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GREAT middle eights? Opinions wanted!

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(@jwmartin)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I think you should leave at "great middle 8's" or bridges. Just about every song has some sort of hook and there are a bajillion great ones (don't ask me how many a bajillion is, it's a lot). Great bridges are a little harder to come by. Like several others have said, The Beatles were masters at it (of course, what were they not masters of?). A more modern guru is Will Hoge, a singer-songwriter from Nashville that I bet 99% of you have never heard of. I have all his CDs and have seen him live several times and when you hear his music you are dumbfounded how he's not getting radio play and playing gigs in front of 15,000 people instead of 150. He rocks, but writes "perfect" pop songs. Simple, catchy chord progressions, hooks all over the place and most of his songs have great bridges.

Another bridge I've always loved and it's a little different is The Black Crowe's "Jealous Again". I guess the "Don't you think I want to, don't you think I would..." part would be considered a middle 8.

Bass player for Undercover


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

Yes...of COURSE you are right about that observation, Blueline. But look at the example of Brahms #4 that I gave earlier on. It's certainly NOT popular music...and it's devoid of any "middle eights" (maybe a middle EIGHTY?) STILL...there's HEAPS of hooky bits in this guy's work! For example...what you JUST wrote: "The guitar riffs, the vocals, the verses, bridges and choruses. The song is just one hook after the next."

STILL...my intention was innocent enough in starting this thread. I was curious as to WHAT people thought "jumped out at 'em". SORRY if I said "middle eight", "hook", or "catchy bit"!

Sheesh! SOME people would kick even if they were hung with a brand new rope!

Ha!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@blueline)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

...STILL...my intention was innocent enough in starting this thread. I was curious as to WHAT people thought "jumped out at 'em". SORRY if I said "middle eight", "hook", or "catchy bit"!
Cat

Cat, I apologize! I didn't mean to sound like I was really objecting to the thread. In fact I think its a great thread. I was just joking. Your intentions about "middle eight", "hook", or "catchy bit" are very clear. And you are correct in your example as well. That WAS the progressive music of the times if you think about it.

I guess what I was trying to say in a round about way is that most of the catchy, or hooky stuff is going to be based in the more Top 40 popular music. And to JW's point Nashville and country music, I think, are built around hooks. Whether its lyrical or the music itself.

I'm more of a prog snob. (these days) I think its because I couldn't possibly write that stuff. Every thing I do is hook driven. So, now I just confused myself. I need musical therapy. Where's Arjen when you need him!

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

*sigh*

So you're feeling confused Blueline? Sometimes nobody seems to understand you, I see. Well, sucks to be you then. Don't forget to close the door on your way out, and you can leave the check on the big pile over there.

As for this topic, hard to say. I guess 'hooks' are for me the turning points in songs. As Thom Yorke's singing 'Belief' just before 2+2=5 explodes into the huge rock sound. I don't personally care for catchy hook or awesome bridges that much.


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I've got a song that has a great hook, middle eight, and bridge.

BADGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFPbadhmeOM

Supposedly this song got it's name when Eric Clapton mistakingly read Bridge as Badge according to George Harrison who played the rhythm guitar in this song. Eric Clapton doesn't play until the great leslie effect at the bridge, and the incredible solo as well.

So, this one song solves all the problems we've had here. :D

By the way, I was the one who took us into the direction of hooks, because he asked "what's catchy" :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

Ingmar! Comrad! Buddy! DUDE!!! You cannot POSSIBLY mean what you said! You're joking, right???

"I don't personally care for catchy hook or awesome bridges that much."

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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No, I'm not. Sorry. That's also why I don't listen to radio, MTV or whatever.


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

Ignar...
"I'm pretty hyped by it all, this should be a great adventure, both musically and, unfortunately, financially. What I'm wondering now is if anyone here has any experience with this. How did it go? Where you happy with the final result? If not, what went wrong? Any insights greatly appreciated." (Hey...how do you move quotes around, anyway?)

Point by point:
I'm pretty hyped by it all, this should be a great adventure,
...okay, but are your endorphins clouding your judgment?

both musically and, unfortunately, financially.
...why do you say "unfortunately, financially"??? What's that liitle bit of space tucked way back in yer head tellin' ya???

What I'm wondering now is if anyone here has any experience with this.
...Yer talkin' to him!

How did it go?
...Not too well (understatement of the century)

Where you happy with the final result?
...In the fullness of time...YES!

Any insights greatly appreciated."
...I was living in a freakin' parachute off in the Arizona desert. Hey...I was eatin' rattlesnake and porcupine. I squeaked by doing jingles, session work, engineering, area cover bands. MEANWHILE...seeing as I had access to a full-blown studio...I tried, and tried and TRIED to come up with "the goods". I sent stuff off to the A&R Depts and got back letter after letter saying (in essence) "Thank you for contacting Blah Blah Records. However, we do not see any commercial potential in your submissions."

