Interesting excerpt from Steve Armond’s book:
Consider the famous chord progression that Angus Young plays at the beginning of “Back in Black.” A good writer could tell us about those grinding, seismic chords, the distinct rhythm of their deployment, even that sly, arpeggiated little five-note lick that acts as a segue from one volley to the next. But those are just pale approximations of what it feels like to hear that intro, the squirt of sinister glee that makes most people – even decent religious folk – reach for their air guitar.
Now consider the rest of the song: the rhythmic structures (bassline, drums), Brian Johnson’s howling vocal, harmonic and tonal relationships, etc. But okay, let’s say you’ve taken your Rock Crit Steroids and you’re able to describe all these elements. How, then, do you convey the simultaneity of all that noise, the blissful riot of sound we experience as a singular thing (the song)? But okay, okay, let’s say you’ve taken your Rock Crit Steroids for years, you’re the Barry Bonds of Rock Crit, and so you manage to get this, too. You’d still be left with the Basic and Insoluble Crisis of Melody: words cannot be made into notes. And even if you somehow magically solved that crisis (which you couldn’t) you’d still be missing what it feels like for a particular fan to hear a particular song (let alone songs, let alone in concert) because this involves a collaboration between the music and the fan’s own needs: his or her own lust for joy, sorrow, power, rage, sex, and – oh what the hell – hope.
I have no idea who he is, but was impressed by his write up of the thing, as it’s my own thinking and I had dared use some of his same words in the home page of my thing here. 😀