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Smoke Of Distant Fire


StanC

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Any one doing this tune? We're having a debate on one chord. It is at the bridge where there seems to be a temporary change of key I think to F. I seen a couple of charts on-line that calls that chord C. This video (1:29) shows the bass on C, but a C chord doesn't sound right to me. Before I saw the vid I thought it was a BbMaj7. Could it be that with a C bass? Or maybe C13?

 

Stan

Gig Rig: Yamaha S90 XS; Hammond SK-1; Rehearsal: Yamaha MOX8 Korg Triton Le61, Yamaha S90, Hammond XK-1

Retired: Hammond M2/Leslie 145, Wurly 200, Ensoniq VFX

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I don't play the tune but love it so I took at stab at it. I don't hear the A which would be in the BbMaj7 or C13 but I do hear a G in that chord as well as the other notes in the BbMaj7 so I'm going with a Gm7/C. You can tuck a C in there as well (not just in the bass) as it also works in which case perhaps we would call it a C7(9)(11). That's my guess. Ok, now to convince one of my bands to play this tune!
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Soundwise it's exactly the conclusion you came to regarding a BbMaj7 w/ a C bass. It really is a C chord though, a C11/13. Commonly called a Csus or C11th the addition of the A note on top adds the 13th. Multiple times over the years I would correct bands who had the chord caller (usually, but not always, the guitarist in these cases) who would listen to the top notes of the chord & not take the bass note into account, and some of them were on this exact same song where they called that bridge chord a BbMaj7.
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This is a killer tune. That video shows some nice musicianship. There is a recent live recording of it and the guy's voice is still in pretty good shape all these years later. There is a couple bands covering it out there on youtube as well.

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Perhaps the ultimate one hit wonder. I ran out and bought the LP after hearing this tune. The rest of the record was pretty meh. But what a great tune.

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I used to love that song until I started singing it 6 nights a week...

Actually, it's still a great song. I just had a tough time singing it 'cause it was just outside my range. That last "a distant fire" at the end was a nut-buster. :cry:

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Soundwise it's exactly the conclusion you came to regarding a BbMaj7 w/ a C bass. It really is a C chord though, a C11/13.
Technically I agree with you (assuming I remember right, and the main tune is in A). Functionally, though, I'd go with Bb/C or BbM7/C. If I were to call out C11/13 to my bandmates, I would be met with blank stares. Come to think of it, I am not sure I would remember that if someone had called it out to me before reading this thread.

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One of my favorite tunes from back in the day for a lot of reasons. Loved the Hammond sound as well as the sax work. One of those tunes that's hard to get out of head when you hear it......
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I don't play the tune but love it so I took at stab at it. I don't hear the A which would be in the BbMaj7 or C13 but I do hear a G in that chord as well as the other notes in the BbMaj7 so I'm going with a Gm7/C. You can tuck a C in there as well (not just in the bass) as it also works in which case perhaps we would call it a C7(9)(11). That's my guess. Ok, now to convince one of my bands to play this tune!

 

As a whole, it's a Gm9/C. So yes, there's an A. However, the keys clearly plays a Gm7/C, and I'd call it that "for the band"

 

To actually play a full Gm9/C would be adding too much mustard to the chord. In my opinion, the 9th is simply suspended. Besides, this "suspended" note is sung in the melody anyway; so don't mess with it! :)

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As a whole, it's a Gm9/C. So yes, there's an A. However, the keys clearly plays a Gm7/C, and I'd call it that "for the band"

 

To actually play a full Gm9/C would be adding too much mustard to the chord. In my opinion, the 9th is simply suspended. Besides, this "suspended" note is sung in the melody anyway; so don't mess with it! :)

 

Thanks. That G was missing for me from the other chord choices and agree that Gm7/C is what we should call "for the band". :) I hear that A in the vocal of course and hear something else supporting it in that mix but I thought it was less central...I didn't mean to mess with the A. :laugh:

 

I get concerned when naming chords whether to include less colours to allow for perhaps a few players to add something or to name more colours and then have a sound that is too dense as everyone tries to hit each of the additional tones. Often it comes down to knowing your players.

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I get concerned when naming chords whether to include less colours to allow for perhaps a few players to add something or to name more colours and then have a sound that is too dense as everyone tries to hit each of the additional tones. Often it comes down to knowing your players.

 

Whatever makes it understood by the most people the fastest, is the best option.

 

For example, in Db, the note a whole step below the tonic is a Cb. But you can bet your As(u)s that if you call that chord a Cb chord, and not a B, someone is going to curse your name and wish ill upon your dog.

 

Same here. Gm7/C is the quickest right way to get people there.

 

Cool song.

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