Good Vibrations?

July 4, 2011

I’m not sure if I’ve touched upon this in a previous post… but think not, so here goes. (And if I have, I’m sure you’ll forgive me).

Not long ago, Robs and I were discussing songs where the chorus is completely mismatched with the verse. Joe Cocker’s cover of ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ is one such example. A beautiful, wistful verse paired with a shouty, drum-crashing, backing-vocalled chorus – might work for some, but for me it almost kills the song.

Though there has never been any doubt for me as to the worst offender here. That award has to go to the Beach Boys for ‘Good Vibrations’. The melody of the verse is sublime, and provides one of the greatest openings in the history of pop music. And then… and then… that chorus! If they had made a spin-off from Happy Days centring on the zany but wholesome exploits of Ralph & Potsie, you couldn’t have asked for a better tune (and lyric) to accompany the opening credits. A bona-fide travesty.

On a related note, if you haven’t already seen the film Catfish (worth a watch), here’s the opening song from the soundtrack – an interesting version of Good Vibrations. Going with a children’s choir is always a risky move in music – very easy to fall into kitsch. But I don’t get that with this. It somehow stays just the right side. Until, of course, the dreadful mismatched notes of that chorus…

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2 Responses to “Good Vibrations?”

  1. I know what you’re saying Wool. Have you heard the new Cher Lloyd single? Bloody weird chorus?!?!
    I do however, LOVE songs that have verse/chorus that seem totally unsuited but work together. The only examples I can think of are Beatles songs, so that might indicate how hard it is to pull off http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE2Vdcv9Q_o

  2. fugenie said

    I’ve seen catfish, and personally, thought it was excellent. One of the worst choruses that spoilt an otherwise good song is, A1 people’s “That’s when it all went wrong”. Never has a chorus been so apt to itself. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it on the interweb, but I think Robs will remember it…

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