Friday, July 18, 2008


We're suckers for ear candy. Few things in life are as satisfying as a delicious pop song -- jingle-jangle guitars and sharp harmonies, a driving bass beat, a drummer doing more than just keeping time.

And a hook that sinks deep and sticks around for life. A catchy chorus? Nice enough, but it's the hook that survives. Here are 35 for your brain:

Baba O'Riley
The Who
No chorus necessary -- just the words "teenage wasteland."
Copacabana (At The Copa)
Barry Manilow
At the Copa.
The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want to Get Over You)
Waylon Jennings
Catchy chorus overpowered by Jennings' tear-your-heart lament: "I don't want to get over you."
The Cranberries
Dolores O'Riordan yelps her way into our brains.
Freddie's Dead
Curtis Mayfield
That's what I said.
Come As You Are
Sometimes the aural delight is a stretched-out word -- in this case, Kurt Cobain's "memory-ah."
Be My Baby
The Ronettes
Perfect Situation
Perfect, wordless singalong hook.
Five O'Clock World
The Vogues
Falsetto yelping can be good.
The Break Up Song
Greg Kihn Band
Del Shannon
I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder.
The Fratellis
Boisterous burst of voices making noise.
Crazy In Love
She owes it all to the blast of horns first heard in The Chi-Lites' "Are You My Woman?"
Material Girl
A material ... a material ... a material ...
I Want You Back
Jackson 5
Oh baby, give me one more chance.
Take On Me
Slip of a song, but the dude can flit through the octaves.
The Adventure
Angels & Airwaves
I cannot live, I can't breathe, unless you do this with me.
Shawn Mullins
Everything's gonna be all right.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
They don't love you like I love you.
I Miss You
Don't waste your time on me you're already a voice inside my head (or is it yed?).
Song 2
Baby One More Time
Britney Spears
Oh baby baby.
Lit Up
I love the cocaine, I love the cocaine.
Le Freak
Freak out!
Hey Ya
Shake it like a Polaroid picture.
Rock On
David Essex
James Dean.
Faith No More
You want it all but you can't have it.
The worst song, the best killer hook.
Doll Parts
Someday you will ache like I ache.
Holiday Road
Lindsey Buckingham
Buckingham's stretch on the word "road."
We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions
Stomp stomp clap. Everyone's done it.
Jessie's Girl
Rick Springfield
Why can't I find a woman like that?
Buddy Holly
What's with these homies, dissin' my girl?
R. Kelly featuring Cassidy
Checking out six in the morning.
These are our favorites. Yours?


Jason said...

I always like the guitar hook in Candlebox's "Far Behind."

John Demetry said...

Yay! "Holiday Roooooo-ooooo-0oooooo-ad" sigh. . .

My Fleetwood Mac blog, Heroes Are Hard To Find is conducting a contest in honor of Lindsey Buckingham's new album, Gift Of Screws (09.16.08). I thought it might be of interest to you or your readers!

Richard Davis said...

The eerie wailing of a lone sax on Bob Seger's "Turn the Page"; or the wrist action of Tommy on "Pinball Wizard" by The Who; "Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp (little ditty, 'bout Jack and Diane...who doesn't know THAT song?) or my favorite of all-time, "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly, 17 minutes of heavy metal/psychedelic music with a few lyrics. Amazing stuff.

Ian McGibboney said...

"You better run, you better take cover!" --Down Under, Men at Work

I hadn't heard the song in 10 years, and had completely forgotten about it until I heard that single line on the radio. Then an entire set of memories came flooding back. This is especially amazing because the memories were from when I was three years old.