Not a Grammy category yet
December 23, 2005 10:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for nominations for the Best Use of Hoots, Hollers, and Grunts for Male Rock Vocalists. These would include the most fantastic utterances that are not typically part of the lyrics. Hooooo. Ha!

The top nomination from my music library (lots of 80s music) would be Mike Scott of the Waterboys (he tended to be a hooter). Examples would include the songs Don't Bang the Drum and Fisherman's Blues. What are your nominations (include examples if possible)?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink to Media & Arts (55 answers total)
David Byrne of the Talking Heads. For a good example, see "Road to Nowhere."
posted by mbrubeck at 10:35 PM on December 23, 2005

Mike Patton (Fantomas, Mr Bungle, Faith No More). For an example I pick uhhhhhhh.... Any song from "Amenaza Al Mundo" by Fantomas.
posted by atom128 at 10:37 PM on December 23, 2005

Or from Directors Cut. God I love that album. I think I have to listen to it now.
posted by atom128 at 10:37 PM on December 23, 2005

While he's more pop than rock, you can't leave out Michael Jackson. He's got more "hooo!"s and "heeee!"s than he knows what to do with. Plus, bonus points for "Shamon!"
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:38 PM on December 23, 2005

John McCrea from Cake includes lots of really sweet random "ya"s and "all right"s and "oh no"s in a lot of their songs. It's one of my favorite things about Cake, actually, the weird background utterances.
posted by joshuaconner at 11:11 PM on December 23, 2005

Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" is the grandaddy of 'em all.
posted by scody at 11:11 PM on December 23, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust. "Yuwauuyeauuwayyaaaayughah."
posted by agropyron at 11:14 PM on December 23, 2005

There's a lot of this in Radiohead's A Punch-Up at a Wedding. Even moreso in the unfinished leak version; it got cleaned up a bit in the final.
posted by abcde at 11:25 PM on December 23, 2005

U2 / Bono: Discotheque.

Just after "You can hold it, control it / No, you can't bag it", there's an "Oh..." that sounds distinctly like a belch.

Every time I hear that song, I can't help but comment "Cue burp..." just before he does, and it sets me giggling each time.

Best use? No. Funniest? Maybe even.
posted by Imperfect at 11:30 PM on December 23, 2005

The original version of "Mony Mony" by Tommy James & the Shondelles is pretty rad. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE BILLY IDOL VERSION K THX

I also second Michael Jackson, but I'd emphasize his Jackson 5-era work. As a little kid he could sure blow (as the judges on American Idol could say).
posted by apple scruff at 11:41 PM on December 23, 2005

Seconding the Cake vote. If you can track down the version of the Muppets' 'Mahna Mahna' they did for a kids' album, there's even a few choice ones in there.

I'm kind of on a Barenaked Ladies kick cause I just saw 'em live, but a couple of their songs have some good ones. 'Go Home' off their Maroon album even has a totally inappropriate 'Fuck yeah!' at the end.
posted by toddshot at 11:53 PM on December 23, 2005

Speaking of Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page has a rather suggestive grunt leading in to "It's Only Me" on their Greatest Hits album.
posted by Aster at 12:27 AM on December 24, 2005

WAR! UNGH! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'!
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:41 AM on December 24, 2005

"oooh-ah-ah-ah-ah get up come on get down with the sickness" (Disturbed)
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:41 AM on December 24, 2005

Korn - Twist
posted by fire&wings at 3:21 AM on December 24, 2005

Iggy Pop in many songs on Funhouse by the Stooges
posted by dmo at 3:25 AM on December 24, 2005

Good lord, Iggy Pop should be at or near the top of the list, even if he'd quit after the Stooges released "Funhouse". Maybe even especially then, since the whole album seems like a tribute to the well-timed yawp.

James Brown's up there too...get up! get down! hey! yeah! uh! good god y'all!

David Bowie gets an honorable mention for the "HOOH!" in his cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together". If you've heard it, you know what I mean.

(On preview, fandango_matt and dmo beat me to it.)
posted by Vervain at 3:35 AM on December 24, 2005

Surprised no one has mentioned Blur's "Song 2." Great song, but completely worn out from overuse in commercials/movies.
posted by alidarbac at 3:40 AM on December 24, 2005

The little yelps and whelps from Sir Mick Jagger at the beginning of Sympathy for the Devil. Really like that.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:19 AM on December 24, 2005

They called him Screamin' Jay Hawkins for a reason.

