This Town
Ice on Fire
74 KB
77 KB
Studio Version
Key: Eb Structure: A-B-A-B-B-B

I didn't prepare a score for this one. As you can see from the following example, Elton's keyboard work is minimal. Visit my friends over at and grab the chord chart. You'll be fine just playing the chords. This is the chorus.

This Town is another quality tune from what I believe is an under appreciated album, the Ice On Fire album. It’s definitely B-Side material, but mostly because it’s such a departure from the straight ahead pop music Elton is associated with. While I’ll agree that it’s an inconsistent album overall, Elton is definitely exploring the soul and R&B sound with many of these tunes. He uses a new group of backing musicians on the album, most of whom I don’t recognize, to help him achieve a different sound.

Like other songs on this album, This Town again features a very hot horn arrangement. [Have I mentioned that I have a real weakness for horns?] I love them and this song is no exception. This is mostly a 5-piece arrangement with a trombone, 2 saxes and 2 trumpets. The sax solos throughout the song demonstrate just how difficult it is to reproduce horns via a midi file. A lot of those solos sit mostly on a single note, but the player inflects, articulates, trills and otherwise injects a whole lot of personality into that single note. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on that sax, exploring every possible way that the general midi standard could be used to replicate the original. I also spent a lot of time on the basic horn arrangements throughout the rest of the song. I must say, this is my finest horn work ever. I am real happy with the horn results and I hope you have a good enough sound card to hear them too.

Elton’s keyboard work in this song is low key and mostly in the background. The best I can make out is that he’s using a chorused electric piano sound that is either triggering or being duplicated by a synth pad. Davey Johnstone also stays in the background doing mostly muted guitar work that adds to the mix in a subtle way.

The bass and drums in This Town are locked into a disco style beat. The bass player throws in some octave “whoop-dee-doos” every so often and the drummer is locked in a groove that probably includes more cymbal and hi-hat work than I’ve captured in this midi. The combined sound of these guys however is really punchy and works great against those hot horns.

Harmonically it’s a simple little tune. The intro is Cm (or Cm7 if you prefer), the verse is Cm7 and F, and the chorus shifts up to the relative major with Eb, Bb, and F. A G major chord is used to transition back to the Cm. Structurally, the 4-bar intro leads to 2 6-bar verses and an 8-bar chorus and then the whole thing repeats. There’s no bridge per se unless you count a little segue between the song and the multiple repeat choruses at the end. Those repeat choruses give the sax player lots of space to rock out.

Attention there you detail freaks. Midway through the 2nd verse, Elton sings about canes tapping on the pavenment. Did you hear the canes tapping on the pavement? Yeah, I got that in the midi too!

Hope you like it.