A-C# (2, 3, 4, 6)
E-C#-D#-B-B-A-G#-F#-E (1, 6, b7, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)


City of Stars (:09) VS A World Without Love (Peter & Gordon) (:17)


Honorable mention:
City of Stars (:09) VS Stranger in Paradise (Kismet) (:59) (Stranger in Paradise's melody was openly taken from Alexander Borodin's "Gliding Dance of the Maidens"!)



I'm Still Standing (Elton John) | Sounds Like | Hot Summer Nights (Night)

I'm still standing by Elton John Hot Summer Nights by Night

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Additional notes/observations: 

While tempos and keys certainly differ, Elton John's I'm Still Standing (released July 3, 1983) seems to owe a debt to Night's top 40 US hit Hot Summer Nights (released 1979).

I'm Still Standing (:00) VS Hot Summer Nights (:00)



Hymn For The Weekend (Coldplay) | Sounds Like | Tell Me (Groove Theory)

Hymn For The Weekend by Coldplay Tell Me by Groove Theory

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Additional notes/observations: 

Coldplay's Hymn for the Weekend (released January 25, 2016) has a similar groove, verse vocal melody, and verse chord progression (relatively speaking) as Groove Theory's mid-90's chart-topper Tell Me (released September 5, 1995). Hymn for the Weekend's chorus vocal melody is also reminiscent of the intro vocal melody to fun's We Are Young, and Fabolous' Throw It In The Bag. Compare the melodies for the lines "[So if by the] time the bar closes and you feel like falling down" with "I-Oh-I-Oh/Got me feeling drunk and high."

Hymn for the Weekend (:44) VS Tell Me (:21) [verse vocal melody and groove]

Hymn for the Weekend (1:48) VS We Are Young (:41) [chorus vocal melody]

Hymn for the Weekend (1:48) VS Throw It In The Bag (Fabolous) (1:37)



You Belong to Me (Elvis Costello) | Sounds Like | The Last Time (The Rolling Stones)

You Belong to Me by Elvis Costello The Last Time by The Rolling Stones

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Additional notes/observations: 

Elvis Costello's You Belong to Me (released March 17, 1978) from his album This Year's Model pays homage to (or brazenly loots, depending on your perspective) the Rolling Stones' classic The Last Time (released February 26, 1965). Compare opening guitar riffs/verse chord progressions.

You Belong to Me (:00) VS The Last Time (:12)



When We Were Young (Adele) | Sounds Like | Bad Day (Daniel Powter)

When We Were Young by Adele Bad Day by Daniel Powter

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Additional notes/observations: 

Adele's When We Were Young (released January 22, 2016) from her record-breaking third studio album, 25, echoes several earlier pop hits including Bad Day by Daniel Powter (released 2005), Mary's Prayer by Danny Wilson (released April 6, 1987), Harmony by Elton John (released 1973), I Made It Through the Rain by Barry Manilow (released 1980) and more (SEE Below). In particular, When We Were Young and Bad Day share keys (Eb) and verse chord progressions. Compare the changes starting with WWWY's "'Cause I've been by myself all night long/Hoping you're someone I used to know" with Bad Day's line "You tell me your life's been way off line/You're falling to pieces every time/And I don't need no carrying on."

When We Were Young (1:02) VS Bad Day (:48)

When We Were Young
Key: Eb
Verse Chord Progression:
C min, G min, Ab, Eb/Gb (vi-iii-IV-I)
F min, Eb (ii-I) [first, second, and third ending]
F min, Bb (ii-V) [fourth ending]
Chorus Chord Progression:
Ab, Bb, G minor, Ab (IV-V-iii-IV)
Ab, Bb, G minor, Eb (IV-V-iii-V)
Eb, Eb/G, Ab, Bb (I-I-IV-V) [2x]
C min, G min, Ab, Ab min (vi-iii-IV-iv)
F min, Bb (ii-V)

Bad Day
Key: Eb
Verse Chord Progression:
Eb, Absus2, Bbsus (I-IV-V)
C min, G min/Eb, Ab, Eb/Gb (vi-iii-IV-I)
F min, Bb (ii-V)
Chorus Chord Progression:
Eb, Ab, F min, Bb (I-IV-ii-V)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Mary's Prayer (Danny Wilson) (:00)

When We Were Young (1:11) VS Harmony (Elton John) (:00)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Into The Night (Benny Mardones) (:27)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS I Made It Through The Rain (Barry Manilow) (1:08)

