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Memorable transitions within songs

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Memorable transitions within songs

Old 04-04-17, 07:18 PM
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Memorable transitions within songs

Just happened to be listening to "Don't Stop Believin'" on Spotify, and was struck by how much I like the keyboard-driven transition between 1:22 and 1:28:



An even more powerful one is the transition between 2:22 and 2:27 in "Baba O'Riley", between Townsend's whiny "Teenage Wasteland" bridge and the beginning of the second verse, with the drums and Daltrey's raspily resonant voice resuming:



Normally, one doesn't notice these things until one is actually listening to a song, so I can't think of any others offhand.

Anyone have any personal faves?

Edit: I tried to have the vids start at the relevant times, but it isn't cooperating. Please advise if there's a way.

Last edited by Norm de Plume; 11-01-21 at 08:36 PM.
Old 04-04-17, 08:48 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Not sure if this is what you're talking about, Norm, but there are quite a few memorable transitions that immediately leap to mind in changing tempos, keys, etc.

Some of the obvious suspects include All Along the Watchtower (Hendrix version), A Day in the Life, Layla, Stairway to Heaven, Behind Blue Eyes, Won't Get Fooled Again, Whipping Post, Bohemian Rhapsody, Paradise By the Dashboard Light, An American Trilogy, Madman Across the Water.

Tori Amos built a career on mid-song transitions since her early days. Crucify, Precious Things, Little Earthquakes, Silent All These Years...even her earliest stuff (not counting her stab at pop before beginning her acclaimed solo career) contained lots of wonderful transitions that shift the mood intensely and become much-anticipated for the listener.

A lot of prog-rock (ELP, Yes, Marillion, even Jethro Tull, etc.) had lots of transitions that abruptly switched the tone of the song. Then again, when one song runs for an entire side, that's not unexpected. Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends....

Am I way off base with your basic premise?


Let me sleep on it, Baby, Baby....

Last edited by creekdipper; 04-04-17 at 09:16 PM.
Old 04-04-17, 10:17 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Yeah, I'm not quite sure what it is either.

Is it like in Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" when the band comes in and the song speeds up, or like in Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" when the real drums kick in?
Old 04-04-17, 10:56 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

What about collage songs, like Strawberry Fields Forever or Good Vibrations?
Old 04-04-17, 11:08 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NGaVUApDVuY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 04-05-17, 12:45 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

I guess I should have described what I mean more clearly, though I thought my examples would be sufficient: Any specific moment (no longer than a few seconds) in a song when you find a transition especially impactful, moving, or thrilling. It could be because the instruments sound especially impressive when going from a verse to a chorus, or vice versa; or from a bridge to a verse. Or someone with impressive vocals joins the song.
Drexl, the band joining in in "Fast Car" at 2:02 and 2:59 are pretty good examples of what I mean. It's partly subjective, of course. Some transitions will have a great effect on some, but not on others.

The instrumentally full-bodied moment (especially the keyboard "twirl", for want of a better term, at 1:25-1:28) I indicated above in "Don't Stop Believin'" is what inspired me to start the thread.
Old 04-05-17, 03:09 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

:50


Old 04-05-17, 05:07 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

In the Air Tonight when the drums kick in
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Old 04-05-17, 10:14 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

How about "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and all of its trasitions/tempo changes? I loved that song as a kid because of it and still enjoy it. Same for "Band On The Run."
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Old 04-05-17, 10:50 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

This one from ELO's "Evil Woman" came immediately to mind:


(If the clip doesn't start right before the transition, it's around the 2:56 mark.)

The cool thing about that transition is that it's the same transition from a different ELO song from the same album, but played backwards. Here's the original one, from "Nightrider." If the clip doesn't start right around the transition, it's at the 3:15 mark:

Old 04-05-17, 11:14 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
This one from ELO's "Evil Woman" came immediately to mind:

(If the clip doesn't start right before the transition, it's around the 2:56 mark.)
Not sure I'd call that a transition. Maybe more like a brief interlude since the song basically stays the same before and after that short piece.
Old 04-05-17, 11:16 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Originally Posted by Perkinsun Dzees View Post
Not sure I'd call that a transition. Maybe more like a brief interlude since the song basically stays the same before and after that short piece.
You're probably right, but it's a memorable interlude.
Old 04-05-17, 11:45 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
What about collage songs, like Strawberry Fields Forever or Good Vibrations?
Nick! We all know "A Day in the Life" is the true Beatles pocket symphony.
Old 04-05-17, 11:46 AM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Do Bacharach modulations count?
Old 04-05-17, 12:09 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Not a tempo change, but the chord change at 0:45 and 1:41 always gets me :

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1J11IpgVG2I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 04-05-17, 04:27 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

CSN&Y-Carry On
Old 04-05-17, 05:09 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7-iRf9AWoyE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The transition between the guitar solos at 3:04 to 3:15
Old 04-05-17, 06:11 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
CSN&Y-Carry On
My favorite of theirs with a great transition/tempo change is Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
Old 04-05-17, 06:42 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Will think of more but two that jump out at me are Journey's Stone in Love and Magic by Mick Smiley; the latter we all know from Ghostbusters but the beginning to the song is much different.
Old 04-05-17, 08:08 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Triumph's "Hold On". Or it could be one of those pocket symphony songs. Multiple transitions during those 6 minutes.
Old 04-06-17, 02:24 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

I believe a word the OP may have been looking for is "fill"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fill_(music)
In popular music, a fill is a short musical passage, riff, or rhythmic sound which helps to sustain the listener's attention during a break between the phrases of a melody. "The terms riff and fill are sometimes used interchangeably by musicians, but [while] the term riff usually refers to an exact musical phrase repeated throughout a song", a fill is an improvised phrase played during a section where nothing else is happening in the music
Old 04-06-17, 08:43 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

^Sure, why not? I prefer transition, though, because what I'm thinking of is not something to "sustain the listener's attention during a break between the phrases of a melody", which is kind of a dismissive description, but passages that are actually so integral to a song that they become favourite parts of songs. The two I posted are my favourite individual segments of those particular songs.
Old 04-06-17, 11:56 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

Two favorite moments are largely drum solos.

Ringo's transitional segue between "Carry That Weight" and "The End" on Abbey Road.

Moonie's great drum fills over Johns or Townsend syth at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again" leading into Daltrey's iconic scream from Who's Next.
Old 03-04-18, 03:35 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

I just came across another transition I like a lot. The muscular instrumentation that is introduced at 2:10 in Hall & Oates's "Downtown Life". It's a rather long transition, lasting more than 30 seconds:

Last edited by Norm de Plume; 11-01-21 at 08:39 PM.
Old 03-04-18, 08:37 PM
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Re: Memorable transitions within songs

The bassline change in The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

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