Songs with voice actor interludes?
February 1, 2021 8:12 PM   Subscribe

The song BANG! by AJR has occasional voice actor interludes by Charlie Pellett. A video game streamer I watch, Baertaffy, made a rap with similar voice actor interludes by Wayne June. What other songs could I listen to that have these type of interludes?
posted by vegartanipla to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
Would Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (which includes narration by the great Richard Burton) count?
posted by prismatic7 at 8:51 PM on February 1, 2021

Would Vincent Price’s interlude in Michael Jackson’s Thriller count?

How about Ghetto Defendant by the Clash?
posted by ejs at 8:57 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tigerlily by La Roux has a dramatic interlude like this.
posted by nukacherry at 9:03 PM on February 1, 2021

Fire Squad by J Cole
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:26 PM on February 1, 2021

Don't Fall by The Chameleons opens with this extract from the 1946 film Two Sisters from Boston in a quote from Sophocles (and thank you for making me look that up just 30 something years after hearing the song)

The Sensual Woman by The Herbaliser makes heavy (and NSFW) use of The Way to Become the Sensuous Woman by "J"
posted by rongorongo at 2:36 AM on February 2, 2021

Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf has New York Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto doing play-by-play
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:05 AM on February 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ben Folds Rocking the Suburbs

Celebrity break at 2:26
posted by Don_K at 7:01 AM on February 2, 2021

Weird. I wouldn't even consider the "voiceover" in AJR a voiceover. It's just occasional voice interjections. When I read this question, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was what first came to mind. But there are lots and lots of examples throughout music history.

A simple google search reveals TONS of songs like this, including this list of songs with a spoken part.

When I was young, my favorite song like this was "Rasputin" by Boney M (the only disco record my parents owned). In high school, I wore out my Sigue Sigue Sputnik cassette, which featured voiceovers on songs like "21st Century Boy" and "Love Missile F1-11" ( but part of the conceit of the entire album was that there was constant voiceover and, yes, spoken-word ads).

Seriously, though, this sort of thing is not uncommon. Or it didn't used to be, anyhow.
posted by jdroth at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2021

Seriously, though, this sort of thing is not uncommon. Or it didn't used to be, anyhow.
I think there was quite a big uptake in this in the 80s - tracks like Two Tribes by Frankie Goes to Hollywood - which used actor Chris Barrie's imitation of Ronald Reagan on interludes. Or Paul Hardcastle's 19 which used voicovers and news reportage. In both cases the advent of cheaper samplers made this easier.

If you want a really old example of the genre - the Its Going to Rain by Steve Reich did this back in 1964 - featuring a Pentecostal preacher, Brother Walter (and part of a fairly long list of songs using sampled preachers since). Kind of terrifying though.
posted by rongorongo at 11:02 AM on February 2, 2021

The album The Seduction of Claude Debussy by Art of Noise features occasional narration by John Hurt.
posted by neckro23 at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2021

My first thought, on hearing your example, was Body Movin', which uses vocal samples from "Modern Dynamic Physical Fitness Activities" by Ed Durlacher (per Wikipedia).

Hip-Hop and Rap are replete with songs with vocal samples like this.
posted by China Grover at 1:46 PM on February 2, 2021

If I had to guess, the AJR track is influenced by Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science. with interludes by famous scientist Dr Magnus Pyke.

Neds Atomic Dustbin - Selfish starts with a line from Die Hard from Carl Winslow.

Big Audio Dynamite -Rush A famous English music critic guy breaks down the song in the middle. I don't recall who it is.

INXS Communication there is a tv program talking about the various living arrangements and products that breaks in from time to time.

Belle and Sebastian - I Could Be Dreaming This one ends with a reading of Rip Van Winkle in the background while the band jams - not read by anyone famous, so not sure if it qualifies
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:11 PM on February 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Slow Jamz by Kanye West features spoken interludes by actors Aisha Tyler and Jamie Foxx.

Since you are asking about "voice actors" I assume you aren't looking for appearances from other musicians, but just in case, Chuck D makes random interjections in "Kool Thing" by Sonic Youth.
posted by zeusianfog at 11:35 AM on February 4, 2021

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