Category Archives: Arrangements and Sounds

Stepping Up: The Association, “Windy” (1967)

Nothing in 1967 affected me more strongly, more transportingly, than “Windy.” It’s true that the tune does not come out of the gate like three-weeks-at-#1 material. It’s stiff and slow, and the bass riff it offers is insipid (a simple … Continue reading

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Scary: The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (1967)

Next in my series of fifty-years-late appreciations of music in the year of wonders, I turn to a September 1967 (U.S.) release. Some tracks burst into your life sounding unnervingly good in a deeply unfamiliar way. (The uniqueness makes this … Continue reading

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Too Beautiful: Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (1967)

The year of wonders, 1967, is well-represented on the Hooks site, but I’d like to lift up one more wonder to mark its fiftieth anniversary. I’ve always found “Itchycoo Park” (released in August 1967) tremendous, but to protect the experience … Continue reading

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Chops (Piano Edition): Billy Joel, “Prelude” (1976)

By Jonathan Bellman Particularly for those of us who play instruments, one hook before which we are powerless is The Hook On Our Own Instrument That Must Be Figured Out.  Until it is owned, it will bewitch us, and (in … Continue reading

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Fluency: Robben Ford, “Talk To Your Daughter” (1988)

I’m breaking a cardinal rule for Hooks posts and writing one without any analytical idea about the track that calls forth my tribute. That’s the thing: that Robben Ford’s lead guitar licks in “Talk To My Daughter” are so deeply … Continue reading

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Advanced Riffs: Radiohead 1997-2011

“Riff” is a term of uncertain origin and very loose usage. The theory that it’s an abbreviation of “refrain” (as part of a song) is plausible, given that repetition is the premise and in some sense the goal of riffing.[1] … Continue reading

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The Thought of Wising Up: Aimee Mann, “Wise Up” (1996)

Claudia singing along with “Wise Up” in Magnolia Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up” is a magnificent example of deep effects achieved by simple means. At first the music seems to consist of nothing but a lovely G major 9th chord. That … Continue reading

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