The “money shot,” that big payoff moment… David Bowie provides one of rock’s all-time money shots at the 1:16 mark of “Heroes,” when he jumps up to the higher register. Even rock fans who have had issues with Bowie tend to dig “Heroes,” and I bet even the most down-to-earth, meat-and-potatoes rockers among get a little chill when his vocals leap an octave.
I believe a significant portion of 1980s music was founded on this device, surely not a device Bowie founded but one he drove into our collective conscious. Bono, in particular, has tried to work this money shot move into 75% of U2’s songs.
In future weeks we’ll examine money shot moments featuring other instruments, but today let’s focus on vocalists. What are some of rock’s other most-influential vocal money shots?