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View Full Version : Tiny little things that make good songs better



TomAz
02-14-2010, 06:27 PM
So I was thinking about how little things can take a good song and put it into another place. Tiny touches that are like, man, that shit is so great.

like on "Trigger Cut" by Pavement, my favorite Pavement song. I was first drawn to it on the guitar lines. but it's the part where they break into the falsetto "la la la la la la la la la la la la la" that, to me, makes it transcend its Zeppelin riff and takes it to such a cool place. It's a tiny little minor thing but it's facking brilliant.

MGMT "Time to Pretend". the whole 'shooting heroin in Paris' is such a cliche and maybe they knew it and thought they were being wry, I dunno. but the "yeah yeah yeah"s towards the end totally salvage the song. when the light came on for me, I was thinking 'this song is dumb' and then the yeah yeah bit just totally took me.

another example. "Oxford Comma". i have been harsh in my criticism of VW but and this song is just so-so.. till they get to the "Why would you lie.." part and then even my ice starts to melt. (why they are asking about lying about coal is beyond me, but I think I forgive them).

so yeah this thread is about those little things.

flowbee
02-14-2010, 07:01 PM
Cowbell solo 4:21 into Music Response (Chemical Brothers)

rskapcat
02-14-2010, 07:17 PM
Hammond organ at the end of The Association's "Never My Love".

When the horns come in at the end of Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman".

Oh, & when Mr. Murphy says "solo" before the cowbell solo in LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk Is Playing In My House".

cormaic
02-14-2010, 07:20 PM
Oh, & when Mr. Murphy says "solo" before the cowbell solo in LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk Is Playing In My House".

This, and him saying, "Bells." right before the bells in Us V Them

LooseAtTheZoo
02-14-2010, 07:26 PM
One little thing that get's me every time is the short drum fill in Baba O' Riley. It's the one that comes right after Townshends first singing part:

"Don't cry...don't raise your eye..it's on-ly-teen-age-wastelaaaaaand

Sha-dum-sha-dum-sha-dum-sha-dum-shhh

Sorry, it doesn't translate well in typing. But I have to fill in the air drums at that part every time.

bleep
02-14-2010, 07:30 PM
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Its Blitz was mostly rubbish, but “Hysteric” is one of the few redeeming songs on that record. I get all goose-bumpey when Karen O sings the “you suddenly complete me” line. also love the way she yelps out “hysteric!”

bleep
02-14-2010, 07:39 PM
the uppity "huh!" that punctuates every other song on Phoenix's Its Never Been Like That

MissingPerson
02-14-2010, 07:49 PM
There's a little bit at the very start of It's Okay by Land of Talk. Elizabeth Powell makes a weird little noise, can only be described as a grunt I guess, right before she starts singing.

I like it because it sounds like she's genuinely tired and worn out right at the very start of the take, and because it sounds like something that wasn't really supposed to make it into the microphone.

m53--yTPQNk

Only a little thing, but it totally sells me the sentiment of the song.

TomAz
02-14-2010, 08:02 PM
The Association

I thought I knew thee.


This, and him saying, "Bells." right before the bells in Us V Them

Yes. This came on the stereo today and I said 'bells' right when he did cuz it's so great.


One little thing that get's me every time is the short drum fill in Baba O' Riley. It's the one that comes right after Townshends first singing part:

"Don't cry...don't raise your eye..it's on-ly-teen-age-wastelaaaaaand

Sha-dum-sha-dum-sha-dum-sha-dum-shhh


I'm a sucker for all things Moon, but this is one that I've overlooked. At least it's not coming back to me just reading your post. But I especially like the overall drum playing on "I Can See For Miles". so much of the focus on that song is the vocals and then the guitars, but the drumming is amazing for a little pop song.

IDCrisis
02-14-2010, 08:22 PM
No particular song comes to mind at the moment, but my first thought was just a turn of the volume knob that makes a lot of songs sound better to me.

