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Sing it!

Working on a freelance assignment this morning reminded me of a cheesy thing in music that I really love: when someone in a band exhorts the rest of the band to sing. It's very similar to when a musician is exhorted to play his instrument, which I think we discussed recently on a music forum where I hang out. It just seems so arbitrary and silly, and yet strangely charming. Some examples:

- In the Ass Ponys' "Not Since Superman Died", Chuck Cleaver, just before the final chorus, goes "Ass Ponys!"

- In "Walk on the Wild Side", before the colored girls sing, Lou Reed says "And the colored girls sing..."

- In "How Great Our Lord", James Taylor yells "Sing it!" at the heavenly chorus.

- At the beginning of "Vista", Murray Attaway tells the vocalist to "Shhhhhhhh."

- At the beginning of "Mama Said Knock You Out", L.L. says "Come on!" to the backup singers.

- In "I'm Straight", Jonathan Richman says "Okay, all you Modern Lovers, sing!"

- When Jemaine says "FAST FORWARD SELECTAH!" in "Boom".

I just like that.

Comments

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roseyv
Jun. 18th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I like that too.

I also like it when there is clapping in songs.

Because I am four.
ludickid
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
My favorite use of handclaps is in Lindsay Buckingham's "Holiday Road".
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littlewashu
Jun. 18th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
There's a song on The River in Reverse where Elvis yells "Solo!" and then Alan Touissant dutifully plays a solo. That shit makes me smile EVERY TIME.
ludickid
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Pere Ubu has a song called "Wasted", and it's all just vocals and accordion until a big break in the middle where bass, guitar, keys and drums all kick in with a huge clamor. And just before they do, David Thomas says "Rock."

Kills me, man. Just kills me.
hipsterdetritus
Jun. 18th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
I like it when dudes yell "guitar" before guitar solos (ex: Angry Samoans' "You Stupid Asshole").
ortho_bob
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Or even "Mister Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note, and let it float."
GIT-TAR! - petit_chou - Jun. 18th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
bing_crosby
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
this is pretty obscure one but on the Mississippi Fred McDowell version of "Jesus is on the Mainline" he says "play it now" a few times.. to himself. He is the only one who plays/sings on the track.
drownedinink
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
What do you call that "chiiiiiiiiiiing" noise that crops up once in a while in pop songs, especially those performed by underage teenagers? And which also appears at the beginning of the Cure's "Pictures of You"? I've come to call it the "glittery noise", but no one ever knows what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure if I like it or hate it. It just sounds so...bizarre.

ludickid
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Are you talking about a glissando?
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calamityjon
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
This is why I will always love Ben Folds Five despite everything, if just because of "For Those Of Y'all Who Wear Fanny Packs."
thespus
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
Next you should do a list of songs with the lyric, "Close your eyes and see."
freetaco
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
my favorite is at the beginning of the Clash's "Rudy Can't Fail": "Sing, Michael, sing!"
freetaco
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Errr, "Rudie Can't Fail".
nvonflue
Jun. 18th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
It's common in folk songs too. Like, the singer will yell out "run it down, now!" when the fiddler starts his solo. Bob Wills does it a crap load too, but mostly thats more of an falsetto-ey "aHH-Hah!" or "play it boys, play it".

I think that, Unless you're a total bad ass, you should probably refrain from talking. It's abused by average singers who are nervous about their place in the song and should have shut up already.
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rxgreene
Jun. 18th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
- In Clutch's "The Devil & Me", the lead singer says: "...Now here's the part that the Devil sings when he's hangin' his head in a hard rain..." then everyone sings the chorus

- Motorhead's "Whorehouse Blues", Lemmy tells the guitarist "Make your name"
schtune
Jun. 18th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
Manning and I used to be fascinated with backing singers who disagreed with the lead singer, though I'm pretty sure we only had one clear example. In his cover of "Red Hot" (and maybe the original, I don't know), Brian Setzer sings, "My gal is red hot," to which the backing guys say, "Your gal ain't doodly squat." Now, this may also be the backing singers supporting the leader and insulting the listener.

I also like when the backing vocalists refer to the singer in the third person. Things like "Man of Consant Sorrow" or Queen's "Somebody to Love" that have a guy telling you about his life, and then some other guys jump in to say, "Yep, that's how his life is"...I like that.
elston
Jun. 18th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
In a similar vein, I always liked that part of "Back in My Arms Again" where Diana Ross disses the other Supremes for giving her bad advice.
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bajatierra
Jun. 18th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Best thing ever: In Fred Wesley and the JB's "More Peas," James Brown's calling for the band to play in F, and is asking various band members if they can play in F. He then sees, needlessly but awesomely, "I know the drummer can play in F -- at least, I hope he can."
bisonfish
Jun. 18th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Charles Mingus is forever shouting or grunting at his band. Roland Kirk also vocalises a fair bit, sometimes whilst playing flute.

And on a nearly related note, I gave a friend 'Faust' as a wedding present, and he was able to tell Randy himself when he bumped into him at TV Centre. I envisage Randy backing away slowly whilst maintaining eye contact....
bisonfish
Jun. 18th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
also, on 'Sharleena', Ike Willis shouts out 'The Dweez' when Frank Zappa introduces his son.
elston
Jun. 18th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
If you've never heard it, track down "Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am the Japanese Sandman)" by the Cellos: it's a doo wop song where one of the background singers stops the song midway to complain to the rest of the group "aw man, you guys get to say all the big words, all I get to say is 'rang tang ding dong.'" Then he leaves and the rest of the dudes finish the song without him.
freetaco
Jun. 18th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
this track is one of the shining stars on the "bringing out the dead" soundtrack.

it also plays a great backdrop in the movie, as Nic Cage, an EMT, first tries some speed (as I recall) in a whore house.
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