Okay, maybe more blues than rock. But Constipation Blues is more grunt and holler than lyric.
posted by Ritchie at 5:21 AM on December 24, 2005

The Ramones "Chainsaw" goes like this
"Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, wohoho Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, wohoho"
and also "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You" has a good "woo-ooo" and "Beat On The Brat" has this line "Oh yeah, oh yeah, uh-oh Oh yeah, oh yeah, uh-oh"
posted by Makebusy7 at 5:24 AM on December 24, 2005

Damn, dash_slot, you beat me to it.
posted by notsnot at 5:54 AM on December 24, 2005

Jon Spencer of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, particularly on the albums Extra Width and Orange.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:57 AM on December 24, 2005

Not quite what you're looking for, but Louie Louie by the kingsmen is chock a block full of incomprehensible grunts and such things.
posted by ashbury at 7:00 AM on December 24, 2005

Klaus Dinger's vocals from the song "Lila Engel" by Neu!.
posted by ubersturm at 7:01 AM on December 24, 2005

James Brown has already been name-checked here -- check this compendium of his greatest uhhs (track 9 "Brown") by John Oswald on the plunderphonic CD. (click the "u" in the top frame to find the download page for the album).
posted by omnidrew at 7:34 AM on December 24, 2005

Ian Anderson does some darned exciting stuff during his flute solos, including things I would have to transcribe as "vrooop!", "wurrggh".

I also believe you'll be delighted if you can find Faith No More's cover of War Pigs from the Nativity in Black tribute album.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:26 AM on December 24, 2005

Type O Negative, check out "We Hate Everyone" for some "whoa whoa whoa-whoas" or " Kill all the White People" for staccato Ooh and Ahs. (Links are to windows media files on amazon).
posted by 445supermag at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2005

The last thirty seconds of the Mountain Goats' "Sinaloan Milk Snake Song" (.mp3 can be heard here) feature a really edifying sequence of grunts, hoo-has, and heavy breathings from John Darnielle and the Bright Mountain Choir.
posted by escabeche at 8:42 AM on December 24, 2005

Pink Floyd--The Great Gig in the Sky--NPR some months ago a story about the lady that did the solo in it and her recent settlement. Apparently, she was never paid royalties and was only paid $50 or $100 bucks for it to begin with.

Led Zepplin--Immigrant Song.
posted by 6:1 at 8:50 AM on December 24, 2005

I will also vote for Cake. (Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, hoooooooooooooooo!)
posted by oaf at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2005

The all-time champion of whoops, not to mention his "push push push". Often imitated but never duplicated. Although she came the closest.
posted by Ber at 9:48 AM on December 24, 2005

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - "Relax"

Mick Hucknall of Simply Red - "The Right Thing"

Both are tops in my book in the Dirty Grunting category.
posted by younggreenanne at 10:54 AM on December 24, 2005

Some greats already mentioned (David Byrne, Iggy Pop, Jon Spencer), so I won't retread...but I would like to add the following:

Jarvis Cocker, of Pulp -- for his whispered "aahs" in various songs.

Marc Bolan, of T. Rex -- for his trademark moaning of "take me!" in damn near ever song with a guitar solo.

Stewart Lupton, of Jonathan Fire*Eater -- who oft times beats Sir Mick at his own game.

William Reid, of Jesus and Mary Chain -- for regularly moaning into his mic like a cat in heat.
posted by kaseijin at 10:58 AM on December 24, 2005

The Cramps' cover of Hasil Adkin's "She Said" has a chorus of "wooo eee ahh ahh".
David Lee Roth - on every other Van Halen song.
posted by hellbient at 11:24 AM on December 24, 2005

Ian Gillian at the beginning of "Highway Star."
posted by Eothele at 11:59 AM on December 24, 2005

No mention yet for Britt Daniel of Spoon? His grunts and yelps and "uh-huhs" are hooks in and of themselves. See for instance, practically the entire Series of Sneaks album, but also, "The Delicate Place" or "I Turn My Camera On" off of their recent Gimme Fiction.
posted by alexfw at 12:03 PM on December 24, 2005

- Jimmy Castor of the Jimmy Castor Bunch does an unforgettable simian-styled grunty thing at the start of King Kong. Listen here.