LooseAtTheZoo
02-14-2010, 11:07 PM
I'm a sucker for all things Moon, but this is one that I've overlooked. At least it's not coming back to me just reading your post. But I especially like the overall drum playing on "I Can See For Miles". so much of the focus on that song is the vocals and then the guitars, but the drumming is amazing for a little pop song.

In my 5:01 length song off of Who's Next, the drum bit I'm talking about is at
2:20

seyrnon
02-15-2010, 12:31 AM
the ending synth run in What You Want by My Bloody Valentine 4:21 into the song it just dissolves into this beautiful floating music and it gets me very time

Monklish
02-15-2010, 12:36 AM
There's a part in Werewolves Of London after the line "and his hair was perfect..." where Warren Zevon for a split-second sings one syllable in a really punctuational manner. That syllable is "bip." What in the world "bip" is possibly supposed to be I cannot even guess, but suffice to say it is impossible to listen to that song around me or any of my siblings without us all going "BIP!" right in time just because Dad always did.

choice cat
02-15-2010, 01:36 AM
in PDA when daniel belts out a couple lines towards the very end

bballarl
02-15-2010, 02:18 AM
The mandolin in "I Will Dare."

rskapcat
02-15-2010, 06:07 AM
There's a little bit at the very start of It's Okay by Land of Talk. Elizabeth Powell makes a weird little noise, can only be described as a grunt I guess, right before she starts singing.

I like it because it sounds like she's genuinely tired and worn out right at the very start of the take, and because it sounds like something that wasn't really supposed to make it into the microphone.

m53--yTPQNk

Only a little thing, but it totally sells me the sentiment of the song.

God, I love that song. And that video.

rskapcat
02-15-2010, 07:15 AM
I thought I knew thee.

We can't all be as cool as you, Tom.

bleep
02-15-2010, 08:40 AM
ugh, there are just so many things that's right with Cut Copy’s "Out There on the Ice." the crowd noise that opens the track, disappears and then resurfaces even louder as the track builds up. the dizzyingly euphoric climax that kicks in somewhere about the 3:15 mark. and in the aftermath, Dan singing sweetly the phrase "even if it breaks your heart" into my hairy ears. *swoon*

Davids81
02-15-2010, 09:34 AM
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Its Blitz was mostly rubbish, but “Hysteric” is one of the few redeeming songs on that record. I get all goose-bumpey when Karen O sings the “you suddenly complete me” line. also love the way she yelps out “hysteric!”


Really? Runaway or Soft Shock don't do anything for you?


My contribution: Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond, especially on the pt. 6-9 after a long solo, the guitar slows the pace down, dowwww, dow, dow, dow, dow, doooowwww, dooooowwwwwww, doooowwwwwww, dowwwwwwwww, dowwwwwwwww, dowwwwwwwww, dowwwwwwwwww, dow, dow, dow, dow....


What the hell am I talking about? It's @ 4:45 on my 12:32 track from Wish You Were Here

But then Gilmour goes into the chorus, and the guitar continues to sing, perfectly translating the pain and sadness they feel about Barrett. That song always gives me goosebumps.

AlexBlewHimB4U
02-15-2010, 09:51 AM
for me it's gotta be the Silverlake Conservatory kids singing on "Sleepyhead" by Passion Pit and the whole Dead Man's Bones record

fiyahhh!
02-15-2010, 10:02 AM
On "I Don't Know" by the Replacements, the response of "nothin!" to the question "what are you gonna do with your life?"

AlecEiffel
02-15-2010, 10:40 AM
Towards the end of "Gouge Away" when Kim shouts out "Sha-La-La" during the chorus.

humanoid
02-15-2010, 11:24 AM
the gradual entrance of the organ in the middle of Muscle 'n' Flo by Menomena...I crank it up nearly every time I listen to the song


the awesome little guitar part from about 3:14 to 3:45 in Lucky by Radiohead

bballarl
02-15-2010, 12:16 PM
Any of Buddy Holly's little vocal tics

canexplain
02-15-2010, 12:57 PM
The first couple of seconds of Crazy Train where Ozzy welcomes us aboard
The "just a little" pin prick sound in Comfortably Numb
cr*****

AlecEiffel
02-15-2010, 01:06 PM
Any of Buddy Holly's little vocal tics

True, I mean "Rave On" STARTS with a tiny little thing that makes a good song better.

