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 A resident of the SH Forums.

    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.
    andrewskyDE, Headfone, crispi and 5 others like this.
  5. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH Forums.

    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.
    goodiesguy, crispi, Tim S and 7 others like this.
  6. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :-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

    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 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Torch Song from Soft Cell comes to my mind immediately.
    Remy likes this.
  9. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    Neil Young
    "Cinnamon Girl"
    andrewskyDE, JL6161, ailgin and 6 others like this.
  10. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    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 Not the Brightest of the Bunch

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

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    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

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

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

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

    Pim Forum Resident

    The Final Countdown ofcourse.
    goodiesguy, Lamus, Baidur and 16 others like this.
  17. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Je. Walker--"What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)"
    Randon Ton, Headfone, TLMusic and 2 others like this.
  18. jmpatrick

    jmpatrick Forum Resident

    Detroit, MI
    How about the live version of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page"?
    ribonucleic and MikaelaArsenault like this.
  19. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Free Bird
    My Sweet Lord
    andrewskyDE, MLutthans and thxphotog like this.
  20. Cemetry Gator

    Cemetry Gator Well-Known Member

    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.
    Maurice and blaken123 like this.
  21. éder

    éder Forum Resident

    Alice In Chains - Nutshell
    Hadean75 likes this.
  22. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    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.
    McLover likes this.
  23. Chimichurri

    Chimichurri Forum Resident

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

    willy hooga hagga hooga

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

  25. Yobbles

    Yobbles Forum Resident

    "Powderfinger" by Neil
    ribonucleic likes this.

Share This Page