Prince: Money don’t matter tonight

In this song the guitar style is really smooth: it begins with a very small and subtle lick, that follows the intro melody, then, it turns into a sophisticated rythmic, precise and soft, that alternates jazzy chords strummed and stopped, and some little faster rhythmic picking in 16ths like a funky style-. The chords are interesting because the sequence is made of Cm7 (the 1st chord) that seems to be the tonic chord (for non-musos: the chord built on the 1st note of the scale that creates the concept of “tonality”)- but it’s followed by a Dbmaj7, a chord built on the Phrygian mode of C -which is very “exotic” , then we hear the 3rd chord, Ebm7, that follows that mode, too- just to create a movement of “relaxation”, and resolve to Dbmaj7 (that now has become the tonic)- I know- these concepts are strictly for musicians (and educated, as well) -but it’s interesting to know that Prince could experiment with a large range of moods and composition styles, because he studied a lot of music theory, apart from being an artist of great talent. The song has got a “smooth jazz”, night-club feeling and the chords sequence is the same for all its lenght, while Prince changes the melodies from the verses to the chorus. I always adored this song, it’s got that relaxed, laidback vibes althought the message is important (to keep away from the dangers of gambling).

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