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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Blue Monday"

Fats Domino - Blue Monday (1956)

What, you thought New Order invented having a case of the Blue Mondays?

It's about hating having to work long weeks and only getting short weekends off. How could you go wrong with a song like that? He even walks us through how we're going to feel Sunday morning after partying all night Saturday: it's bad, but it's worth it. This is a man that knew. Before making it big, he was working factory shifts all week to afford to travel and play clubs on the weekends. Fats Domino appealed to all audiences with this early crossover hit. This song was a number 1 hit on the early R&B charts and a top 5 on the pop chart.

That opening riff on the piano is the same kind of one Randy Newman uses, the same one you hear in your ear when young Tom Hanks shows up on your T.V. in an 80s movie, or when a TV show theme needs an opening. It just puts you in a nostalgic good time mood. The rock and roll beat is slow, but ever present in the song. Fats' rolling style of piano sitting on top of it keeps the song zipping along through the work week. When Saturday hits, the drums really pick it up in volume and let you know we're having a good time, they settle down for Sunday, but build up again to introduce the sax solo. The saxophone has been a workhorse all song long, acting as a kind of bass guitar/chord change introducer. He only gets eight bars, and what he does with them is not celebrating Saturday, he's playing the work week. Every time he gets up on the scale a little he ends up falling back down into the lower registers.

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