As with all analysis, we'll break the song down into four parts - the song itself, the arrangement, the sound and performance.
The Song - "Right Down The Line" uses a fairly simple form consisting of an intro, verse, 2nd verse, chorus (some might call it a bridge), verse, guitar solo, chorus, verse and outro chorus. That seems like a lot of parts, but there are only two that keep repeating, so it looks like this:
A, A, A, B, A, A, B, A, B
The Arrangement - This is a rather sparse arrangement with lots of space and not many overdubbed layers or doubles. The chorus gets bigger thanks to the introduction of a grand piano and three part harmony vocals.
* The Foundation is the bass and drums, both which basically play the same simple repeating patterns, as well as a staccato guitar figure played mostly on beat two.
* The Pad is provided by a nice Hammond organ with the Leslie on the chorale setting. This is enhanced during the chorus with a grand piano.
* The Rhythm is an interesting stereo wood block that jumps from speaker to speaker and provides motion to the song.
* The Lead is a doubled lead vocal and lead guitar playing in the intro and solos.
* The Fills are provided by two different sounding guitars, one that's fairly clean with a bit of high end, and the other during the verse with the high-end rolled off. The piano also plays flourishes that act as fills during the chorus.
The Sound - This song was recorded during what many consider to be the "golden age" of audio, so the basic sound is great. There's not a huge amount of compression, so the track breathes nicely. There are two reverb layers; a short one on the the guitar playing the fills, and a longer one on most of the other instruments. The piano stands out as being particularly well recorded.
The Performance - This is one of those songs that a particular performance doesn't jump right out at you until the chorus, where the three part harmony shines. The guitar parts fit the song well, but again, don't jump out as anything particularly virtuoso. That being said, the song has endured for 34 years, which is a tribute in itself to the song and the performance. In the end, it doesn't get any better than that.
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