The Most COMPLEX Pop Song of All Time

Is this the most complex song ever? In this video I answer that question.

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  • Robbie Buchanan posted this on FB: "Rick Beato made this video about "Never Gonna Let You Go," a Sergio Mendes cover of a great Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song. He calls it "the most complex song ever." His tutorial is hysterical. Rick's facial expressions on the "new" chords as they come up are priceless. Go, Rick. you're awesome;). You even picked up on the Gb/C7 in the fade! (I actually snuck that one in on the date) "This is actually an arrangement I am quite proud of. "btw, I remember the day we recorded the song in the small room at Kendun Recorders in Burbank. it was so small that JR, Nate (East), Paul Jackson JR and myself were all in a tiny circle facing each other....no more than 4-6 feet away from each other. I had done the arrangement the day before and, for the rundown, they recorded it. THAT was the track. it was just one of those days when everyone was on...no fixes or punch-ins. Then Joe (Pizzulo) sang a "rough" vocal right after. THAT was the final lead too!!! crazy huh?"

    Tony ThomasTony Thomas27 күн мурун
    • @Dan Navarro before michael bolton was cool

      Bryan ParnalaBryan Parnala12 саат мурун
    • Great job by Robbie. Sounds like a great challenge for a chord recognition app: youtu dot be slash 1LXaGPQyBz0

      Arturo CamachoArturo Camacho15 саат мурун
    • @3rdBan SubjectNone I do like syrup, but every now and then I dig some really cool jazz, country, classical, blues, hill country, foreign but it's not my diet so you're right.

      Marcia EverettMarcia Everett2 күн мурун
    • @3rdBan SubjectNone That's what I said in a different video on a pop argument.

      Marcia EverettMarcia Everett2 күн мурун
    • now can we get him/them on the show.

      Marcia EverettMarcia Everett2 күн мурун
  • This song has been overplayed on the air here in the Philippines since the 80s, so nobody here realizes how complex it actually is

    JamesJames2 саат мурун
  • The rest of us would still be trying to work it out a year later.

    Annie DarkhorseAnnie Darkhorse4 саат мурун
  • Wayne Shorter's style changes under a Pop song

    cesare grossicesare grossi5 саат мурун
  • One of my favorite songs

    Tito SirjTito Sirj9 саат мурун
  • I knew this song from childhood. I’m in my 40s. A few months ago I thought I’d try learning this song on the piano thinking, “it’s slow and I hear the easy 2-5-1 passing chords”…lol little did I know I’d spend a week cramming the chords. I didn’t know it would be this hard. Literally every note is played in this song. I don’t even remember it anymore 😂

    Carlos PepinCarlos Pepin9 саат мурун
  • Gawd. Imagine being a DJ trying to find a song with the right key to mix THAT one into.

    djGreenALERTdjGreenALERT10 саат мурун
  • Loved that, Rick! So good, and so funny

    WasabiCarsWasabiCars11 саат мурун
  • One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz. Lou Reed

    wretchro100wretchro10014 саат мурун
  • Do you think that The Fugees could do something with that? Like a "new improved music arrangement". I mean . . . , poor Fugees massacred "Killing Me Softly" already. They took the the entire song and squeezed into a one bar machine drum beat, and used a rootless chord with no third and no fifth to re-make the entire song based on it. That version of the poor song ended in a Freightliner junkyard in Miami. And somebody bought it for 24 cents. Now is been used to collect the old burned oil from a greasy diesel turbine truck engine in Hialeah.

    WT TWWT TW18 саат мурун
  • It is a truly a beautiful song and the arrangement is perfect. You can feel what the lyrics is about thru the music, even if nobody sings it.

    WT TWWT TW18 саат мурун
  • 'modulate daddy, modulate"

    christopher smithchristopher smith19 саат мурун
  • Any info on the year of that SG Jr?

    k mak ma19 саат мурун
  • Sergio Mendes created a lot of complicated piece especially in the 80's. And Joe Pizullo able to sung it...Its so amazing that Rick able to teach us the how to play it in full detail...

    Jun Rayward LeuterioJun Rayward Leuterio21 саат мурун
  • No wonder most people can't read music.

    PANZERWERFERPANZERWERFER21 саат мурун
  • By the 6th minute of analysis, my brain hurt...

    Gary Reid Backing TracksGary Reid Backing Tracks23 саат мурун
  • Hilarious. The face expressions! Anyone that had to learn a song to a gig at the same week can relate. Why the f*** use this when he could have used just 4 chords, at that instance you hate the song writer off course after a while those are the songs that stick with you.

