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A flood of flat-sevenths - Soundscape


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Guitar Chord Progression:

VIIb - Flat Seventh Chord - Chord

Other Chord progressions

From Alan W Pollack's "Notes on "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"":

The Rise of the flat-VII Chord

The flat-VII chord turns out to be a Beatles favorite over the long run, and though you can find a small but constant scattering of examples of it in the earlier albums, it seems to get a major boost in popularity on the _Help!_ album.

Look back, you'll be amazed to note that flat-VII appears for the first time on the PPM album in "P.S. I Love You" and the cover, "Taste of Honey." _WTB_ has "Don't Bother Me" (hey, George!) and "All My Loving." _AHDN_ has the title track, "When I Get Home," and "I'll Be Back."

On the _Help!_ album, you find that in addition to the title track, the next *four* Len/Mac songs on side one all contain this special chord; i.e. "The Night Before", our current song, "Another Girl", and "You're Going to Lose that Etc." Does this perhaps give you the feeling that the composer(s) were having a field day playing with a new harmonic "toy" so to speak ?

An exhaustive exploration of where the Beatles got the flat-VII chord from and the different ways in which they used it would require searching through one or both of the following:

- Any song covered by the Beatles that has the chord.

- Any song from the pre-Beatle era pop song repertoire correlated with music the Beatles would have been familiar with even if they didn't include it in their repertoire.

Major progressions with the flat VII (VIIb) chord are:

I-IIIb-IV-V-VIIb-V
I-IIIb-VIIb-IV-V
I-IV-VIIb-IIIb-I
I-V-VIIb-I
I-vi-IV-ii-VIIb-I I-VI-VIIb
I-VIb-VIIb
I-VIIb
I-VIIb-I-IV7
I-VIIb-IIIb
I-VIIb-IV-I
I-VIIb-IV-V
I-VIIb-VIb-V-(I)
IV-VIIb-I
IV7-IIIb-VIIb7-IIIb
VIb-IIIb-VIIb-IV-I
VIb-VI-VIIb
VIb-VIIb-I
VIb-VIIb-III
VIIb-IV-I
VIIb-vi-II7

Recordings with the VIIb Flat Seventh Chord progression - Annotaded

  • The Beatles - All My Loving -
  • The Beatles - Another Girl -
  • The Beatles - Cry Baby Cry -
  • The Beatles - Dear Prudence -
  • The Beatles - Dig A Pony -
  • The Beatles - Doctor Robert -
  • The Beatles - Every Little Thing -
  • The Beatles - Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey -
  • The Beatles - For No One -
  • The Beatles - Get back -
  • The Beatles - Happiness Is A Warm Gun -
  • The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night -
  • The Beatles - Hello, goodbye -
  • The Beatles - Help -
  • The Beatles - Hey Bulldog -
  • The Beatles - I Don't Want to Spoil The Party -
  • The Beatles - I feel fine -
  • The Beatles - I Me Mine -
  • The Beatles - I'm a Looser -
  • The Beatles - I've Got a Feeling -
  • The Beatles - If I Needed Someone -
  • The Beatles - In My Life -
  • The Beatles - It's Only Love -
  • The Beatles - Lady Madonna -
  • The Beatles - Love You To -
  • The Beatles - Mean Mr Mustard -
  • The Beatles - The Night Before -
  • The Beatles - PS I Love You -
  • The Beatles - She Said She Said -
  • The Beatles - She's Leaving Home -
  • The Beatles - Taxman -
  • The Beatles - Ticket to ride -
  • The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows -
  • The Beatles - We can work it out -
  • The Beatles - The Word -
  • The Beatles - Yer Blues -
  • The Beatles - You're Going To Lose That Girl -
  • The Beatles - You've Got To Hide Your Love Away -
  • J J Cale - Cocaine -
  • Eric Clapton - Cocaine -
  • Eric Clapton - If I Don't Be There In The Morning -

  • Books covering the progression -

    Further references:

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