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The Kinks & The Secondary Dominant Chord

Posted on: May 11th, 2011 by dville

We all know how exciting it is when a Dominant Chord  (V) turns up in a song!  Can you even image the sheer pandemonium of also experiencing a Secondary Dominant Chord?  If you can’t, just ask Ray Davies and The Kinks how it feels.

Without going into a long-winded theoretical bloviation about the function of the Secondary Dominant Chord (see above link for that), just listen to The Kinks fourth hit single, All Day & All of the Night.

Although similar in sound to their third single, You Really Got Me, one thing sets these two Power Chord extravaganzas apart, the Secondary Dominant Chord found in All Day & All of the Night.

First listen to You Really Got Me then All Day & All of the Night.


You Really Got Me

All Day & All of the Night



Hear that great descending chord progression of F-Bb-G in All Day?  It’s in the Key of G, the basic progression being F-G  F-Bb-G (bVII-I  bVII-bIII-I).

The F (bVII) is the Secondary Dominant Chord, the purpose of which is to briefly make the Bb (bIII) sound like a tonic chord as the F resolves a 5th interval down to Bb.  Rock on!

    Circle of 5ths
Thanks to the Essential Secrets of Songwriting blog by Gary Ewer for the idea for this post.

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