    Hod SaridHod SaridКүн мурун
  • This was so funny to watch 😂

    Sander van KasterenSander van KasterenКүн мурун
    • Although I remember a gig with all Dutch classical jazz-oriented songs. Also change key like 6 times a song. I can relate to this so much 😂

      Sander van KasterenSander van KasterenКүн мурун
  • Anthony Bourdain reborn?

    Patrick TorresPatrick TorresКүн мурун
  • lool !

    jimleveilleur livejimleveilleur liveКүн мурун
  • 😳🧐🤣😉😁

    Toney MitchellToney MitchellКүн мурун
  • Sergio Mendes and his Brazilian music is always complex

    The Brilliant Mr. PedroThe Brilliant Mr. PedroКүн мурун
  • Rick, thank you sooooo much for sharing this one. I was a little late to the party, but remember listening to Brasil 86 for the first time with my song writing partner back in that day and making lots of the same faces. What Do We Mean To Each Other has a lot of similarities to Never Gonna Let You Go. Made me pull up that album again - forgot how amazing it was, with some ridiculously stellar talent. How I loved Siedah Garrett!!!

    Brent LieffersBrent LieffersКүн мурун
  • Ran across this by accident just now... what a GREAT ACCIDENT! This song reminds me of how a music history teacher* described Gesualdo's music from the 16th century: " You see, Gesualdo was a lutenist, and he wasn't very good, so when he was writing choral music and needed to change from one chord to the next, he'd just mentally slide all the notes up toward the bridge or down away from the bridge. It made for some pretty weird chord changes!" *Music history teacher was also the University Band director with the name Edward H. Clinkscale. For real.

    Ernie GilmanErnie GilmanКүн мурун
  • I would have figured the most complex pop song ever would have been Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Rocco AndRocco AndКүн мурун
  • Ok then, where's the tab?

    UlorUlorКүн мурун
  • The idea for these chords came from a few chords in "All the things you are."

    Jazz 16Jazz 16Күн мурун
  • The chord writers were on an exercise, is all I can think

    Jazz 16Jazz 16Күн мурун
  • You forgot the most complex rave up finish to a concert ever RIck, Keep on Chooglin, CCR, E7 all the way. Complex, sweet, kickin the door down. You love it right? Yeah, a song needs to be :complex" to make a statement. Maybe not so much Rick. There ya go.

    Johnny never let me downJohnny never let me downКүн мурун
  • You deserve MONEY for this education video. I mean that. Rick Beato has meaning too. Stop harshing on Rick.

    Jazz 16Jazz 16Күн мурун
  • Very entertaining and informative!

    EstoniusEstoniusКүн мурун
  • Splitenz, late last night is near impossible to play

    Mike DavidsonMike DavidsonКүн мурун
  • THANK YOU!

    Glen SasekGlen SasekКүн мурун
  • "What is that...!??" :)

    Kevin WheelerKevin WheelerКүн мурун
  • Thought it was going to be a Status Quo number

    Adrian JohnAdrian JohnКүн мурун
  • Man, I really love all the wiseasses in this comment section saying they are going to request this at a wedding! You, my friends, are going to collectively raise the bar for musicians! All you need to do is to get someone to say "yes"!... and pay the 2k added fee for accommodating this request.

    Clifford LetscheClifford LetscheКүн мурун
  • A great biopsy

    Robert KaneRobert KaneКүн мурун
  • You talk too much.

    George TGeorge T2 күн мурун
  • I'm hearing this tune for the first time in my life, though it sounds so similar to something Ritenour would've done...

    Stuart KlineStuart Kline2 күн мурун
  • So what key is the song in? xD

    Johnny DarkoJohnny Darko2 күн мурун
  • Cocaine might be to blame for those chords. Just saying!

    Robin HartRobin Hart2 күн мурун
  • Yes, amen and amen. For me it was Deborah Cox, How Did You Get Here - Shep Crawford, Montell Jordan, Composers. My worst nightmare. After that I realized, all I'd ever be was some hack standing in the corner strumming. These types of songs are what real talent is. Much respect.

    jones1351jones13512 күн мурун
  • 3:11 "Now we're going to uncharted territory" Both literally and figuratively :D

    Japanese Funny ShortsJapanese Funny Shorts2 күн мурун
  • This was a huge song while I was growing up, I would hear it at the dentist’s office, my house, the swimming pool deck at my gramp’s condo. I remember it as busy and having sparse electric floating guitar notes over the whole mess. The vocal performances were on point. You are a beast on guitar transcription by ear, thus your opinion bears great weight, if YOU say it’s the most complex, it IS. I would love to see Tim Pierce’s reaction to watching this!

