Comments?
 
   
   

Electricity
ALBUM
Peachtree Road Reissue Album
DATE
2005
10 KB
11 KB
280 KB
ARRANGEMENT
Studio Version
DATE
2005
Key: A Structure: A-B-C-A-B-C
 

Available as a download and also on the 2005 reissue of the Peachtree Road album, Electricity was considered the emotional high point from the musical Billy Elliot. With lyrics by the show's writer Lee Hall and music by Elton, the musical was an instant hit since its opening in May 2005.

Electricity is a song that explains the feelings of the young star when he's dancing. With the staging and choreography, the piece reportedly brings the audience to a standing ovation on a regular basis.

Since it was intended for the stage, Electricity cannot exactly be judged as a regular pop song. We can certainly hear the difference between Lee Hall's lyrics and Bernie Taupin's usual work with Elton. Hall's lyrics are much more direct with their expressions of personal feelings. Let's take a look at the music.

The actual piano work is pretty simple. Elton plays chords on the quarter note, and in the pre-chorus does some simple arpeggios. Harmonically though, the song is quite complex. For one thing, its got a number of modulations, some of which I haven't figured out quite how they work.

The intro uses a descending bassline pattern starting from the relative minor of A, F#m. I've also written in roman numeral format because it does a better job of showing the relationship to the tonic.

|| F#m - C#m/E - | D - A/C# - | Dm7 - Esus E ||

|| vi - iii - | IV - I - | iv (?) - V - ||

Alright now: SOMEBODY HELP ME WITH THIS ONE! A circle of 4ths progression is played over the descending bassline for the 1st 2 bars. It's the Dm7 that's the mystery. Is it some type of rootless B-diminished chord which serves as the V-of-V? It certainly resolves to the E chord in a wonderful way.

The verse starts off in A and again finds a way to use the Dm7 to E progression.

|| A - - - | A/G - - - | F#m - - - | B7sus4 - B - |

| Bm7 - - - | F#m/A - - - | Dm7 - - - | Esus - E - |

The 4th bar uses a true V-of-V. In the key of A, a B7 chord is used to modulate to the key of E. Since the B7 is the V-chord in E, and E is the V-chord of A, the B7 is called the V-of-V. But Elton trips us up by going from the B to the B-minor chord.

Our first modulation happens in the transition to a short pre-chorus section, shown below. Here Elton resolves the E from the verse not into A as one would expect, but into an A-minor. This is usually called modulating to the parallel minor.

|| Am - Em/G - | F - C/E - | Am - Em/G - | F - E7sus4 E||

Of course, you might expect the E7 above to resolve back again to the A or A-minor. But instead, it modulates to C, the relative major.

|| C - - - | Am - - - | Dm7 - C/E - | D/F# - G - |

| C - - - | C/Bb - - - | F/A - - - | Fm/Ab - - - |

| Am7/G - Dm7/G G | C - - - ||

Well anyway, like I said, this song's got some stuff going on that's a little more than my brain wants to take on. If you're a student of musical analysis, write me and tell me what you think is going on with these progressions.

My bottomline, this is a great song with some pretty sophisticated chord progressions. It's a massive hit in the UK and a highlight of Elton's hit musical Billy Elliot. Enjoy!