Songs where the real hook is in the verse and the chorus is unmemorable by comparison

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I was just thinking about how in the song "Beast of Burden," the earworm is the first line of the verse, whereas the "Am I hard enough..." whatever part doesn't really stick with me as much.

Other songs like this?

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Thursday, 5 October 2017 20:54 (two months ago) Permalink

i feel like this is something that pavement is good at but I can’t think of any particular examples right now ( or maybe it’s just that their songs don’t really have choruses?)

the late great, Thursday, 5 October 2017 20:57 (two months ago) Permalink

Led Zep: "Out On The Tiles"

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 5 October 2017 21:19 (two months ago) Permalink

No way will there be any disagreements on this thread.

How about Rain, by the Beatles

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 5 October 2017 21:49 (two months ago) Permalink

"Drop Dead Legs"

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 5 October 2017 21:55 (two months ago) Permalink

Led Zep: "Out On The Tiles"

― to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, October 5, 2017 4:19 PM (thirty-seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I like the chorus on that one, especially the "ooh yeah" part, but it's definitely the verse riff that makes it.

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Thursday, 5 October 2017 21:57 (two months ago) Permalink

For me, "Black Hole Sun" drags down a perfectly good Aerosmith verse with a really leaden, plodding chorus.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 5 October 2017 22:59 (two months ago) Permalink

"Lithium"

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 5 October 2017 23:00 (two months ago) Permalink

beast of burden is just kinda weirdly written. the chorus and verse are combined the "am i hard enough" part should really just be a middle eight

brimstead, Friday, 6 October 2017 00:24 (two months ago) Permalink

Dido, "Thank You"
Kiesza, "Hideaway"

ArchCarrier, Friday, 6 October 2017 12:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Journey - Don't Stop Believing

barbarian radge (NotEnough), Friday, 6 October 2017 13:16 (two months ago) Permalink

Also from Nirvana : "Come as you are".

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 6 October 2017 13:19 (two months ago) Permalink

It's a nice songwriting trick.
Also, even more difficult (and nice) : the pre-chorus being the real hook of a song !

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 6 October 2017 13:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, totally re "Come As You Are". "Don't Stop Believin'" is all hook imo.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 6 October 2017 13:24 (two months ago) Permalink

So What - Pink

bodak horseman (voodoo chili), Friday, 6 October 2017 13:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Journey - Don't Stop Believing
top pick

this is v common ime, for some reason it seems easier to write a killer verse than a killer chorus

niels, Friday, 6 October 2017 14:07 (two months ago) Permalink

"Lucky Man"

frogbs, Friday, 6 October 2017 14:11 (two months ago) Permalink

"Cinnamon Girl" - if that second part is a chorus?

Eazy, Friday, 6 October 2017 14:22 (two months ago) Permalink

xp *throws penalty flag* nothing about "Lucky Man" is memorable but the synth solo

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Friday, 6 October 2017 14:26 (two months ago) Permalink

Song where the chorus is:

"Oooh, love you, Oooh, love you, Oooh, and I love you, Oooh, love you"

Absolute - Scritti Politti

Mark G, Friday, 6 October 2017 14:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Heeeeee had white horses

frogbs, Friday, 6 October 2017 14:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Cream's "White Room," maybe? Is the little falsetto bit ("I'll wait in this place" etc.) a chorus? It's not a verse.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 October 2017 15:02 (two months ago) Permalink

INXS "The One Thing." Really, the guitar hook in between the verses and choruses is the memorable part. But the verses are still more exciting than the chorus.

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Friday, 6 October 2017 15:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Lithium is so OTM. Lots of other Nirvana songs, too: On a Plain, Drain You, All Apologies, Swap Meet, Scentless Apprentice, Come As You Are for sure as well...

some Pumpkins songs off the top of my head: Cherub Rock, Zero, Today, Pennies, Tonight Tonight, Galapagos, The Everlasting Gaze, Crush, Tristessa, I of the Mourning...

flappy bird, Friday, 6 October 2017 17:09 (two months ago) Permalink

"Today" doesn't even have a real chorus, where text and music are both repeated, does it? If you're thinking of the "I wanted more/Than life would ever grant me..."/"Pink ribbon scars..." section, I really disagree that this is less memorable than the verse. It always gets in my head.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 6 October 2017 17:58 (two months ago) Permalink

i dunno if neil diamond rapping the added UB40 chorus to red red wine is unmemorable exactly...