    John MennaJohn Menna2 күн мурун
  • Jobim's school...

    Julio PraticoJulio Pratico2 күн мурун
  • Great Song ... Tough chart! I learned it on keyboard also.

    Bradley PagliaroBradley Pagliaro2 күн мурун
  • It would be worth the struggle, memorised or on a chart if it landed on the ear....IT DOESN"T. Play this for children? YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

    MauriatOttolinkMauriatOttolink2 күн мурун
  • If Keith Richards had tried this, he'd have run screaming into the night!

    James DrynanJames Drynan2 күн мурун
  • Perfect example of "complexity" leading to sub mediocrity. It is not a surprise that song was a hit in the eighties, "smooth jazz" was really big back then. Yuk.

    Michele SmithMichele Smith2 күн мурун
  • They just want to be asked first, tho,....forgot about that.The author just wants you to ask them for permission.

    Jazz 16Jazz 162 күн мурун
  • Does it matter that I barely understood a single thing he said...? Probably not, because he confirmed what many of us "simple" people already knew - That pop music in the 80's really was better! :-D

    soundseeker63soundseeker632 күн мурун
  • At first, I thought Rick was going to look at "MacArthur Park" or something; I forgot how much of an MC Escher/Mobius strip this song is. I've never played this live, and now I know why.

    Reggie MayReggie May2 күн мурун
  • What about Gino Vannelli, "brother to brother". Love to hear your take on some of their songs.

    Marcus KaiserMarcus Kaiser2 күн мурун
  • We notice the changes, we just don't know they're difficult. LOL That's you musician's fucking job. LOL

    Marcia EverettMarcia Everett2 күн мурун
  • Rick, is it more confusing because you KNOW where the chords belong? Could someone who doesn't know any of that just play the notes because that's what they are without thinking about how they relate? Just curious if people play ...well sounds like Paul could.

    Marcia EverettMarcia Everett2 күн мурун
  • I thought he was gonna do a prince song honestly. I never expected this

    jeremy smithjeremy smith2 күн мурун
  • Sounds influenced by Earth, Wind and Fire, "After the Love has Gone".

    tunafangtunafang2 күн мурун
    • But isn’t it that this song came out before After the Love is Gone?

      Tito SirjTito Sirj9 саат мурун
  • Now you know why I am a 3 chord rock & roller! Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all music, from Muse to Caruso, but I have never understood chasing complexity just for the sake of complexity.

    Ray SmithRay Smith2 күн мурун
  • Rick, mAsta!! masta!! masta!!!, you are a master blaster !!! best surgical analysis so far on that particular song, not even CSI Forensics would be able to disect and digest with that classy approach !!! love those expressions... PRICELESS!!!!! you are one of a kind veryyyyy talented studio cat. Best. R.

    Rolo SaenzRolo Saenz2 күн мурун
  • That sh.t cray cray!!

    Alan BlakeAlan Blake2 күн мурун
  • The next time I’m on a cruise ship and they’re asking for a request, guess what I’m gonna yell out? 🤣

    Bill SpringerBill Springer2 күн мурун
  • This reminds me Bosa Nova harmonic stuff.

    Buck RogersBuck Rogers2 күн мурун
  • Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil are truly the greatest song writters. This song, notwithstanding the extreme complexity in the chords arrangement, Barry and Cynthia managed to stitch them together so flawlessly. The writers must truly have a thorough knowledge of musical theory to be able to compose such a song. Such musicians are hard to find nowadays.

    Bill HongBill Hong2 күн мурун
  • That's precisely why this was the number one song. The 1970s through the 1990s was the golden era of comtemporary Western music, be it pops, country, jazz and even broadway musicals. I believe there are still a great deal of good music that is waiting to be written, produced, and performed. When will the next golden era of music be ??

    Bill HongBill Hong2 күн мурун
  • Rick Beato? a legend in his own mind, a complicated song for meth heads.

    joe wattsjoe watts3 күн мурун
  • guitar, you don't need Mr $

    joe wattsjoe watts3 күн мурун
  • STUNNING BEAUTIFUL ❤️

    Nanoci62Nanoci623 күн мурун
  • I never knew this song is that complicated that’s unbelievable thank you so much for bringing that to our attention

    D LundoD Lundo3 күн мурун
  • Loved this song back in the day! You're a Rochester kid? Irondequoit/Penfield roots here, rock on!

