Song Analysis – 99 Luftballons

The chord progression used throughout the song is E – F#m – A – B

Structure – The song seems to follow a fairly simple Verse Chorus structure with a few variations, after a 1 bar introduction utilising a smooth synth pad sound, the first verse begins at a slow tempo around 75BPM and lasts 8 bars, this section contains only synth and vocals. There is a 2/4 bar containing claps which leads into the first hook, which then lasts 16 bars, for the first 8 bars it uses synth bass sounds, bass guitar, and drums, the second 8 bars introduce a higher horn-like synth sound and electric guitar parts. There is also a unique synth sound here transitioning into the next section. The second verse has a much quicker tempo, nearly double that of the first, and lasts 16 bars, it uses drums, guitar and bass guitar as well as the synth pad sound alongside the vocal part. At this point the second hook begins and lasts only 8 bars, it contains a synth solo over the top of guitar, bass guitar and drums. The song then transitions into a third verse lasting another 16 bars, it follows the same instrumentation as the last, besides the synth horn sound which returns to transition back to the first hook, this lasts 16 bars again using the same instruments. A fourth verse follows going for another 16 bars, it uses the same instrumentation as the previous verse. The second hook repeats, this time with vocals added in alongside the synth solo, there are also more intense bass and guitar parts and a new synth sound comes in underneath. This section runs for 16 bars and then transitions using the synth horns. After an extra bar, the final verse begins, slowing back down to roughly 75BPM, it lasts 8 bars, uses the same instrumentation as the first verse and is followed by a short outro with a unique synth sound.

The overall mix is very dark besides the hi-hats and cymbals, which seem to be the only instruments reaching beyond 14kHz. There is an unmistakable tape hiss underneath the entire track, and the recording is definitely very analog-sounding. Reverb is heavily utilised throughout and creates a large amount of depth in some parts.

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