Hello (Lionel Richie)


Composer : Lionel Richie


  • Instrumental


  • Standard
  • Matched Reciprocal


  • Audio mp3



Lionel Richie

Released in 1984 on the album “Can’t Slow Down” Hello is a song by Lionel Richie (for the youngest : star of the 80/90s and ex-singer of the funk band the Commodores).
It’s one of those hits of the 80s which, beyond the somewhat kitsch aesthetic of those years and its sound which has aged very quickly, is nevertheless a beautiful composition on the harmonic and melodic level. The Stick is an easily transposable instrument (since there are no open string) and all tonalities have the same fingerings. But some keys sound better than others. And A minor is one of them. It is fitting that the piece is in this key.

For the intro and the verse I chose a bass ostinato that follows the descent of the chord fundamentals keeping the two high notes in common (A and E) thus reinforcing the hypnotic modal side. The right hand plays the melody. The notes are doubled in eighth notes. Remember to change fingers on the same fret and do not repeat the note with the same finger. This allows you to have more dynamic possibilities, in addition to being more easily “in the pocket”. The refrain is built on a grid that could be that of a jazz standard: two measures in C major (II/V/I/IV) then two measures in A minor (note the Bb7 substitution of the E7). The melody is based on a motif that will shift parallel to the chords. A principle taken from classical music (mainly Mozart) and which makes the melody natural and obvious. Then back to the intro.

Once again beyond its ” romantic kitch ” side, this song exudes a very beautiful atmosphere full of nostalgia. This proves that music does not depend on a sound, an arrangement, an aesthetic and a fashion, which generally ages very quickly and very badly, but simply on the beauty and strength of a melody and a harmonic grid.

Fortunately, otherwise all the music of the 80s would be impossible to listen to.


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Hello (Lionel Richie)