    Biking VikingBiking Viking3 күн мурун
  • It may be the most complex, but I also find it one of the most annoying.

    choomanfoochoomanfoo3 күн мурун
  • How many keys? Yes

    R3mmy21R3mmy213 күн мурун
  • Anybody have the chart, I can't find it online...

    kavik riverkavik river3 күн мурун
    • Found it. VirtualSheetMusic

      kavik riverkavik river3 күн мурун
  • I don't think you've monetized this video enough. Please add more ads.

    Ken StikaKen Stika3 күн мурун
  • Rick ,can you do a Ray Charles song? like Georgia on my mind.

    Sam GallegosSam Gallegos3 күн мурун
  • Love this!!! Incredible musical analysis. Tears rolling down my cheeks!

    Daniel CookeDaniel Cooke3 күн мурун
  • This song gives the impression of having Bossa Nova influences and am not surprised by the name of the producer. In any case, it also reminds me of the theme of Arthur the Millionaire by Christopher Cross and accually I think that precisely "Arthur's Theme" deserves one "What makes this song great"...

    D. V.D. V.3 күн мурун
  • Just...wow

    CAVEMAN93ableCAVEMAN93able3 күн мурун
  • The Beatles were the ones who brought the simple, simplistic, mindless element to pop music. Not a fan...

    nora22000nora220003 күн мурун
  • I really love a lot of these "unexpected" chord changes. To me, they make me feel some sort of uplifting vibe.

    rodylermglezrodylermglez3 күн мурун
  • I was going to take up guitar music until I came across this mental pretzel mind blower

    Manfred SeidlerManfred Seidler3 күн мурун
  • Complex and boooooooring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I am a brazilian....

    Gunther ArnoldGunther Arnold3 күн мурун
  • The cord PATTERN is NOT a PATTERN. LOL... I do not know anything about music and I can hear it!

    Tamer ZiadyTamer Ziady3 күн мурун
  • Sounds like a headf**k to learn. Wow! 😱😰😳

    SimonDGSimonDG3 күн мурун
  • This is what happens when you tell 5 people to independently reharmonise over a Michael McDonald-esque melody. It's brilliant.

    Lincoln MauriceLincoln Maurice3 күн мурун
  • That song was composed on guitar by Edward Scissorhands.

    aerojamooaerojamoo3 күн мурун
  • Is it just me, or did his story @11:36 seem like it should have started with, "this one time; at band camp...?"

    ryeis1ryeis13 күн мурун
  • Thank you for sharing this story. Hilarious! Wish I could see this. Is it recorded anywhere?

    Robin YoungRobin Young3 күн мурун
  • Rick, you might want to look up "auxiliary cadences" and prolongational/voice-leading design in the works of Heinrich Schenker and Felix Salzer.

    Hilbert_not_DilbertHilbert_not_Dilbert3 күн мурун
  • OMG Rick... you just made me laugh my ass off. LOOOOL.. I can't imagine having to do that song on the fly, although the changes are beautiful and it really is an incredible tune, it cannot be taken lightly. The more you played, the more I laughed. That was awesome. :)

    Dennis AsselstineDennis Asselstine3 күн мурун
  • Clickbait, I love this song but there are definitely more complex songs in pop music. Fun fact: Sergio Mendes produced the album and only played the percussions. Joe Pizzulo (who backed for a multitude of artists) sang the vocals in this song.

    Ethan SEthan S3 күн мурун
  • Arthur's Theme? sounds sort of...

    matt rowematt rowe3 күн мурун
  • Why would anyone create such a song? I'd love to know how, and why, this was written. Were they trying to push boundaries, or were they just following ideas without even remembering that reality had once existed?

    rungus24rungus243 күн мурун
  • "If you get lost between the moon and New York City..." Opening changes are the same as "Arthur."

    Doctor TromboneDoctor Trombone3 күн мурун
  • I've known the sophistication of yesterdays bubblegum music to be on a much higher level than what is often a one chord vamp today, but the extreme to which this piece illustrates the disparity is quite astonishing. I'd have never looked at this piece in such an analytical way. it's something I'd hear on the radio by chance and appreciate in the raw, perhaps taking note of its more dramatic dynamics. Most will never have any idea of "The sauce" involved. Thank you for this

    Venomballistics44Venomballistics443 күн мурун
  • That was just so entertaining. Awesome.

    Vladimir BrownVladimir Brown3 күн мурун
  • hahahaha - uncharted territory...I get it LOL

    Rob LewisRob Lewis3 күн мурун
  • If you want to try harmonically complex pop song try "Stan pogody" of Polish singer Anna Jurksztowicz (80's hit in Poland). You won't be disappointed :-)

    Dawid SzmatułaDawid Szmatuła3 күн мурун
  • That’s what charts are for, Paisano.

    Armed AnglicanArmed Anglican3 күн мурун