IDCrisis
02-15-2010, 01:10 PM
The bells and ringing at the start of Pink Floyd's "Time."

M Sparks
02-15-2010, 02:06 PM
In "Beautiful Shame" by The Mighty Lemon Drops, there is a breakdown in the middle, and then at 2:06, it kicks back up with this weird snare hit- it sounds like it's backwards, and it's kind of off tempo. I used to think it was a mistake, but it probably took hours of fiddling in the studio to make it perfect.

This is why they were a shitty live band, everything I loved about them was impossible to reproduce live.

bleep
02-15-2010, 02:17 PM
Really? Runaway or Soft Shock don't do anything for you?
i'd count "Soft Shock" as one of the redeeming tunes, but am ambivalent about "Runaway"

Devin the Dude
02-15-2010, 02:24 PM
I don't know if this is a "little thing" so much as just a piece of his style, but I've never heard anybody keep time like Flying Lotus.

HAMMERHEAD
02-15-2010, 02:40 PM
the elevator ding in fake blood's mars always gets me.

bmack86
02-15-2010, 02:43 PM
The little horn thing that happens at the end of It's All Downhill From Here by Jim O'Rourke.

Devin the Dude
02-15-2010, 02:45 PM
Also the mac bootup chime at the end of Boys Noize's Essential Mix cracks me up.

rskapcat
02-15-2010, 03:28 PM
the gradual entrance of the organ in the middle of Muscle 'n' Flo by Menomena...I crank it up nearly every time I listen to the song


YES.

PagodasPinkPants
02-15-2010, 05:25 PM
I love the acoustic guitar solo at the end of "It Overtakes Me..." by the Flaming Lips it starts at (5:30) it almost seems like the opposite pf what you would expect from the Lips but it is really beautiful and simple.

Another one is in the Ghostface Killah song Big Girl. In the song Ghost is singing to some coked out girls in a club and the song builds up as he tells them how he could make one of them a respectable woman until it climaxes at about 2:25 when he goes: "And no longer shut yourself in, taste the pain, the sorrow
The sun'll shine and still come out tomorrow."

Finally, although it isn't as much a vocal or musical tick I still turn up the radio whenever I hear Rapp Snitches Knishes just to hear Mr. Fantastic's line: "my plan the quickest, my flow is the sickest//My hoes be the thickest, my dro.. the stickiest." Part of it is the funniness of the line but also the way he says "stickiest" it's more like Sticky-ist. That and the little pause before the he says the word.

I'm sure I'll come up with more as I listen to my iPod throughout the week but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head.

sonnyboy11
02-15-2010, 06:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckMM0GPutfo

7:05. When Adam "opens" his guitar sound up. Goose bumps. Every single farkin time.

bmack86
02-15-2010, 07:37 PM
In Emily by Joanna Newsom, She goes through a long part of the song packed with extravagant lyrics and big orchestral work. The lyric immediately preceding this part is, "Come on home, now all my bones are dolorous with vines."

The orchestra cuts down a little bit, a banjo kicks up and she sings the line that humanizes the song for me: "Pa pointed out to me for the hundredth time tonight/the way the ladle leads to a dirt-red bullet of light/Squint skyward and listen..."

Just a little girl amazed at the stars and learning from her dad. Every song on that album has little parts like that.

RedThom
02-15-2010, 08:06 PM
-In "Say hello to the Angels" Paul's repeat verse of "This is a conflict this is a bra-ce-let". That rules hard

-The entire ending of "Holy Fucking Ghost" by The Owls.

