[Smt-talk] Pop songs with metrically altered transistions

Reed,Smith Alexander alexreed at ufl.edu
Sun Nov 29 09:00:54 PST 2009

Representing my roots in late 80s and early 90s alternative music, 
I'd also nominate Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" (containing 
breaks of 2/4 and 6/4 preceding the choruses), Tori Amos's "Space 
Dog" (with a great measure of 3 at the end of verse 1), Erasure's 
"Always" (which has an awkward 5/4 at the end of the chorus 
melody), and an almost unheard-of instance of this in techno, the 
classic "Move Any Mountain" by The Shamen (where an extra beat 
shows up in the snare fill at the end of the intro).  Also, the 
modulation to the final chorus in Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" 
drops an fairly dramatic quarter note, if I recall correctly.

My hunch is that the list of moments like this is very, very 

Though it's not directly related, this discussion brings to mind 
pieces like Pink Floyd's "Mother," in which the opening gesture 
prepares what one assumes will be a syncopation over a steady 
meter, but which in fact reasserts the downbeat in an odd place 
(e.g. 5/8 to 4/4 on "Mother, do you think they'll drop the 

S. Alexander Reed
Assistant Professor
University of Florida

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