THERE are great albums, great songs and great opening lyrics (‘Bless my cotton socks, I’m in the news’ The Teardrop Explodes), but what are the great ‘bits’ of songs?
By that I mean, what are the wee parts of songs you love?
The grunts, the oohs, the two note guitar solos and the spoken intros which make you want to join in.
The saxophone solos, the count ins, improvised skatting or unusual pronunciations of words you cherish and make you reach up to the headphones and press them that bit closer to the ear drum.
My starter for 10 (in no particular order and to be added to)
“Have you forgotten, that once we were brought here, we were robbed of our name, robbed of our language, we lost our religion, our culture, our gods... and many of us by the way we act, we even lost our minds...”
Farrakhan sample at the start of Night of the Living Baseheads by Public Enemy. Hip hop’s finest moment quickly followed by the almost as brilliant sample ‘We goin’ to get on down now’ soon after. Pure Bomb Squad alchemy. Perfect in every way, just as the album It Takes Million... is. I honestly believe this is pop music’s highest moment. Period.
The ‘1,2,3,4’ preceding the final verse of Springsteen’s Born to Run, usually accompanied by a delirious punch of the fist followed by a deep tinge of regret that you are bladdered at 1am in your Merseyside front room and not in a bar on the Jersey Shore circa 1978.
Strummer's lupine 'Ow Ow Ow Ow' in London Calling by The Clash
'Fuckin' long, ain't it' Magnificent Seven by The Clash
The ropey saxophone solo in This Old Heart of Mine by the Isley Brothers
Everything in either the four minute or near nine minute versions of Movin' On Up by Curtis Mayfield, especially the bongos
The opening John Byrne-penned riff to - and the very final G chord of - There She Goes by The La’s
All the horns on the later segments of Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness
‘Let’s hear it now for Otis Redding’ and all the subsequent ‘fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa’s’ on Arthur Conley’s Sweet Soul Music
How Weller’s voice raises up on the word society in the line before the chorus in the Jam’s Going Underground. ‘And I want nothing of what soc-IERTY wants, I’m goin...’
The ‘Put Yer Fur boots on’ exclamation by Van Morrison on the intro of the Bang Sessions version of Madame George
The guitar lick on The Needle and Damage Done by Neil Young
The opening to Where the Streets Have No Name by U2
The opening riff to Streets of Your Town by the Go-Betweens
the 'la la la' bit of Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks