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

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

  1. HarvG

    HarvG Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    The guitars in Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men"
    goodiesguy and McLover like this.
  2. Wounded Land

    Wounded Land Forum Resident

    This is a great song (and a great album).
    Khaki F likes this.
  3. murrow1971

    murrow1971 Active Member

    I think the OP confused many as to what the prompt was. This song clearly has the chorus sung by Fagen. Yeah the horn part is catchy, but in no way the chorus. "Birthday" could be an example.
  4. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    So then we're looking for songs in which an instrumental section totally replaces the chorus. Got it. Thanks.
  5. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more"

    With the exception of Blue Monday, most replies list songs with a catchy instrumental hook.

    On "I.G.Y", the horn part and the sung "what a beautiful world..." are equally catchy.
    Striking as the organ on "Like A Rolling Stone" is, it is only the equal of the "how does it feel" vocal.
    (coincidentally New Order's own "how does it feel" on "Blue Monday" is indeed only secondary to the instrumental hooks)
    On "Land Of A Thousand Dances", as qwerty noted, we have a sung line like a musical instrument, that's the exact opposite of "Baker Street".

    Interesting thread, as I'm struggling to find "another" Baker Street.
  6. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks, Monosterio (and Mr Sam), for bringing this up. To make things clear - yes, I am looking for songs with a fully instrumental chorus. Songs where the hook IS the chorus, in other words where the actual chorus is played by an instrument only, with no vocal part involved. Which means that songs like The final countdown and A whiter shade (and most of those riff-heavy songs) don't count, because those songs have a chorus that is sung by the lead singer.
    Admittedly, those songs are great examples of where the instrumental hook makes the song stand out on the radio, but I am specifically looking for songs where an instrument comes in at the point where the chorus is supposed to start and, on first listen, you might expect the lead singer to start singing the refrain of the song.

    There are a lot of songs that come close, like Who can it be now, where the saxophone plays a big role, but the actual chorus (the title in this case) is sung. Also, there's a lot of songs in which it's not clear what the actual chorus is, like Sultans of swing and Torch. For Torch you could argue that the part 'He's searching, she's showing' is the bridge that leads up to the instrumental chorus, but you could also state that the vocal part near the end (see her eyes, they are bright tonight...) is the actual chorus. So that's a tough one.

    So up to now I think very few suggestions fit the actual criteria. Maybe Pantagruel's nativity would count, methinks. And maybe Big log, since that songs doesn't seem to have an actual chorus, but the guitar parts could be considered as such.

    Maybe I should have left the word 'hook' off the hook...:) Just think along the lines of Baker street.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  7. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    War -- "Low Rider"
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  8. eeglug

    eeglug Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, USA
    Madonna - Live To Tell

  9. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Yeah, the part that threw me off is "hook OR chorus" in the title. Thanks for clarifying.
  10. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Low rider is a pretty good example of what I'm looking for, so I think you've got it. Hopefully your example will enlighten others as well. :righton:
    Monosterio likes this.
  11. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    Smoke On The Water
  12. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nope, since the song has a vocal chorus. Sure, the riff makes it stand out, but I'm after songs where the actual chorus (not necessarily the same as the hook of the riff) is played by an instrument, with no singing involved at all.

    Again - think Baker street.
    Kim Olesen likes this.
  13. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Mungo Jerry "In the Summertime"

  14. Big Pasi

    Big Pasi Forum Resident

    Vaasa, Finland
    How about these two Wings-songs:

    No Words
    Old Siam, Sir
  15. MonkeyLizard

    MonkeyLizard I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

    Mickey and Sylvia - Love Is Strange immediately comes to mind

  16. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    My Sharona is an interesting tune. That bridge is like a different and much, much better song.
  17. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Jimi Hendrix -- 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
  18. Who'sTommy

    Who'sTommy Forum Resident

    The Netherlands
    I'm in doubt about Jethro Tull's "No Lullaby".
    The flute appears every time after Ian sings "so I'll sing you no lullaby".
    MikaelaArsenault likes this.
  19. django68

    django68 Forum Resident

    O.M.D. Souvenir
  20. talkradio

    talkradio Forum Resident

    Cologne, Germany
    What about The Cure - Lullabye?
    Mr Sam likes this.
  21. Rojo

    Rojo Forum Resident

    Two songs by McCartney which have a somewhat similar vibe: Rinse the Raindrops and Nod Your Head
  22. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    For me, the hook in The Weight is that piano run before the chorus starts. If you listen to the version with the Staples, you miss that little run, even though Mavis really gets down.
  23. PC31

    PC31 Forum Resident

    Ottawa, CAN
    Many songs by Led Zeppelin.
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  24. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik "Digs" "beat" "poetry"

    If I understand the OP correctly, "Baker Street" and "Pictures of Matchstick Men" are perfect examples -- the singer sings the title or maybe even the chorus, but the song's primary hook is provided by an instrument. "Walk This Way," "Band of Gold," and "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin" might also qualify.
  25. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves Forum Resident

    Purple Haze?

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