Sunday, 8 March 2009

What are your favourite 'bits' or 'segments' of songs?

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


  1. Sax solo from "Will You" by Hazel O'Connor

  2. 70's Hollies sound undoubtabely lame, but the album Distant Light is a real gem. and pull down the blind the second song has a transition of genius after the second verse, were it purrs into a sublime rhythmic heavy organ bass and lead guitar riff that's so creamy. It reminds me of a i want you by the beatles. Worth a listen, really is

  3. Bono's voice break on "... a shot rings out in a Memphis sky-iiiii!" and, while we're here, his line on 'Do They Know It's Christmas?" is extraordinary. "Tonight, thank god ..."

  4. That bit in Release the Bats by The Birthday Party where the band slams to a halt late in the song, just as Nick Cave is still singing the "RELEASE THE B-B-B-B..." bit. The band stops and he carries on with "B-B-B..." and then there's two snare cracks as they all crash back in with the "B-B-BABY'S A COOL MACHINE etc" bit. Did you get it? Did I do it justice? It's bloody holy that bit.

    Oh and in Pulp's Babies, that bit at the end where Jarvis sings "Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-YE-AAAHH" and then he goes "Ohhh-wwww" except it's not an oh but more of an aw. On my video it lasts for only two seconds between 3:23 and 3:24. It's only two seconds long but it feels like it could last forever. It's just about long enough. It's like time suspends while he does that bit...

    I'll see if I can think of more.