-Rob Crowe yelling 'aloha, suit up' in "Luau" by Drive Like Jehu

IDCrisis
02-15-2010, 08:23 PM
The 1:21 mark is like the gift that keeps on giving everytime I hear it. It's like stepping on the gas when the light turns green.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/uJ4368jkF9o&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/uJ4368jkF9o&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
Yeah, that part...

Alchemy
02-15-2010, 08:57 PM
I've always really liked the first second of The Locust's "File Under 'Soft Core Seizures'" before all the madness is unleashed.

I think the song "O I Sleep" is a tiny little thing in all of Mogwai's Rock Action that makes the entire album so much better.

On Spiritualized's "Don't Just Do Something," I love the opening lyrics so much: Sometimes they say that love is blind/but I think that dumb is what they had in mind.

Oh, and I always liked the pretty opening with the kids and bells on Fantomas' "04/03/05 Sunday."

shotglass75
02-15-2010, 09:01 PM
The chick getting banged in "Rocket Queen" - GNR

the cowbell in "Hey Ladies" by Beastie Boys

the cats meowing in "'Cha!' Said the Kitty" by Local H

cjamesgo8421
02-15-2010, 09:19 PM
Postcards from Italy by Beirut....the 2:19 mark.

PagodasPinkPants
02-19-2010, 02:28 PM
Around the 3:40 mark in Night Moves by Bob Seger.

LooseAtTheZoo
02-19-2010, 03:01 PM
The chick getting banged in "Rocket Queen" - GNR


I love that part of that song where Axl goes into his high register on "No One!"

amyzzz
02-19-2010, 03:27 PM
I am not familiar with most of the stuff in this thread. We need the youtubes and the minute/seconds mark. :D

sacleonard
02-20-2010, 10:59 PM
On Bad Company's "Shooting Star," rather than singing "as long as you are...," Paul Rodgers sings "a'long as you are..." (omitting the "s")

As much as I try, I can no longer un-hear that one.

Monklish
02-20-2010, 11:12 PM
The thing Fiona does with her voice at 1:38

BK30r_SIZ-g

yeahfontaine
02-20-2010, 11:20 PM
--That part in Rag and Bone when Jack says, "Aw Meg, don't be rude." And she goes, "Why not?"

--The end of The Stones' Midnight Rambler when Mick sings, "I'll stick my knife right down your throat," like the rest of the verses, but then he says, "Baby, and it hurts" in this really comical voice. Great.

--The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi's "ha ha" karate chop parts, mostly because if you know where they are, you can do them in the air at the show and it feels great

--When Beck sings "Makin' all the lesbians scream" on Mixed Bizness instead of "Makin' all the people scream" like the rest of the song. Makes me laugh every time.

weeklymix
02-20-2010, 11:24 PM
The 4:34 - 4:48 mark of Nine Inch Nails : "Hurt"

boarderwoozel3
02-20-2010, 11:38 PM
Postcards from Italy by Beirut....the 2:19 mark.

That entire song. Absolutely brilliant.

sbessiso
02-22-2010, 05:54 PM
The first 15 seconds of "People are People" by Depeche Mode. You hear every singly layer of the song come in one at a time and i listen to it over and over again.

FuturaBold
02-22-2010, 06:17 PM
on grizzly bear's "on a neck, on a spit", when it starts to build up at arond the 1:57 mark, but more so at the 3:47..so good

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rskapcat
11-16-2010, 11:18 AM
I've been on a Stones kick since yesterday, and a particular thing made me want to bump this thread.

I love when Merry Clayton's voice breaks at the 3:02 mark in "Gimme Shelter"...complete with Mick Jagger saying "Woo!" immediately after.

wmgaretjax
11-16-2010, 11:36 AM
IortrleKeNg

0:51-0:57

stinkbutt
11-16-2010, 01:11 PM
When the congas first come in on "Superfly"
The coked out dude screaming in the background of "Mannish Boy"
The first "whoo" when the drums come in on "Beast of Burden"

MarkO
11-16-2010, 01:16 PM
High hats make everything better.