Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tom, I Can Name That Tune In One Note!

Doug: How many of you watched "Name That Tune" from time-to-time in the Bronze Age? I don't know that I was a regular viewer, but I know I saw the show often. I've included a short YouTube clip below for those of you who may never have heard of the program. I always wished that the producers of the game would have used a real recording of the music rather than simply playing some notes or a measure on the piano.

Doug: Which brings me to a radio version of the show. I am most certain it was just a local promotion -- nothing that might have been in syndication. But as you might guess, the DJ took two callers, would read a little trivia about the song and/or artist, and then ask one contestant to begin with "I can name that tune in X notes." Of course the other contestant would get a rebuttal, where he or she could lower their guess requirements by a note. Well, one time I about caused an accident because both contestants went through the obligatory bravado until the got to "in one note!" And then the DJ played that one note -- which if I could play it for you now most of you would probably get it -- and both contestants choked! I was screaming at the radio while I was driving... now who's the fool? Well, below the Name That Tune clip I've included the entire song of which neither of those bozos could name. Hear that distincitive first note -- as I said, you'd have gotten it!

Doug: Today we want to do a little BAB variation on this. What are songs you could name in 1-2 notes, regardless of the place in the song? Are there some very memorable guitar licks at the beginning of some songs that zero you in immediately? And can you name a song with something so distinctive in it that it would just be a dead giveaway for you if you heard only that part?


J.A. Morris said...

'A Hard Days Night'
'Beds Are Burning'
'Born To Run'
'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag'
'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
'And She Was'

Anonymous said...

Doug, loved Name That Tune! My mom was a stay at home mom who had the TV on all day. As I recall the typical daytime network TV fare was game shows most of the morning and soap operas most of the afternoon. Name That Tune was one of her favorites. And at that time, I am sure she would have gotten Dancing on the Ceiling and as a kid I would have had no clue. Vice versa for Superstition. If they resurrected that show (did they?), I would now be the old fart getting the "oldies" from the 60s, 70s and 80s and be clueless on most 21st century tunes.

As for particular songs I could get from one note - nothing comes immediately to mind. If I recall, the cluing was what usually gave it to you in one note.

Tom (not Kennedy)

Anonymous said...

J.A., those are all good ones. But, as Doug alluded to - could we guess them from the first notes played on a piano or is it that particular "sound" that makes them instantly recognizable. For example, "I Feel Fine" is instantly recognizable for that feedback but I don't know how that would come over on the old Name That Tune.

How about Rush "Tom Sawyer"? (There's that name "Tom" again.)


Edo Bosnar said...

Tom makes a good point that addresses Doug's complaint about the show: playing the notes on a piano rather than just using a recording of the original makes it a bit harder to recognize - and I assume that was the challenge.
And Tom's example of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" is pretty good. I think even I would be able to recognize the first few notes if someone played them on the piano.

By the way, this whole discussion reminds of this song. Listen to roughly the first 20 seconds (and DON'T read the comments) and name the rock band that lifted that intro (without ever giving credit as far as I know).

Doug said...

I was really hoping the conversation today would center around songs by the original or most popular artist, rather than imagining piano music.

What are songs that you could turn the radio on and immediately back off and name the tune?


Doug said...

Edo, that sounded like White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" to me.

Anyone pick up on the similarities between "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Werewolves of London"?


Anonymous said...

Doug, I think I kind of got that that was where you wanted this discussion to go. I think I am still hung up on the "one note" vs. "a unique sound" caveat. I am largely a classic rock/pop guy. I have about 1500 songs on my iTunes and if I play it on shuffle, I can probably name the overwhelming majority of them in a second. But is that because of something unique or familiarity? All that having been said, how about (give the man what he wants):

The Who - Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, The Kids Are All Right, I Can See For Miles (in case you can't tell, I like the Who)
Yes - Roundabout
Rolling Stones - Paint it Black, Gimme Shelter, You Can't Always Get What You Want

But are they true "one noters"? Hmmm...

One more thing about the show. As I recall there was a strategy wherein if you did not think you could get it in "one" note, and you didn't think your opponent could either, you might jump to "two" and force his hand to either bid one or give you two notes. Sometimes one note sounds like nothing but the second one makes it sound like a tune.


Edo Bosnar said...

Doug: White Stripes, really?
Here, maybe
this will help.

Tom, I agree about "Roundabout" by Yes. I recognize that song before the first note is even complete. Of course, the whole Fragile album is pretty much etched into my memory.
Now that I think of it, Yes actually has quite a few songs that are recognizable almost instantly. Two other songs that come to mind are "Yours is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper."

And since Sly & the Family Stone came up here recently, I think "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" is pretty recognizable - if not on the first note, then the first two or three...

Karen said...

Edo, I listened to the first 25 seconds of that song twice and that little lick that starts right around 17 seconds or so sounds a LOT like Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple to me! Interesting, considering how far apart the two are musically. So was that it? Did DP rip them off?

Karen said...

Talk about simultaneous posting!!

Doug said...

Edo -

Yes, your second clip leaves no doubt. Admittedly, I only listened to about 10 seconds of your first sample in between classes. White Stripes is what I heard!



mr. oyola said...

"I Feel Fine" - The Beatles
"Purple Haze" - Jimi Hendrix
"Let's Go Crazy" - Prince and the Revolution

I watched a little Name that Tune as a kid - but mostly felt the songs they chose were too corny for my tastes and the clip that Doug posted confirms that for me ;)

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, yes, apparently Deep Purple lifted that riff and never gave credit - I read about this years and years ago in a post on some music-related blog about all of the stolen bits in popular rock songs (apparently Jimmy Page was a really egregious offender in this regard).

Joseph said...

The first song I thought of when I saw this topic was 'Pinball Wizard'. I feel like I'd do well on many Who songs.

The hardest might be the Ramones - the beginning of their songs tend to sound the same.

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