Vocal songs where the actual hook or chorus is played by an instrument

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by elgreco, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Last night, when Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street came on the radio, I realized that the actual hook of the song is not sung, but played by an instrument. When the verses are over you'd expect a chorus with lyrics by the singer, maybe even backup singers, but no such thing - a single instrument takes over and gives the song its catchy hook. And of course, in this case, it's that saxophone that gave the song its distinct feel, made it instantly recognizable and gave it its well-deserved place in history.

    Come to think of it, I don't believe there are many hit songs (or album tracks for that matter) that work this way. The only other example I could think of is Private investigations by Dire Straits, where Mark Knopfler mumbles the verses and that acoustic guitar adds a hook.

    I'm sure forum members can come up with more examples.
     
  2. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Lots of riff based songs might fit your premise. How about "My Sharona"?
     
  3. qwerty

    qwerty Forum Resident

    It is similar to "Land of 1000 Dances", where the hook is a sung "Na, na-na na-nah, na-na-na-naa na-na na na naa" (which I believe was originally sung because words were not written at the demo stage). The sung line is like a musical instrument.
     
  4. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Well , I'm not sure if it fits your requirements because the vocal melody is integral also , but far and away the clincher for "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" is Matthew Fisher's organ part.
     
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  5. qwerty

    qwerty Forum Resident

    I have always considered the organ in Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" to take over and complete the vocal chorus to give the song it's hook and musical resolution. Kinda half meeting your criteria.
     
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  6. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :-plnktn-: Some folks might argue that it's not the chorus, but the two bridges of "Crimson & Clover" where it suddenly goes into a slightly modified instrumental Bo-Diddley beat that is the biggest hook in a song that is admittedly full of other hooks as well.
     
  7. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" either works here or comes close. The main hook comes in the instrumental sections between the verses.
     
  8. ChristianL

    ChristianL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Torch Song from Soft Cell comes to my mind immediately.
     
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  9. lightbulb

    lightbulb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    Neil Young
    "Cinnamon Girl"
     
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  10. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    these maybe ?

    Who Can It Be Now - Men at Work
    Ultravox - Reap the Wild Wind (Produced by Sir George Martin)
    Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy ¿
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  11. Fullbug

    Fullbug Forum Resident

  12. lightbulb

    lightbulb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)
    - Neil Young and Crazy Horse
     
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  13. Khaki F

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kenosha, WI. USA
    A really odd song, but one that seems to fit the criteria. "Pantagruel's Nativity" by Gentle Giant:

     
  14. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Donald Fagen's "I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)"
     
  15. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    "Big Log" by Robert Plant
     
  16. Pim

    Pim Forum Resident

    The Final Countdown ofcourse.
     
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  17. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Je. Walker--"What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)"
     
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  18. jmpatrick

    jmpatrick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    How about the live version of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page"?
     
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  19. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Free Bird
    My Sweet Lord
     
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  20. Cemetry Gator

    Cemetry Gator Member

    Location:
    Morristown, NJ
    OMD did this with a bunch of their singles, like Electricity or Enola Gay. They would sing the verses, but the synths would handle the chorus.

    You could also argue Blue Monday by New Order does that. The bass guitar riff serves as a hook to the song.
     
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  21. éder

    éder Forum Resident

    Alice In Chains - Nutshell
     
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  22. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    There are some songs where the hooky instrumental part follows the sung chorus, or is an extension of it. My earlier "I.G.Y." example is one. Another is Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son," where the main, instrumental hook follows the sung chorus at various points in the song.

    I don't know whether these count, or whether the OP is looking just for examples in which the hook is the chorus and there's no singing involved.
     
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  23. Chimichurri

    Chimichurri Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Merseyside
    Supernaut. Also, Ozzy vocalises Iommi's riffing on Iron Man.
     
  24. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Bob Seger 'Mainstreet' ......?

     
  25. Yobbles

    Yobbles Well-Known Member

    "Powderfinger" by Neil
     
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