What are the greatest key changes in music? Inspired by this recent blog by Lucy Jones, we asked NME readers on Facebook and Twitter for their suggestions. @wrubydark responded immediately by nominating MGMT’s ‘The Youth’, from their debut album ‘Oracular Spectacular’.
@IamKieranMurray, meanwhile, reckons that the key change in Primal Scream’s ‘Relativity’ is “frighteningly brilliant”.
On Twitter, @AnetterBell is championing The Flaming Lips’ ‘It Overtakes Me’, the title-track of their 2006 four-song EP.
Why choose one song when you could plump for a whole album instead? According to@bksbeat, any track from US band Slint’s 1991 LP ‘Spiderland’ would be worthy of inclusion in this list.
For all the political posturing, there’s no denying that Sting had a knack for knocking up a good key change – which is why his track ‘If I Ever Lose My Faith In You’ gets @chasingrach’s vote.
Another suggestion from @BillyThomas95 – and another vote for The Beatles – as he singles out Lennon and McCartney’s game-changing ‘A Day In The Life’ for praise.
Meanwhile, The Boo Radleys’ ‘Memory Babe’, from their 1992 album ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’, is top of @electricviking’s choice of the finest key changes.
@Stevencarter89 sings the praises of Miles Kane’s ‘My Fantasy’, which features Noel Gallagher on backing vocals. “It’s absolute first class!” he insists.
One of the highlights of the Oxford band’s second album ‘The Bends’, ‘Just’ – which was chosen by @Yrkshirepud – was the result of a competition between singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood to see who could fit the most chords into one song.
It’s “obviously” Preppy New York poppers Vampire Weekend and their track ‘Diplomat’s Son’, according to @thisiscessy.
“Makes a drastic impact on your driving ability” says @adammcmillan94, who’s talking – of course – about Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’.
“Has to be ‘My Generation’ by The Who,” insist the self-described “mod influenced Indie band” The Modern Means on Twitter.
Paul Dickson’s full of admiration for The Man In Black, as he chooses Johnny Cash’s much-loved ‘Walk The Line’ for his favourite key change.
‘Up The Junction by ‘Squeeze’: “Simple, but ace!”, according to @drjohnzo14.
Nice bit of muso explanation from @SLMacca as he explains his reasons for choosing ‘The Summerhouse’ by The Divine Comedy and lectures us: “Drops down from F to E, just as effective as an upward change.”
Over on Facebook, Rio Chakma says that, when it comes to key changes, Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’ is peerless.
“There are three key changes towards the end,” Noel Gallagher once said of ‘All Around The World’. “Imagine how much better ‘Hey Jude’ would have been with three key changes towards the end? I like the ambition of it.” @MikeWhiteHead, who put forward the Oasis track on Twitter, obviously agrees.
Ross Micklethwaite says that ‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’ by The White Stripes should be hailed as the greatest key change ever. The track appears on Jack and Meg’s 2007 album ‘Icky Thump’.
“That piano and his voice got me in tides,” says @Jorge_Sakuma of ‘Cymbal Rush’ from Radiohead man Thom Yorke’s solo album ‘The Eraser’.
@Warrenjonhughes says that The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields’ should be a run-away winner here by crowing: “Not just a key change, a whole tempo and feel-of-the-song change.”
@Ollie_RYL used the nifty hashtag #gonnamakeaCHANGE to convey his love for The King Of Pop Michael Jackson and his 1988 single ‘Man In The Mirror’.
No list of the greatest key changes would be complete without the Fab Four, of course, which is why @heyposter chose The Beatles’ classic track ‘And I Love Her’.
When it comes to key changes, there’s none mightier or meatier than Foo Fighters’ 1999 single ‘Learn To Fly’, according to @AzureJ1.
“One of the most underrated songs of all time!” insists Joe Dunne in his tub-thumping for Biffy Clyro’s ‘All The Way Down’.
Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ cropped up numerous times.
And it’s another vote for the Scottish rockers as @meganhprice demands recognition for Biffy’s ‘With Aplomb’. “Class key change,” she reckons.
The Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’ has Danny Townsend’s vote, meanwhile. “Classic track!” he says.
@MusicBlogNotes is adamant that Rush’s ‘Marathon’ has the finest key change around, describing frontman Geddy Lee’s voice as capable of inducing “unbelievable highs”.
“‘Let’s Dance’ is the best Beach Boys one,” says Patrick Cragg, tipping his hat in tribute to the US surf-pop kings.
36 David Bowie – Young Americans
On Facebook, Mark Burton’s been waxing lyrical about Muse’s ‘Take A Bow’, a massive and monolithic call-to-arms from the trio’s ‘Black Holes & Revelations’ LP.
39 The Divine Comedy – I Like
A six-minute corker from The Cure’s none-more-dark 1982 album ‘Pornography’, the key changes in ‘The Figurehead’ get Paul Edmonson’s seal of approval.
A tale of drugs, alienation, loneliness and misery – but, says Andy Southwood, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under The Bridge’ still has stonking key changes a-plenty.
One of the (many) highlights from Pulp’s classic Britpop album ‘Different Class’, the terrific key change in ‘I Spy’ gets a ringing endorsement from Shaun Barrat.
Andy Southwood has been telling our Facebook users that Led Zeppelin’s lighters-aloft classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ has the best key changes ever.
Many of you lot believe that The Horrors surpassed themselves with their last album ‘Skying’ – and Jorge Sakuma thinks that the LP’s highlight ‘Moving Further Away’ should be acknowledged as one of the greatest key changes ever, too.
For Jorge Sakuma, The Boss will obviously always be The Best: he’s gone for Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Waiting On A Sunny Day’.
Super key change from a supergroup: Seton Egerton says there’s none better than Crosby, Stills & Nash’s track ‘Carry On’.
Silbing duo Ron and Russell Mael, aka Sparks, wrote some of the most brilliantly bonkers pop music of the 20th century. Tony Volpe claims that their 1974 single ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ boasts the best key change ever.
A couple of sublime choices by John O’Brien over on our Facebook page: firstly, he recommends the legendary Lou Reed’s track ‘Halloween Parade’…
… before also making sure that Irish clan The Pogues are recognised, too, for their cover of ‘Dirty Old Town’.