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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by morgansterne, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Yes

    105 vote(s)
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
  1. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    In my previous band we did a medley of five different Rush songs mashed together and I think we all agreed this was a bad idea. Ten full minutes of Rush will really make non-Rush fans' eyes glaze over. We also did a medley of "all summer long" with "sweet home alabama" and it made OUR eyes glaze over.

    However, in my new band, we play Pink Floyd's "young lust" and as we jam out the end we've started to drift into playing "Riders on the storm." Same key, very similar tempo. It's just been a little tease so far but we've talked of actually learning it and playing it for real, going straight into it from young lust. Good idea or bad idea?
    Part of the reason I'm asking is we're working on doing "Billie Jean" and the instrumental section has proved very difficult to really nail. Our guitar player stumbles over that clean funky lead, and the overall arrangement there doesn't sound very full at that point of the song. Also, trying to work out a good ending for the song has proved surprisingly difficult.
    However, the verses and choruses sound really good and I'd hate to ditch the whole song. So it occurred to me that we could go into some other song at that point and end with the second song.
    Tbone76 and Quantized Harmonic like this.
  2. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    Voted no. Every time I see a band do it I want to leave. The most common scenario with medleys is the band builds you up with each song only to (typically) switch tunes right at the point where the solo comes in. It's like "yeah"! Here it comes.
    Beeeeowwwww. Awful big let down and kind of a cop out.
    smogg likes this.
  3. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Medleys are ok but I prefer mashups. Like "I Want a New Drug" and "Ghostbusters "!
    JRA, BassLover668, HaphAsSard and 3 others like this.
  4. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Sure why not? I did a medley of "babe I'm gonna leave you" into "while my guitar gently weeps", into "25 or 6 to 4". People loved it.
    bobba66 likes this.
  5. Yes, if it works.
    According to the "Official Bar Band Performance Guide"*
    If something goes over well at a bar gig, then it's perfectly acceptable to repeat.
    If something doesn't go over well, no matter how much the band likes it, don't beat a dead horse and expect
    it to jump up and start galloping.

    I never cease to be amazed at what an audience takes a liking to or not to.

    *available on Amazon and Kindle
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
    obimark, neddyrow, pcake and 9 others like this.
  6. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    You could have added "temptation eyes" while you were at it. There's a lot of songs with that pattern.
    lokikallas and yodedude2 like this.
  7. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    The part i played in the chorus of our version of Jimmy Cliff's I Can See Clearly Now
    somehow triggered our lead guitar to launch into Jimi Hendrix' Hey Joe. We kept it that way.
    Stumbo likes this.
  8. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Yes, for dancing purposes. You don't want to give them a chance to return to their seats.
    Vines, 5below, JRA and 7 others like this.
  9. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I play in a party/dance/pop/rock cover band, we do a few medleys, and they are huge hits. I'm surprised anyone would have anything bad to say about it to be honest.

    We do Play that funky music > give up the funk > bust a move > hot in herre > uptown funk
    Billy Jean > Baby I got your money > it wasn't me > hella good > groove is in the heart

    We play the solo in funky music, and the instrumental break in billy jean, so its not because we lack the ability to play the songs.
    jamro217, HolmeBass, FunkyD and 2 others like this.
  10. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    exactly. You want the dance floor to be packed for 20 solid minutes? launch into a 20 minute funk medley.
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    When there used to be "Battle of the Bands", medleys were great when you had a limited amount if time to play.
    jmattbassplaya likes this.
  12. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    In bar bands, we often did medleys, but they consisted of full songs linked together with a couple of obvious ties. Doors, Who, Stones, Cars, Hendrix, etc. At some clubs, we would forgo the medleys and just do the songs spread around.

    In top 40/wedding bands, we did it similarly. As a tune is ending, the BL would call out the next tune and we would move right into it, again, maybe with a simple turnaround by th he keyboard player or some such vamp.

    These glued together situations may or may not qualify as "medleys".
    jamro217, JRA, Plectrum72 and 3 others like this.
  13. HandsFree


    Dec 23, 2015
    Personal opinion, but the problem I have with medleys and mashups, is that, like you said, bands tend to put songs together that have the same key, same tempo and as much the same everything as possible.
    That means I have to listen 15 minutes or so to one sound that never changes. Hate that.

    But if a medley consists of songs that clearly differ I have no problem with it.
    There could be one constant variable, like all songs are by the same band, or style or era. But that doesn't mean they have to sound alike.
    Torrente Cro likes this.
  14. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I was in a mostly-originals band that did a cover song medley but all different styles, different artists, and mostly in a genre different than the main genre of the band. We did the medley after a usually lengthy drum solo in the middle of one of our lengthy original tunes, and then went back to play the end of the song after the cover-medley. The whole thing probably took 20 minutes, but the crowd absolutely loved it... That was one of the few tunes we would get shout-out requests for... A 20 minute original with a huge drum solo and a cover-medley in the middle...
    EddiePlaysBass, JRA and HaphAsSard like this.
  15. Voted yes.

    We do a couple of Medleys.

    One we start with the Box Tops version of The Letter and then go into Joe Cocker's version. Although the key is the same, the chord progressions are quite different. We also have a different singer for each version.

    Another one is a Santana mash-up between Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman. We start with Evil Ways and at the Keyboard solo, (we have no keys!) we go into Black Magic Woman. We dumped the long drawn out intro and just start with "Got a Black Magic Woman...". After two verses, the lead break and the third verse, we go back and do the third verse of Evil Ways and then the Outro. Same singer throughout. They always dance to it!

    We do a different Set List for every gig so if it happens that we have two songs that end and start on the same chord we'll usually run them together with no stoppage in between. it keeps 'em on the dance floor.
    JRA likes this.
  16. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    My band does :
    Into The Void (black sabbatb) into Chameleon (herbie hancock)
    Sinister Minister (bela fleck) into Green Eyed Lady
    Amoung others.
    It can work
    pudgychef and dinoadventures like this.
  17. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    when I think medleys I always think of Bill Murray as Nick Rails on the passenger train or Nick Wings on a plane singing "star wars, nothing but star wars"

    Benny the Finger likes this.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would think that anybody who hasn't played medleys isn't getting top-paying cover gigs. Medleys were consistently the best received thing in my experience. People are amazed that you can stream a couple seemingly different songs together even though it is typically basic circle of fifths movements. Medleys are also a great way to keep people dancing which keeps people drinking which keeps the band coming back. Nothing worse than a cover band with 15 breaks between their 16 songs.
    jamro217, JRA, FunkyD and 3 others like this.
  19. AztecViking

    AztecViking Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    EndlessSummerVille, CA
    I like the head to Smoke On the Water played over KC and the Sunshines Band's Get Down Tonight. You can also throw The Tony William's Lifetime's Snake Oil over that. That way you get Funk/Disco, classic rock and fusion all in one package.

    Another great one is taking Kool And The Gang's Celebrate and combining elements of Van Halen's Best Of Both Worlds and Yes's Roundabout with it. Throws people for a loop! But if done right it really works. :laugh:
    rjmsteel likes this.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    They can be fun as long as you know what you're doing - and have enough knowledge and taste about how to put one together that it actually works. It's not just a a simple matter of jamming three or four tunes together with some quick & dirty bridges linking them somehow. A good medley tells a story. A good mash-up demonstrates a deeper understanding of melodic structure.

    If you can do a good one, go for it. If you can't (or you're usually dealing with audiences that have the attention span of a gnat) don't bother.

    In my experience, if they're cleverly done, they're almost always well received by audiences.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
    jamro217, JRA, okcrum and 2 others like this.

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