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biggest little misconception in pop/rock music

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That "Louie, Louie" is a 3 chord song [i-IV-Vm-IV]!


The original recording by Richard Berry (& the sheetmusic) show the song to be [i-IV-I7-IV].

The "mistake" came in somewhere along the way when the popular keyboard harmony (as described below) came to be viewed as the defining harmony of the song.


[keyboard part/described in terms of key of G/

chords in boldface/ (keyboard notes in parentheses)]


[G-(B-D) / C-(C-E) / G7-(D-F) / C-(C-E)]


As you can see the mistake is not too out-of-line (although some, even there, play it as a major V chord)...but it's time to stop the madness!

Future generations are at stake!


PS, who can be the first on this forum to spot the Beatle cut that serves as their nod to this classic rock tune?

[Hint: it's not on one of their early recordings but on a very late one.]

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Originally posted by alcohol:

maybe the sheet music is wrong. the Vminor definitely sounds cool.

Nah, the score's correct (it's the original copyright filing).

At the risk of tedium for those joining us, I'll point out again the harmony described above---note the relative similarity of a I7 chord's upper voices with those of a Vm chord.

The confusion is obvious.


...& the Beatle song is....?

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The confusion must come from the way the Kingsmen, who had a hit with the song, recorded it.


I just took my old vinyl out and listened to the song it is unmistakenly played AAA DD EmEmEm DD, with the top notes being E F# and G. Playing the A7 instead of the Em resulted in an unpleasant dissonance while playing along with the recording.

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis

maintain their neutrality."


[Dante Alighieri] (1265-1321)

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