Jun 212012

The “money shot,” that big payoff moment… In the first installment of our Money Shot series we examined rock’s most influential vocal money shot moments. While we await the return of Townsman tonyola before exploring mellotron money shot moments, let’s turn our attention to the bass guitar.

Putting aside outright bass solos (sorry, John Entwistle on “My Generation”), what brief, shining moments in a song are brought to new heights by something as simple as a bass lick. I will suggest John Paul Jones‘ measure-long bass fill following the first chorus in “Good Times Bad Times,” heard at the 54-second mark of the following clip.

Imagine how many kids bought a bass guitar in hopes of learning that lick. Now what’s your bass guitar money shot?

Jun 062012

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?


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