Are These The Most Complicated Songs Ever Recorded?

27 October 2018, 10:00

Acoustic Guitar Puzzle

Rock 'n' roll doesn't have to be dumb.We thought we'd put together a selection of the most "interesting" songs we can think of: from unusual time-signatures to just plain aural chaos.

Radiohead - Paranoid Android 

People complain that this is a difficult song to learn to play, but apparently it's quite straightforward. Apparently it's mainly in 4/4 time, but switches between 4/4 and 7/4.  Some of the second section is in 7/8 timing. And, let us not forget, it's named after Marvin, the spawn of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation with a Genuine People Personality, from The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 

Pink Floyd - Money

In good old, toe-tapping 7/4 time. While the guitar solo is in 4/4. Sing along!

Alt-J - Matilda

From a band named after an Apple Mac key press. A sample quote from Paul Lester's Band Of The Day blog on The Guardian: "Reviews have spoken of the band's 'innovative and electrifying musicianship', their 'creatively ambitious lyrics' and 'captivating blend of insatiable grooves and profound poignancy'. They have proclaimed the music 'jaw-droppingly different from the norm'."


Biffy Clyro - Living is A Problem Because Everything Dies

The opening song from the band's fourth album Puzzle, written in a "drop C"  tuning. It was the first time the band worked with an orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Simon Neil sez: "We wanted something epic and over-the-top and something the three of us would find hard to do."

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun

A simple sounding song, eh? Apparently, the song is in this time signature: 3/8 + 3/8 + 5/8 + 4/4 + 2/4 + 3/8. Argh! Also, consider this nugget from Wikipedia: "The bridge involves a ♭III-♭VII-IV-I-V7 triple descending 4th (or Tri-Plagal) progression (with an extra V7)" What does THAT mean? This mind-bogglingly complex song was written by George Harrison when he was sitting in Eric Clapton's garden when he should have been attending an Apple meeting.

The Stranglers - Golden Brown

The world's favourite song about heroin (or a girl, singer Hugh Cornwall claimed it was about both). The track alternates between 6/8 and 7/8 or 13/4 depending on who you believe. When newsreader Bill Turnbull tried to waltz to this on Strictly Come Dancing, he found it was impossible.