Some of my favourite songs have only a few chords. One of the best 3 chord rock songs in my opinion is from the early seventies from denim rockers Status Quo. Founder members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt were awarded an OBE from the Queen in the New Years Honours List for 2010 but it was almost 40 years earlier when Francis Rossi teamed up with Bob Young to write a country music influenced track which would become rocker Caroline.
It wasn’t until Rick Parfitt, the self-confessed engine room of the band’s guitar sound, heard the song and sprinkled the magic dust by the simple bar chord introduction. This song is still used to open the bands concerts today and yes, they are still touring after all this time.
The introduction in ‘F’ then invites the rest of the band to join in. Francis Rossi’s lead guitar hooks you into the song and then the rest is history. It’s remained one of many tunes that have stood the test of time for the band and through changeable spells in popularity outside of their die hard fans and you can’t help but unintentionally nod your head to the beat, even if your in mid-conversation. On the other hand, when the volume is high, it oozes with seventies raw rock class.
F, A# and C are the only chords and all of them are bar chords. It doesn’t sound like this would be enough ingredients for a song which would have such an impact on people but it surely is. Check out Caroline by Status Quo – one of the classic 3 chord rock songs.