Philip Nunez, Friday, 6 October 2017 18:12 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah I was referring to that as the chorus. it's catchy, but not nearly as much as the verse, which is so close to the ice cream truck jingle riff that starts the song (and eventually reappears at the end of the song).

xp

flappy bird, Friday, 6 October 2017 18:13 (two months ago) Permalink

The Ramones: "I met her at the Burger King/fell in love by the soda machine" sticks much more than the chorus "oh oh i love her so"

President Keyes, Friday, 6 October 2017 18:14 (two months ago) Permalink

The Beatles "Baby You're a Rich Man" - The verses are gorgeous, the chorus feels like a placeholder that never got replaced.

Hideous Lump, Saturday, 7 October 2017 04:44 (two months ago) Permalink

They were two separate songs put together

Mark G, Saturday, 7 October 2017 09:47 (two months ago) Permalink

'Street Mission' - U2. A chorus which is just the title repeated boorishly over and over again, and a long guitar solo that sounds like Dire Straits slow motion guitar wank.

Zings Can Only Get Better (snoball), Saturday, 7 October 2017 09:56 (two months ago) Permalink

Outfield, "Your Love"

rip van wanko, Saturday, 7 October 2017 10:11 (two months ago) Permalink

Ahhh I mean the verse is hookier by comparison but I guarantee you more ppl know it/can identify it by the chorus. As for BYARM, I like the song but I'm not even sure it has a hook at all.

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 7 October 2017 12:15 (two months ago) Permalink

'Don't Stop Believing'

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:12 (two months ago) Permalink

I feel like New Radicals “you get whay you give” the chorus is pretty big but the verses and the coda (the whole hanson/manson nonsense) are more memorable.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:17 (two months ago) Permalink

whaaat no way

bodak horseman (voodoo chili), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:53 (two months ago) Permalink

actually maybe i'm confused about what's the verse and what's the chorus of that song. it really feels like one long chorus to me

bodak horseman (voodoo chili), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:54 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah my bad, verses and chorus are pretty much the same melody, it fits better described as a long chorus song.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 7 October 2017 18:26 (two months ago) Permalink

"Peaches" by the Presidents of the United States of America

singing "gonna move into the country, eat a lot of peaches" over and over is so much fun. then the chorus comes in and almost spoils it. the chorus is alright but way less catchy.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 7 October 2017 18:36 (two months ago) Permalink

"Peaches" by the Presidents of the United States of America

singing "gonna move into the country, eat a lot of peaches" over and over is so much fun. then the chorus comes in and almost spoils it. the chorus is alright but way less catchy.

― AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, October 7, 2017 6:36 PM (four minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

What you've mentioned is the chorus.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 7 October 2017 18:42 (two months ago) Permalink

what you've mentioned was already mentioned upthread

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 7 October 2017 18:53 (two months ago) Permalink

Led Zep - Black Dog.

dinnerboat, Saturday, 7 October 2017 19:07 (two months ago) Permalink

feel like this applies to half of led zep's songs

niels, Saturday, 7 October 2017 19:27 (two months ago) Permalink

xxpost:

Ah, so it was! Not that this makes your post about 'Peaches' any less incorrect.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 7 October 2017 19:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I ate at a restaurant called Peaches the other night and the moment we left my brain went straight to "Peaches COME from a CAN" so...yeah.

Feel like this thread is gonna end up way too broad for me but I have probably an idiosyncratic, and inarticulable, concept of what counts as a "hook."

