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 EltonChords.com 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
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
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
Hope you like it.