When We Were Young (1:28) VS Stuck On You (Lionel Richie) (:18)

When We Were Young (1:28) VS Too Much Heaven (The BeeGees) (:18)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order) (1:20)

When We Were Young (:23) VS Never Surrender (Corey Hart) (:20)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS It's Raining Men (The Weather Girls) (:58)

When We Were Young (1:03) VS Taking You Home (Don Henley) (1:05)

When We Were Young (:23) VS Young Girl (Gary Puckett and the Union Gap) (:00)

When We Were Young (:23) VS We Are The World (Michael Jackson et al) (:27)



Love Yourself (Justin Bieber) | Sounds Like | Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Bessie Smith)

Love Yourself by Justin Bieber Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out by Bessie Smith

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Additional notes/observations: 

The verse to Justin Bieber's hit Love Yourself (released November 9, 2015, and co-penned by Ed Sheeran and Benjamin Levin) uses a variation on a standard blues/ragtime chord progression first popularized by Bessie Smith in Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (released September 13, 1929), versions of which have been recorded by Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Janis Joplin et al.

Love Yourself (:10) VS Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (:11)

Love Yourself
Key: E
Chord Progression:
E, B/D#, C#min (I-V-vi)
F# min, E, B/D# (ii-I-V)

Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
Key: C
Chord Progression:
C, E7, A7 (I-III7-VI7)
D min, A7, D min (ii-VI7-ii)

Honorable mention:
All You Need Is Love (The Beatles) (:27)

How Deep Is You Love? (Bee Gees) (:17)

One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston) (1:45)

No Woman No Cry (The Fugees) (:00)

You Are The Best Thing (Ray LaMontagne) (1:32)

Chariot (Gavin DeGraw) (:40)

My Love Is Your Love (Whitney Houston) (:26)

Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley) (:08)



Renegades (X Ambassadors) | Sounds Like | Driver's Seat (Sniff 'n' the Tears)

Renegades by X Ambassadors Driver's Seat by Sniff 'n' the Tears

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Additional notes/observations: 

While X Ambassadors' hit Renegades (released March 3, 2015) mines the same folksy/jamboree territory as the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons, it's chord changes are reminiscent of British rock group Sniff 'n' the Tears' Driver's Seat (released 1979).
Renegades (:00) VS Driver's Seat (:00)



Just a Fool (Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton) | Sounds Like | Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.)

Just a Fool by Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

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Additional notes/observations: 

Christina Aguilera's and Blake Shelton's country pop duet Just a Fool (released December 4, 2012) is reminiscent of R.E.M.'s alt rock hit Everybody Hurts (released April 15, 1993). Both songs feature a similar verse rhythm guitar part and chord progression set in 6/8 time.

Just a Fool (:00) VS Everybody Hurts (:05)



One Last Time (Ariana Grande) | Sounds Like | Human (The Human League)

One Last Time by Ariana Grande Human by The Human League

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Additional notes/observations: 

Ariana Grande's One Last Time (released February 10, 2015) is reminiscent of The Human League's Human (released August 11, 1986), as well as Janet Jackson's Come Back to Me (:28) (released June 18, 1990--nearly 25 years ago today). Both of the aforementioned songs that preceded One Last Time, were written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the Minneapolis, Minnesota production duo that owned the Billboard Pop/R&B charts in the late 80s/early 90s. Similarities include: key (both songs are in Ab major), verse chord progression (both songs feature F minor-Eb/G-Ab-Db movement), and production arrangement (ethereal synth/rhodes keys, muted drum/kick).

One Last Time (:51) VS Human (:32)

One Last Time
Key: Ab
Verse Chord Progression:
F minor, Eb/G, Ab (vi-V6-I)
Db, F minor, Eb (IV-vi-V)

Human
Key: Ab
Verse Chord Progression:
Db major 9, Eb (IVM7-V)
F minor, Eb/G, Ab (vi-V6-I)
Db major 9 (IVM7)



Clouds (One Direction) | Sounds Like | 1901 (Phoenix)

Clouds by One Direction 1901 by Phoenix

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Additional notes/observations: 

The verse to One Direction's Clouds (released November 17, 2014) echoes many of the elements of Phoenix's 1901 (released February 23, 2009). Similarities include: same key (C major), tempo, fuzz synth bass lines that move from F to the A (or the IV to the vi), and staccato eight notes from a muted rhythm guitar.

Clouds (:14) VS 1901 (:00)

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