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 7 October 2017 20:18 (two months ago) Permalink

whoa I'd never considered that about "Peaches"

they have another song called "Mach 5" that's kind of the same way

frogbs, Saturday, 7 October 2017 20:37 (two months ago) Permalink

glenda collins - something i gotta tell you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMMlQ3TroCc

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 7 October 2017 20:49 (two months ago) Permalink

Semisonic - secret smile

Might be because the song title is in the opening verses instead of the chorus but everyone I know remembers the verses instead of the chorus.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:07 (two months ago) Permalink

Again, that is the chorus!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:20 (two months ago) Permalink

hmm, first one that comes to mind is "range life" -

I want a range life
If I could settle down
If I could settle down
Then I would settle down

just a real classic verse, and i can barely remember all the choruses which all have different lyrics

Karl Malone, Saturday, 7 October 2017 22:24 (two months ago) Permalink

or love is like a bomb

whatever.

bodak horseman (voodoo chili), Monday, 9 October 2017 18:30 (two months ago) Permalink

acually the "take the bottle" refrain is the strongest hook imo

rip van wanko, Monday, 9 October 2017 18:32 (two months ago) Permalink

I suspect a lot of Smiths songs might qualify.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 October 2017 18:45 (two months ago) Permalink

"This Charming Man" arguably does, if you consider the "a jumped-up pantry boy..." section to be the chorus.

JRN, Monday, 9 October 2017 18:56 (two months ago) Permalink

a lot of Smiths songs have the primary hooks in the verses, or don't have choruses so much as variations on the verse melodies (Cemetry Gates, Boy with the Thorn in His Side, Barbarism Begins at Home, What She Said, How Soon is Now).

flappy bird, Monday, 9 October 2017 19:04 (two months ago) Permalink

I mean "What She Said" is essentially a loop, save for the instrumental breaks at ~:48 & ~1:48

flappy bird, Monday, 9 October 2017 19:05 (two months ago) Permalink

The Smiths have no hooks. Their music is just frantic rhythm guitar with Morissey sort of meandering between the third and fifth notes of the chord.

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Monday, 9 October 2017 19:14 (two months ago) Permalink

https://i.imgur.com/aUy629N.gif

flappy bird, Monday, 9 October 2017 19:20 (two months ago) Permalink

there is a light

rip van wanko, Monday, 9 October 2017 19:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Girlfriend in a Coma for sure. “Do you really think she’ll pull through?” memorable but not as much as the verse. Though this may be an easy one because I think generally whatever section of the song has the title in it will be more memorable.

Another one: “Under Pressure”

flappy bird, Monday, 9 October 2017 20:08 (two months ago) Permalink

thread title is more interesting to me than just "verse I like better than chorus" but clearly the tide is against me on this one

Doctor Casino, Monday, 9 October 2017 21:57 (two months ago) Permalink

Def Leppard - "Photograph"

henry s, Monday, 9 October 2017 22:39 (two months ago) Permalink

No

President Keyes, Monday, 9 October 2017 23:23 (two months ago) Permalink

That has to be the single wrongest answer here!

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 01:11 (two months ago) Permalink

WTF...the chorus to Photograph is the payoff!

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 08:03 (two months ago) Permalink

The verses p much dont work if the chorus fails with that song

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 08:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Did u perhaps mean Nickleback

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 08:04 (two months ago) Permalink

It's spelled Nickelbakc

Mark G, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 09:55 (two months ago) Permalink

Although the chorus of Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime is gorgeous, I suspect that the verses are far better known, no?
I know I came across references to lines from the verses often. (I've even seen Spider-Man say "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!" in a comic once.) but I can't remember ever seeing the chorus referenced outside of the song.

Valentijn, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 09:57 (two months ago) Permalink

I'd say that one is about 50/50. The parts people quote are from the verses but the chorus is really really catchy

Vinnie, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:04 (two months ago) Permalink

What did you think the song was called when you first heard it (unless you knew already)?

