Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2007

Rehab by Amy Winehouse

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Britain’s bad girl takes us on a retro journey to a detox center with lots of attitude in this modern lounge lizard classic.

Song: Rehab
Artist: Amy Winehouse
Album: Back to Black
Songwriter: Amy Winehouse
Producer: Mark Ronson
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Concept
Ms. “Whinehouse” wants to kick her nasty habits or does she?  

Lyric
This topical lyric deals with the conflicts inherent in giving up an addiction, a revealing confessional contemporary portrait of what many are going through today. They tried to make me go to rehab and I said no, no, no Yes I’ve been black, but when I come back you’ll know, know, know I ain’t got the time, and if my daddy thinks I’m fine He’s tried to make me go to rehab I won’t go, go, go I’d rather be at home with Ray I ain’t got 17 days ‘Cause there’s nothing, there’s nothing that you can’t teach me That I can’t learn from Mr. Hathaway I didn’t get a lot in class But I know we don’t come in a shot glass

Groove
A campy syncopated 8th note rock groove reminiscent of 60s pop soulsters like Ray Charles or British pop divas like Petula Clark.

Melody
A catchy riffy jazzy bluesy melody that sticks in one’s mind whether one wants it to or not.

Harmony
Mostly bluesy and pop 7th chords. I7 V7 IV7 I7 III7 vi7 IV7 iv6 (2x) V7 IV7 V7 IV7

Structure
B A B C A B C A B C A chorus verse pre-chorus chorus verse pre-chorus chorus verse pre-chorus chorus

Signature
No intro or signature.

Production
The campy background with its horns, strings and chimes harks back to the records of Ray Charles and other 60s pop classics.

Performance
Winehouse’s voice belts out her troubles in the fine tradition of many top jazz and blues singers.

Predicted Longevity
This record defies all categorization as well as its potential longevity. No one else but Amy would probably sing this, and although its topicality is engaging, it might limit the song’s future to a fond (or not so fond) recall of 2007.

Album Cover: Back to Black

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