Next idea? Each of these rejection letters was signed by someone...so I called ALL of 'em! EVERY one was ready to see me "if I was ever in New York". So I went to talk to them. Being my home town, I stayed a while. I found out how other people "got signed". I listened to submissions that hit the A&R desks the SAME way mine did. From the git-go...these tunes hit me right between the eyes. However poorly they were recorded...they made "commercial sense". In fact, it was bleedin' obvious they'd make money all the way around...and...the record COMPANY was just that...a "company".

Some of the suits took a liking to me and I attended heaps of sound checks for NAME bands (WAY better than concerts. There was usually a buffet on the stage and the bands took some time to talk to you)...and got to talk to most of the "in the flesh" personalities that actually WROTE the stuff that was "out there". Boston, Journey, Yes, Supertramp...38 Special, Lover Boy...Alice Cooper. Sheesh! There were HEAPS! I even got unbaised opinions (which were BRUTAL) from those that took the time to listen...

The suggestion was to "develop my hooks". They listened to song after song of mine and said (essentially) just split it in two and put in something that'll sell". The term "middle eight" came up all the time. In the end...I made some GREAT friends...even to the point of FILLING IN on more than a few concerts on some sick days!

THAT was coming up on...gawd...twenty-something years ago!

So...I developed my hooks...doing jingles. That's all them jingles iz...iz hooks! Came up with an ad agency...and was able to live easier than I ever had imagined.

Now? I'm putting in "the muthuh uv all studios" here in Oz. I've got some great compositions that I've been told "will sell".

So, Ignar! You ended with: "Any insights greatly appreciated"

If you write something that is forgettable...it will be.

Brutally yours,

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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...okay, but are your endorphins clouding your judgment?

Maybe, how should I know? :P Seriously, I think ity's pretty simple (or atleast I keep it simple, makes it easier for my puny brain): I want my music to be as good as it can become and I'm at the point where a more experienced producer can help me take the next step. 'Nuff said, nothing else matters.
why do you say "unfortunately, financially"??? What's that liitle bit of space tucked way back in yer head tellin' ya???

Well, I personally don't like to pay for things. Money is more fun to get then to spend. If I could find an experienced and motivated producer for free I'd go that route, unfortunately that doesn;t seem to exist. So I have no choice but to pay, even though I'm no big fan of paying money.

I think the big difference between the two of us is that you went the label/A&R route while I simply can't do that. There are a number pf things I feel strongly about, including:

1) Complete control over every musical aspect
2) Freedom to distribute the music as I please, for whatever price I please.
3) The right to give away my music to whomever I please, whenever I please
4) Freedom to start and stop projects whenever I feel like it.

I'm not sure about the USA but over here there is not a single label that could even consider these points, so I won't send in my music to any A&R department. There are a fair number of alternatives that can offer me much more then any label would ever give me and I'm considering these. I've got some help from people 'in the business' so I'm sure I can find something. The three biggest important things right now are, in order:

1) Getting the music done as good as possible
2) Re-design my site so everyone can easily listen to the music, for free.
3) Work with various forms of distribution to allow those interested to purchase a copy.

I'm working on #1 right now, I've figured out #2 but have yet to implement it and will see about #3 later.
The suggestion was to "develop my hooks". They listened to song after song of mine and said (essentially) just split it in two and put in something that'll sell".

I'm sure that is great advice if your goal is to make as much money as possible with your music. I think it's the same in movies/cinema. Over the past fifty years a lot of 'rules' have been written about how to write a catchy movie. Hollywood slavishly follows these rules, and with a lot of financial succes. Good for them, but 95% of movies coming out of Hollywood are IMHO garbage, despite all the big-names and super budgets. Luckily a few people agree with me and so there are a fair number of people working outside these hollywood conventions. Whether it's American cinema from Jarmusch or the Scandinavian cinema from Roy Andersson, these people make significantly more powerfull cinema then the conventional over-acted cheesily-written crap 'that sells', even though most people will never have seen any of these movies of these more 'underground' directors. Or to get back to music, I can't stand listening to radio or music television. I'm sure it makes commercial sense and many people like/buy it but what good does that do for me?

The music I'm working now is very personal. It stands for something, something more then a pay cheque. I'm 23 years old and can afford to do somehting I can fully stand behind, even if this'll be the only thing I'll ever do with conviction. If this goes bad it'll cost me a few thousand dollars but I will have something I can be proud of. I can always start splitting tracks and adding 'what sells' later.

Anyway, thanks for typing it all out. It seems like the American music-industry is a lot more aggressive and rough then things are over here. I hope your new studio works out well, if I'm in the neighbourhood I'll book some time. There are always more songs that need to be recorded. 8) All the best!


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

What you just posted is EXACTLY what The Beatles wanted to achieve with Apple...but they soon found out that although they recorded heaps of great esoteric stuff (like you are into) nothing sold...and they went broke.

Many lament the mercenary nature of music in today's world. Frank Zappa said it the best, I think: "The key word in music industry...is industry."

23??? PLENTY of time ahead of you, Ignar!

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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