"You may ask yourself"
"Letting the days go by"
or "After the money's gone"
or "Once in a lifetime"

Mark G, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:06 (two months ago) Permalink

or "Same as it ever was" (missed that one out)

Mark G, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:06 (two months ago) Permalink

"Ugly House, Wife"

nashwan, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:09 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh, that takes me back, I must have first heard the song in my early teenage years, seeing the video on MTV... But yes, I do remember being drawn to the chorus, probably the "Water flowing underground" line stayed with me most back then.

Valentijn, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:15 (two months ago) Permalink

"Lucky You" by the Lightning Seeds

Duane Barry, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:47 (two months ago) Permalink

I kinda feel like "Money for Nothing" counts here? If the "We got to install microwave ovens...we got to move these color tvs" parts are the chorus.

President Keyes, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 13:42 (two months ago) Permalink

The real hook in 'Money for Nothing' is not the verse or the chorus: it's the riff, same as the real hook in 'Under Pressure' isn't the verse or the chorus, it's the bass riff.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 13:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I feel that way about "Cherub Rock" too.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 13:57 (two months ago) Permalink

Yep, 'Cherub Rock' too.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:00 (two months ago) Permalink

same as the real hook in 'Under Pressure' isn't the verse or the chorus, it's the bass riff.

Yeah, the bass riff in the chorus.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:36 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, that's another category "songs where the riff/instrumental part is the chorus".
I was thinking about "Enola Gay" also.

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:46 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, the bass riff in the chorus.

― Matt DC, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:36 PM (ten minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The "it's the terror of knowing..." etc. part? Nah.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't know what AlXTC from Paris is on about either - that doesn't apply to UP.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:50 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, I may have been wrong about that one since the bass riff might be the most memorable part of "UP" but it's not the same thing as the instrumental chorus/riff songs like "Enola Gay".

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 14:58 (two months ago) Permalink

"Midnight City" too

President Keyes, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 15:01 (two months ago) Permalink

"Baker Street"

rip van wanko, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 15:06 (two months ago) Permalink

I've always thought that "Kayleigh" by Marillion had a great 80's hook for its prechorus and a pretty substandard one for the actual chorus.

You're all losing so many points on your progress bars (Champiness), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:13 (two months ago) Permalink

"Baker Street"

― rip van wanko, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:06 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

What's the chorus? I always thought the sax line was the chorus, and probably only like 5% of people who would recognize the song could sing any of the verse.

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:14 (two months ago) Permalink

sax line surely

rip van wanko, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:15 (two months ago) Permalink

(sorry, it seemed we'd got derailed into songs with instrumental choruses)

rip van wanko, Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:17 (two months ago) Permalink

There’s a thread for that one:

Songs where the chorus is an instrumental

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Many people confusing instrumental chorus with memorable riffs in that thread tho.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:48 (two months ago) Permalink

'Baker Street' does have a chorus, but it's not the sax riff, which is the real hook.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:51 (two months ago) Permalink

'Baker Dick' is a different story, ofc.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Many people confusing instrumental chorus with memorable riffs in that thread tho.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:54 (two months ago) Permalink

The Smiths have no hooks. Their music is just frantic rhythm guitar with Morissey sort of meandering between the third and fifth notes of the chord.

I think this would be more melodically active than what often happens, which is Morrissey meandering between the first, third, and fifth scale degrees (or third, fifth, and modal seventh in minor keys) regardless of the chords.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 17:02 (two months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVTzT3FmxhI

Apologies if this has been posted before somewhere here

Fine Toothcomb (sonofstan), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 18:59 (two months ago) Permalink

I think this would be more melodically active than what often happens, which is Morrissey meandering between the first, third, and fifth scale degrees (or third, fifth, and modal seventh in minor keys) regardless of the chords.

― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:02 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

You're absolutely correct, I wasn't really thinking clearly when I posted

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Tuesday, 10 October 2017 19:03 (two months ago) Permalink

ahah, great comments/video about Moz !

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 09:39 (two months ago) Permalink

The oddest place I can think of for a hook is Cut Some Rug by The Bluetones, where it's the bassline on the bridge, which isn't even that high in the mix.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 10:32 (two months ago) Permalink


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