Sad Music 10 Seconds

Sad music can be very moving. These heartbreaking tracks may come from pop, rock or even classical genres – making the emotional impact that much greater.

Switching key is an easy and effective way to change the tone and atmosphere of a song. Switching from major to minor keys, for example, makes the melody more somber and melancholic.

Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O’Connor Cover)

After Sinead O’Connor passed away last year, tributes poured in from musicians across genres: Cat Power, Mountain Goats, Glen Hansard and Imelda May among many. One particularly moving performance took place at a concert hosted by New York to remember both O’Connor and Shane MacGowan (of The Pogues) – featuring young Roisin Waters performing memorable covers including Sinead O’Connor singing her version of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U as part of Sinead O’s tribute performance at both concerts.

O’Connor transformed a funky funk-pop tune into an emotional ballad about deep loss with her powerful performance of this song, pouring every bit of emotion she could muster into it and making the performance seem raw and intimate. Amidst scandals and outbursts throughout her career, this track stands out as an authentic statement about loss.

No matter the context in which it’s heard, whether that be as a breakup song, mournful tribute for the loss of loved one, or statement on religious intolerance – its lyrics are stunningly beautiful and demonstrate the power of interpretation; O’Connor saw things nobody else saw and felt things Prince may not even have been aware of himself.

O’Connor released Nothing Compares 2 U in 1990 and quickly rose to the top of UK charts with it. According to her autobiography Rememberings, its success left her feeling “like a child before the gates of hell.” Eventually O’Connor would go on to become controversial figure after ripping up a photo of Pope Paul VI on Saturday Night Live two years later; later becoming priest. But Nothing Compares 2 U remains her most memorable song as its music video captures O’Connor singing it perfectly with close-up shots showing her beautiful face as she sings it beautifully.

‘Enjoy The Silence’ (Basildon)

Violator was Depeche Mode’s second single release from their album of the same name and its second single, “Enjoy The Silence,” silenced all critics who claimed they couldn’t write emotionally or melodically and earned international success. A huge hit in both America and Britain, this hit chart-topping single introduced Depeche Mode to an entirely new audience of misfit Europhiles.

Anton Corbijn directed this music video, depicting Dave Gahan walking solemnly through an array of landscape shots reminiscent of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s 1943 children’s book The Little Prince. Dressed as a king carrying a folding deck chair and wandering through lush, remote vistas in search of somewhere quiet to sit, scenes are interspersed with black-and-white group footage as well as stylized photographs featuring roses – one which also appears on Violator album cover art.

Gahan’s rich, low voice resonates throughout this song, adding serenity. Written in C minor – one of the most commonly-used keys for songs with lyrics about love, death and sadness – its musical composition features above-average chord complexity scores in Chord Complexity Tension but below-average scores for Chord Progression Novelty and Bass Melody tension tension respectively.

Production-wise, it may appear subdued by modern standards; with only basic drum loops and an undulating synthesizer bassline to keep things together. But its main attraction lies within its vocal, which has an otherworldly, powerful tone in a pre-Auto-Tune world. Furthermore, Minimoog Model D and ARP 2600 were used during recording to add their signature sound; there are multiple remixes available to choose from but the hands and feet mix may be best as it strips back its essentials elements of production.

‘Past, Present & Future’ (The Shangri-Las)

“Past, Present & Future,” unlike its predecessor “Leader of the Pack,” which could only be heard on radio before CDs became widely available, can be purchased and downloaded from stores. An impressive example of The Shangri-Las’ signature brand of tragic-pop featuring Mary Weiss as an outstanding back up singer; her almost spoken verses combined with those of Betty Ganser (Twin Marge Ganser), build to an exhilarating crescendo that makes for a highly overwrought final version!

This song centers around a young girl who feels betrayed by her mother and finds refuge only in music. Although its lyrics may seem overwrought and exaggerated, there’s something sincere in their delivery that gives this track credibility; frank discussions of teenage weirdness and isolation make this sound like something they would write themselves.

“Past, Present and Future” may be at the root of The Shangri-Las’ failure to become one of the great female groups of the 1960s. When they debuted near the end of The British Invasion and Girl Groups were rapidly becoming outdated news; but this song showcases Mary Weiss’ beautiful vocals alongside sister harmonies to great effect.

“Past, Present and Future” by The Shangri-Las is perhaps most telling in showing their influence by rock ‘n’ roll music. Their loud image and alleged antics (including Weiss carrying a gun for protection during early performances) marked them out from other Girl Groups; even though they don’t qualify as punk in terms of an ideology that defines this style; nevertheless they laid groundwork for bands like Ramones, New York Dolls and early Blondie that followed a similar course.

‘Boots On The Ground’ (Bob Dylan)

Dylan emerged from a small town, defying expectations by dropping out of school and distancing himself from family ties even to the point of not even possessing a birth certificate, to embrace and explore an art form he was just discovering. Through music he used this power both as a mirror and weapon against nostalgia-ridden cultures that lived long past many of their children’s birthdates.

At once the Jeremiah of his generation and its most self-critical prophet, Paul Simon was also one of its greatest early classics from Blood on the Tracks. On this early classic from Blood on the Tracks he attacks “the scene, vanity and people with all,” taking aim at hipsters of his day. A straightforward folk atmosphere provides a perfect background for his lyrics which move between confessional verse and self-criticism while plaintive vocals and fresh air picking from Minnesota session musicians bring Appalachian balladry’s heartbreak and spiritual recovery.

As originally intended by CBS for Highway 61 Revisited, shortening of songs for radio play had become an issue; Dylan fans protested strongly and demanded that all tracks from Highway 61 Revisited be released again as singles with radio stations playing it entirely–something which they did. This change altered listener habits as well as perceptions about what constitutes an effective pop hit song.

Jimi Hendrix’s rendition is perhaps best-known. This song has become part of Dylan’s live performances and often begins his shows by telling his band to play it loud.

‘Fatalism’ (Otis Redding)

Redding’s music often celebrates love with soulful anthems, yet his recent recordings show another side to him: more somber tracks like his cover of French folk song “Frere Jacques.” Redding’s melancholic vocals and sparse instrumentation perfectly capture its melancholy spirit.

Redding’s distinctive style reached full bloom upon his signing with Stax Records in 1967. Label owner Jim Stewart recognized Redding’s talent and supported his artistry; together they joined Booker T & the MGs who took full advantage of Redding’s talent, producing some of the greatest soul songs ever written.

Redding’s classic song, “Cigarettes and Coffee,” offers an intimate glimpse of life encased in warm hues; its real strength lies in its existential fatalism; this message communicated by this song is that simple pleasures can often bring greater satisfaction than big romance; thus emphasizing how important cherishing the time spent with those we care for can be.

Redding’s tragically short career left an indelible legacy for all that followed him. His final recording, the high-energy “Love Man,” is an energetic celebration of Redding and love’s transformative power, featuring bold vocals backed by a swaggering groove and vibrant horn arrangements for an enduring musical composition proving that Redding truly was one of the greatest singers ever.