So What

Composer: Miles Davis

Album: Kind of Blue

The definitive modal jazz tune, that is, a composition that stays in a single mode for many measures. There are two chords in this one, both played in the dorian minor mode: Sixteen measures of D minor 7, eight of E flat minor 7, eight more of D minor 7. Usually the tune's melody line is played by the bass. First recorded on trumpeter Miles Davis' immortal Kind Of Blue album, widely regarded as a milestone in jazz history and quintessential example of cool jazz. Miles' trumpet solo on this cut is perhaps his most famous recorded moment.

"So what" is the title of an Anti-Nowhere League b-side and is possibly one of the most offensive songs ever recorded. Published in 1982, most copies were confiscated for violating UK obscene publications law. A measure of how times have changed is that Metallica's recent cover version (on the Garage Inc album) is available on every high street.

The song was inspired by an overheard conversation between a pair of boneheads boasting about things they had done. Compared to the aggressive Metallica cover, the original feels more careless and alienated.

The chorus:

So what, so what
So what, so what you boring little c**t

Well who cares, who cares what you do
Who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you

The verses deal with various themes:

In contrast to the self-censored tone of this writeup the song is utterly explicit.

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