Thursday, May 16, 2024

Bobby Hebb "Sunny '76"

Who doesn't love Bobby Hebb's song "Sunny?" Like the best uplifting moments, it comes out of a dark place (in this case his brother's murder a day after JFK's murder), and in this case it includes multiple key changes and a delightful flubbed bass note that I cherish. Turns out the studio musicians were working overtime, so I guess it makes sense, but it's the beauty mark on the face of the song that makes it even greater, the one people don't notice.

I did not know that there was a disco remake, "Sunny '76". Wikkypeeeedia describes it as "reharmonized," which is putting things mildly:

As the millions of readers of this blog know, I love disco revamps, but when I first heard this, I thought the big boogie major chords and swirling disco strings were a step too far for this song's minor-key heart. I felt a visceral distaste for it. But now that I've listened to it a few times, I appreciate how outlandish the changes are. It is gaslighting the listener. Oh, those feelings you had when you heard this? Let me reharmonize them. Quit moping and dance. Totally ridiculous. I kind of love it.