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"I Thank You" by Sam & Dave

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by TeleHawg, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. TeleHawg

    TeleHawg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    524
    Mar 17, 2003
    Waterville, Maine
    Once again the "band" and I are trying to learn a song from sheet music that doesn't fit the performance. Sam & Dave clearly perform this song in Ebm, and our sheet music is in Am. Not only that, but it's missing the chords for one horn interlude.

    Does anyone have accurate chords for this song?
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I may need to hear this old song on a decent sereo, but listening to it on youtube and remembering my younger days, I can't hear this song in a minor key. I hear them playing in Eb. They do use the flatted 7th, but that doesn't make the main chord a minor. In the bridge, they use Cm, which is the relative minor for the Eb, on the way to the AB. Everything else tells me it is in Eb(major)....AB and Bb and the IV and V chords.
    I hear it in a major key. Maybe someone else will straighten me out if I am incorrect, but that is how I hear it. The very nature of the lyrics almost demands a major key...upbeat, happy, rejoicing....
     
  3. TeleHawg

    TeleHawg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    524
    Mar 17, 2003
    Waterville, Maine
    I'm confused about this, too. Cropper's rhythm lick hammers from the flatted to the natural third, which would certainly make the tune major. And yet playing Eb7 against the tonic chord somehow doesn't sound quite right to me either.

    I'm driving my wife nuts, playing the MP3 over and over again. I need to have someone with radar ears give it a listen.

    Thanks!
     
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  5. edhead

    edhead Tele-Meister

    463
    Jun 22, 2004
    NE Ohio
    I play bass on this in my band, but I always thought it was Eb major.

    As for the horn break it goes Cm to C# (major).
     
  6. Big Tony

    Big Tony Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sweden, by golly!
  7. TeleHawg

    TeleHawg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    524
    Mar 17, 2003
    Waterville, Maine
    So am I imagining things, or is there a recurring keyboard figure during the "I thank you" refrain -- something like Ab7 - Gb7 - Eb7?

    Also, in the second part of each verse -- "Then you took your love to someone else / I wouldn't know what it meant to be loved to death" -- are there quick jumps to Ab7 under "someone else" and "loved to death"?

    Sorry for my bad ears, but you all are right. It's definitely Eb7 -- and the horn part is indeed Cm to C#.

    Thanks, everyone.
     
  8. edhead

    edhead Tele-Meister

    463
    Jun 22, 2004
    NE Ohio
    yep, I think it's Eb7 Gb7 Eb7 Ab7


    Exactly

    Also in the verse you can walk up to the Eb7 with a bass note run of Bb - Db - D - Eb7. Adds a lot.
     
  9. tonewoods

    tonewoods Former Member

    Age:
    65
    Jun 23, 2007
    Orcas Island, Washington
    On the single, it's all about that Clavinet...
     
  10. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 6, 2007
    Toronto
    An E flat tuning song?

    Yes it is. To my ears the clavinet is playing E flat dom 7, resorting to the plain minor and the 9th form for dressing.

    I don't know if you'll agree with me, but I think Steve and Duck are actually *tuned* to E flat.

    Duck's first note, a low E flat. He could be doing the octave 2nd string 2nd fret, but my money is on 3rd string 7th fret. It's not quite precise enough to be the 2nd string, I guess.

    Steve's guitar part seems to be a roll from the middle 2, past the major 3 to the 5, and to my ears it sound like he's doing it at the 4th fret, 4th string (tuning) or could be done standard tuning from the middle F, 4th string 3rd fret.

    There's some precedent for Steve and Duck tuning to E flat: the obvious open E flat bounces in Sam & Dave's "Wrap It Up," the key of "Soul Man," and possibly "Hold On, I'm Comin"" which is in A flat.

    Ref: ISBN 0-89724-652-7 WB Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition
     
  11. TeleHawg

    TeleHawg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    524
    Mar 17, 2003
    Waterville, Maine
    Thanks, everyone!

    All your posts were a big help.
     
  12. koen

    koen Tele-Afflicted

    May 19, 2007
    West of Morocco
    I only know the ZZ Top version, didn't realize it was a cover :oops:
     
  13. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Tele-Meister

    273
    Nov 27, 2005
    Greenwood, NS, Canada
    I always thought that Soul Man was in the key of G, and then modulates up to Ab at the end.
     
  14. Al Watsky

    Al Watsky Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2007
    New Jersey
    The clip Big Tony posted is in E. Most of the lines Cropper is playing are in E mixolydian the mode based on the key of A major. The Mixolydian mode is used for dominant 7th chords.
    His lines are based on A major at the interval of a 6th, against the E7 chord.
    If the tune is actually in Eb the lines are Ab based.
    I like the steps the horns are doin' that takes it over the top. Showmanship.
     
  15. pompeii0

    pompeii0 Tele-Meister

    273
    Nov 27, 2005
    Greenwood, NS, Canada
    I love this song, just heard it again the other day on the radio. Any more info floating around out there about this one?
     
  16. songofthewind

    songofthewind Tele-Meister

    354
    Sep 28, 2008
    UK
    Try listening to the Bonnie Raitt version.
     
  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    The post above you tells you what you need to know musically. When you listen to the recording the song is in the key of E with the main chord an E7. It's possible the song was actually recorded a half step lower (Eb) to accommodate the horns and then sped up E when it was mastered. Who really knows but the Stax guys who recorded it.

    It was actually written by Isaac Hayes and it's been recorded by a number of different artists including ZZ Top and Bonnie Raitt but the original hit is still that of Sam and Dave this thread talks about. Just one of a long list of hits those two greats cranked out with the backing of Booker T and the MG's as the studio band.
     
  18. redstrand

    redstrand Tele-Meister

    The bass is where you get the cue for the major. A lot of stax stuff is bass driven(Duck rules)
     
  19. brewwagon

    brewwagon Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 6, 2009
    the delta bc
    based on the simple melodic line of the song

    sitting here singing skat
    ------------------------------

    " i , just want to stop


    and thank you bay-bee"

    "i. eye eye yea- i .. baby ....

    don't want to sss- stop!"(screeching car brakes to a crash cymbal choked by hand!)


    looking up to my laptop
    "man you had to get going didn't you "


    blues use the flatted sad notes by nature thats its sound

    i go with the Eb

    jimi tuned to that more manly sound to match his voice negro / cherokee
    sam and dave also men of african /american heritage

    the horn section really put this classic over the top
    a great song to showcase your band in performance
     
  20. soul-o

    soul-o Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Jan 29, 2007
    Boston
    You'll have to take this in the context of someone who has been doing this for 25 years in various crappy bars up and down the East Coast AND went to music college and studied harmony formally- after all these years, I still find it magical the way some of those Stax records seem to exist in major and minor keys at the same time. What's the E chord in Dock Of The Bay? Chain Of Fools is kind of in C major, but thers's a baritone guitar playing low eb's all over the place. Across town at Hi Records, Al Green has a Dminor 9 on "Let's Stay Together" but the bass payer plays a run with F# that's sounds perfect. There's some special Memphis harmonic voodoo where they can play chords that have major and minor 3rds at the same time and make it sound righteous.
     
  21. soul-o

    soul-o Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Jan 29, 2007
    Boston
    The original is in G, the Blues Brothers version is dropped to E to make it easier to sing.
     
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