Help me turn it up to 11
March 31, 2011 8:26 PM   Subscribe

What is this musical....thing called?

I was listening to Boston the other night, and there is a part in the music that makes me just want to CRANK IT UP and air guitar - it's almost reflex, and it's particularly dicey when I'm driving.

They do it at 6:59 here.

A better example is at 3:58 of the song "Peace of Mind"

This is the point in the song where everything stops but the main riff. And it just cranks. My favorite version of this musical moment is guitar, but Phil Collins does it on drums at 3:40 here.

Taio Cruz even does it in "Dynamite" at 2:36 here.

This is my favorite part of the song *any song* (and it's always far too short) and I have no idea what it's called. Closest thing I can think of is a "breakdown." So, musical MeFites, what is the name of this scrumptious moment of musicality? And WHERE CAN I GET MORE?!?!?
posted by Spyder's Game to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I think (if I'm identifying what you're describing) what you're looking for is a Break. This is usually combined with a Bridge
posted by bitdamaged at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2011

"usually" may be too strong, "frequently" may be a better term.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:34 PM on March 31, 2011

It's a breakdown.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:39 PM on March 31, 2011

Remy Zero's main theme for Smallville reliably does this soaring thing for me.
posted by cgc373 at 9:07 PM on March 31, 2011

Yep, breakdown.

And if you breakdowns, you want epic trance, especially from the late 90s, when there almost an arms race to see who could come up with the biggest, most overwrought breakdowns.

Here's a couple of classic trance tracks with super extended breakdowns:

Art of Trance - Madagascar (Ferry Corsten remix) (2:30)

Nu Nrg - Dreamland (1:30)

Venga Boys - Kiss (Airscape remix) (1:15)

Every dance music genre does it to some extent though, including dubstep. The value of it for the DJ, especially for uptempo dance music, is it stops the beat to give people a chance to catch their breath and then start dancing again when it ends, plus it builds tension. A good breakdown is a sure fire way to re-energize a dancefloor that's tired.

Here's a recent track from deadmau5 that uses it, watch what it does to the dancefloor:

Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapon breakdown starts at 4 minutes, note the crowd scream when it starts, then the crowd clapping to keep the beat, then the tension builds....they sing along, the hands go up the air...then the beat and the crowd explodes...

Manipulating how you use breakdowns to change the energy on the dance floor is a huge part of the skill of djing, imo..
posted by empath at 9:13 PM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]

Ah, and so do the opening credits for Lie to Me, though the whole song feels flatter, less vibrant.
posted by cgc373 at 9:15 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Break or Breakdown. Charlie Parker's in "Night In Tunisia" is legendary.
posted by intermod at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2011

You might be interested in the FPP on Great Rock and Roll Pauses.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:50 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the point where I really noticed this kind of thing was in one of the songs on Prince's "Sign of the Times" concert video when he just yells "guitars and drums on the one" and that's what happens. Everyone stops except for the guitarist and drummer.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:58 PM on March 31, 2011

The Foo Fighters' new song "White Limo" has a nice breakdown in it, complete with Lemmy tapping out the beat for you. It happens @2:59.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 12:49 AM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: Just thought of another one. The All American Rejects do it vocally on the song "Gives You Hell". It's at 2:40 here.
posted by Spyder's Game at 8:29 PM on April 1, 2011

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