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Songs with Odd Meters You Like

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by rickbass, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I have a new band project in the works and want to try and see if some odd meter songs might work in clubs just to break things up a little.

    I got a recording pf Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" and the Beatles' "All You Need is Love" when I was about 15 and have been intrigued by odd meters ever since.
    Then the whole art-rock and the later fusion-rock things came into vogue, a la King Crimson, Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra/Weather Report/Return to Forever.
    Some other odd meter songs that come to mind are Tool's "Schism, P. Floyd's "Money", Soundgarden's "Spoonman", and material by Rush and Dream Theater.

    Just wondered if there are odd meter songs you really like --- (to be clear, "odd meter" as in "time signatures can't be evenly divided by the numbers "2" or "3"; ex. 3/8 is not an odd meter).
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like this 17/8 tune Simon Phillips does with Toto - Party In Simon's Pants.
  3. I like Led Zeppelin's 'The Crunge' 5/4.

    Also Flecktones 'Throwdown at the Hoedown' 7/8.
  4. there's a radiohead song called "polyethylene pt.2" if i remember correctly it switches between bars of 10/8 and 4/4. i'm not sure.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    there is a radiohead song...ummm...I cannot remember the name...wait I think its the pyramid song actually from amnesiac...thats besides the point that its in 13/6 or something werid like that
    the count is actualy 1-2-3-4-5-6-7/1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9/1-2-3-4-5-6-7/1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9
    where I got 13/6 from I don't know, but it is the weirdest time signature I've ver come across
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Sting's "Seven Days," which is in 7/8. Such a clever lad.
  7. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    most of tool's songs are in odd meters. but they use them in a really organic way.

    if you can stand the "heavyness", listen to some "meshuggah" for really anorganic constructed songs.

    also listening to this song might be a good idea:


    some of adam nitti's songs also employ odd meters, i believe. but he doesn't seem to notice. ;)
  8. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    The title track of Tool's Lateralus is one of my faves with odd signatures. The time signature in the verse is 9/8 + 8/8 + 7/8. The Grudge, off the same album, is mostly in 5/4.

    Another band I like that uses a lot of odd sigs is Ozric Tentacles. There's a track called Coily (from Waterfall Cities) that's mostly in 17/16, and they have many other songs that use 5/4, 7/8, and 9/8.
  9. I like "Take 5", and "Off Minor" off Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. And "Eat the Sun" by The Mars Volta
  10. I've always enjoyed Nine Inch Nails' "March of the Pigs", which is primarily 7/8 with a couple 4/4 passages. The MotP EP also has a remix of the song entirely in 4/4, which is rather strange in comparison.

    In a genre closer to what I believe you're looking for, Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo A La Turk" (it might actually be a standard, I'm not sure) is in 9/8 with a 4/4 solo section. Granted, 9/8 is divisible by 3, but the accents imply a feel of "1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + a" which feels pretty odd to me.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    "Free Man" by the Screaming Headless Torsos(wriiten by the group's bassist, Fima Ephron).

    "Free Man" is one of those polymetric tunes...it's 2 bars of 7 but is felt as 1 bar of 6 + 2 bars of 4.
    2 bars of 7 = 14 beats
    6 + 4 + 4 = 14 beats
  12. There's a lot of Phish tunes that I love that have odd meters. "Divided Sky", "First Tube" (just the guitar though), "Mound", "Split Open and Melt", "Bouncing Round the Room", "Demand".....lot's of Zappa too....
  13. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Dream Theater's "A Change Of Seasons" is awesome and has a lot of odd meter stuff, and most Tool stuff. It's all good.
  14. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    If you like jazz check out Dave Holland's newer stuff- seriously killin'. You wont be able to tell what meter it is but its still funky and groovin. Billy Kilson is the ****!!!
  15. my band (The Armed Civilians, who's EP "We Want You" will be realised soon) does a song that is in 13/4 and goes to 3/4 in mid song (word weither that song is EP worthy still in the works)

    What time sig was All You Need Is Love in? 5/4?
  16. Sharp


    Jan 27, 2002
    Artists Relations, KMI
    Theres a bunch of cleverly named flecktones songs-

    Almost 12 comes to mind. its in 11/8 and grammy winning, if i remember right.
  17. 7/8, i believe.
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That's a big part of the appeal to me, basss......the s**t just "IS what it IS" . We just sit back and let it flow ......no dissection, just go in the direction, and all that.

    You guys have some very good selections!!!
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    DEVO: Blockhead
    Pete Townshend: Face Dances Part Two
    King Crimson: Frame By Frame (and about a million other songs - it's unusual for them to do a song in 4/4)
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I really like "Joy in the Blood of the Stars" by Olivier Messiaen - this rocks! It is the 5th movement of the Turangalila Symphonie - Messiaen called it an "African Dance".

    This is in 3/16 - so would it count as an "odd meter" by your definition - it certainly sounds like it?

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