Would this be - I V II in the key of D or IV I V in the key of A?

Intro: D A E (4x)

Tonight we ride, right or wrong
Tonight we sail, on a radio song
Rescue me, should I go down
If I stay too long in trouble town

Oh, yeah,
you wreck me, baby You break me in two
But you move me, honey Yes, you do
I'd call it bVII IV I in E.

Listen to the chorus - the G sounds characteristically like bIII
It's a Tom Petty song. That's more or less puts it in the Key of, "whatever major chords you can play on a 12 string open". A man after my own heart actually.

I haven't heard this song. But, he does insist on playing the E major (V in A), more often than G, (IV in D, but a bIIV in A).

I'd consider the 2nd part of the verse in D, (G, D, A), but unresolved. That'll get everybody goin',,,!

Looks like A major though. What chord does he end on?

Couldn't you sneak off to the music shop and grab a quick peek at the sheet music and see what that says? Which would save about 3 pages of rancor here...

Quote by cdgraves
I'd call it bVII IV I in E.

Listen to the chorus - the G sounds characteristically like bIII
I just checked the sheet music on "Sympathy for the Devil", and lo and behold, that's stated in E. I might have guessed A on that as well. Because of all the E, D, A in that one, when he finally goes to B (V), it almost sounds out of place....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 29, 2013,
Yeah, it's in E: bVII-IV-I. And I listened to the song.

Again, you don't need any V chords in your song to be in a certain key. This is another good example of that. In rock it's pretty usual to use bIII and bVII chords. And bVII-IV-I and bIII-IV-I are very usual progressions in rock music.

The thing is not to look at it on paper. You need to listen to the song. Same chords can function differently in a different context.
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Without a clear V-I, or with some other ambiguity, rhythm is the easiest way to determine key.

In this example, the A is rhythmically weak, landing in the middle of the 2nd beat and lasting only one quarter note. The E, while landing on a weak-ish "3 and" is held out for an entire measure afterward, and provides the harmonic foundation for the melody.

As Maggamarine said, the bIII-IV sequence is another giveaway because it's such a common figure in classic rock music. The 70s rock genre really throws the whole diatonic chord/scale thing out the window, and emphasizes bluesy sounds by using or implying major harmonies, but using minor melodies.
Quote by sweepinblues
Would this be - I V II in the key of D or IV I V in the key of A?

The entire score (vocals + guitars + bass) of Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" is not in a single key.

It uses the usual "I-IV-V" major chords transposed to "4" DIATONIC KEYS.

*The 5 main progressions can be summarized as:
|: Db-Ab-Db-Ab--:|
|: Eb-Bb-Eb|-Bb-F-- :|

No accidentals will occur anywhere in the score (except in the guitar solo which uses the F minor/major pentatonic scale over Eb-Bb-F chords) if it is notated as follows:

ave tempo = 164
(0 : 00.94) BARS 1-16 = Key Signature bb
(0 : 24.22) BARS 17-20 = Key Signature bbb
(0 : 30.09) BARS 21-24 = Key Signature bb
(0 : 35.96) BARS 25-28 = Key Signature bbb
(0 : 41.88) BARS 29-44 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 05.33) BARS 45-48 = Key Signature bbb
(1 : 11.21) BARS 49-52 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 17.05) BARS 53-56 = Key Signature bbb
(1 : 22.89) BARS 57-64 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 34.73) BARS 65-68 = Key Signature bbbb
(1 : 40.61) BARS 69-72 = Key Signature
(1 : 46.41) BARS 73-88 = Key Signature bb [guitar solo F minor penta / F major penta]
(2 : 08.30) BARS 88-96 = Key Signature bb
(2 : 21.42) BARS 97-100 = Key Signature bbb
(2 : 27.30) BARS 101-104 = Key Signature bb
(2 : 33.14) BARS 105-108 = Key Signature bbb
(2 : 38.96) BARS 109-132 = Key Signature bb

*"actual pitches" of the youtube video http : // www .youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=B8m5p6V_NPQ
Last edited by ha_asgag at May 1, 2013,