- Morris Day performs his own take on the monkey hoot on Jungle Love, here.

- Rufus Thomas takes grunting to levels previously unexplored in Sixty Second Man. He is complemented by an unknown vocalist slurping/heavy-breathing into a mic in the background. Listen here.
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:50 PM on December 24, 2005

- Can't forget the inimitable opening scream from The Dramatics' Get Up And Get Down. Here.

And a couple more:

- The Isley Brothers - Fight The Power (Part 1). Here.

- Syl Johnson - Different Strokes. Here.

- Lee Scratch Perry squeals out some unidentifiable noise that might be classified as a hoot or holler on I Am The Upsetter.
posted by soiled cowboy at 1:19 PM on December 24, 2005

The Five Man Electrical Band, "Signs":

"And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside--HUUUNNNH!"

Not only is it an awesome grunt, it also falls in the category of "things shouted before guitar solos", so it's like a double-whammy.

Oh yeah, the porn sample used in the "give it to me one time" part of the chorus of Sublime's "54-46/Ball and Chain" is pretty sweet, too.
posted by arto at 3:49 PM on December 24, 2005

There's a live version of Complete Control where Joe Strummer, right after "I don't trust you... so why trust me" adds an "OH!" that I swear is the Most Perfect Rock Moment Ever.

In more Radiohead related stuff, Thom often vocalizes a line of "uh uh uh"s throughout the first part of live performances of The National Anthem. Heard to best effect, imo, in the recording from Earl's Court, 2003, (the second night).
posted by jokeefe at 4:31 PM on December 24, 2005

And has no one mentioned Janis Joplin yet?
posted by jokeefe at 4:33 PM on December 24, 2005

^^^ Whoops, sorry, just reread the question. Nevermind.
posted by jokeefe at 4:34 PM on December 24, 2005

Oh, and from the Decemberists recent album, Picaresque, in 16 Military Wives, when Colin lets loose a "whoo!" just before the horns come in at the climax. Awesome.
posted by jokeefe at 4:38 PM on December 24, 2005

Nobody's mentioned Ian Svenonius, formerly of Make Up? Practically all he does is make strange sounds.

Also, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu.
posted by puke & cry at 4:54 PM on December 24, 2005

Robert Daltrey after the instrumental on Won't Get Fooled Again. "Yeahhhhhhhh."
posted by captainscared at 6:23 PM on December 24, 2005

Let us not forget the B-52s.
posted by BT at 6:24 PM on December 24, 2005

Two words:

Hasil fucking Adkins.
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:13 PM on December 24, 2005

Old Springsteen.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:20 PM on December 24, 2005

I agree with the Spoon nomination. Here is an odd addition to the list: Morten Harket of a-ha. In many of the older songs (yes, they have many songs) he grunts like a champion. It's incredibly cheesy and totally awesome.
posted by edlundart at 9:37 PM on December 24, 2005

We've had a Pixies mention, right? Right?

"Got me a movie! Ah ha ha ha!"
posted by jokeefe at 1:05 AM on December 25, 2005

Elvis Costello, "Man Out Of Time" from Imperial Bedrom.

The song intros and exits with some of the best screaming in Rock; both are from earlier, much more energetic takes of the song that Elvis claims he has no memory of recording.

A former drinker, Elvis.
posted by Dunwitty at 3:05 AM on December 26, 2005

Oh, and the cry of "Lookout!" which introduces the last guitar solo in Steely Dan's "Boddhisattva" from Count Down to Ecstasy.
posted by Dunwitty at 3:09 AM on December 26, 2005

Somebody Give Me a Cheeseburger!
posted by grateful at 7:10 AM on December 28, 2005

Damn, I'm so late that all of my favorites have already been mentioned. Ian Svevonius, Jon Spencer, Screamin' Jay, Jarvis Cocker, Iggy, James Brown, Mike Patton, Frank Black, Rufus Thomas, Morris Day, you guys are GOOD.

And a few that haven't:

My favorite English charmer, Morrissey - Hairdresser on Fire, Glamorous Glue, A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours...

Johnny Cash - The Legend of John Henry's Hammer

Melle Mel (I'm pretty sure) - his "a ha ha hahhh" from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5's The Message is classic.

Prince - Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, etc...
posted by sluggo at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2005

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