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Give Me Another Chance

Another Style of Arrangement

By Michael Stevenson


This article will be covering an earlier arrangement of the Sutton-Young song, "Give Me A Chance". Dwight Young came to me with this song and asked me to arrange it for our group, Labyrinth. He said, "Lush it up", which I did.

You will probably notice that there is no guitar in this arrangement; the initial version that we did at WaterFall was at a tempo of 72 bpm. The version Dwight brought to me to arrange had only the keyboard, bass, and drum tracks and was done at 70 bpm, so I couldn't "fly" in the guitar track I had because of the software I was using at the time. Changing the tempo on the guitar track created too many artifacts. I also looked at it as an additional challenge to arrange this minus my guitar.

Unfortunately, Dwight later "decided" that my version was too lush, but he never went into any detail regarding that decision. His song, his decision; which is an it should be.

Anyway, I had to determine the structure of the song as Dwight wrote it, Ken hadn't given me the lyrics nor melody at that time. I felt that the intro was quite long, 40 seconds before the background vocal chorus comes in with their intro, which takes it to 1 minute - 14 seconds before the first verse starts.

Although intros' this long are not common unless it's an "album cut", (showing my age!!!), there is nothing "wrong" with it; in fact sometimes this would be a writers' way to take the song out of a usual form. I would have preferred different drum fills instead of always using the exact same fill which to me sounds like it is built via loops; a live drummer would not like to always use the same fill unless that fill were exceptional! Once again, not how I wanted it, but it was not my place to decide. I could only offer my opinion but that decision lies with the writer in this case.

Some times the producer is the decision-maker or someone at the label or I have seen occasions where it is the artist who may make the final decision ("If you want me to cover your song you have to do ....."). Funny, as I write this I realize that this article is more about arrangement than songwriting; probably because my involvement was as guitarist and arranger; not writer, duh!!

Thinking back, I'm not sure if Ken ever heard my arrangement, I arranged this away from the studio. Ken's recent re-mix of Give Me A Chance and the earlier version we went with back in 2004


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