Songs are composed of various different structures: the chorus, verse, bridge, etc. They're put together, and if it's done right, it sounds like one cohesive unit, each part is inter-linked. For this post, I'm looking at one section in particular - that last piece, the coda.
A coda is basically a separate section which brings an end to a song; In popular music, it's sometimes referred to as an "outro"; the opposite of an intro. It's not necessarily long- "cold outros" as in "What I Like About You" by the Romantics end abruptly (and are a DJ's worst nightmare). I'm speaking more of the "fade-out coda" -the undeniably greatest example in popular music being the "Na Na Na" part of "Hey Jude".
The "Hey Jude" fade-out coda is so brilliant, I could probably listen to the same repetetive lyrics all day and not get tired of it - close your eyes and listen and it's about as close as a song can get to pure hypnotic euphoria. It got me thinking about other songs that made good use of an outro, and this list is the result.
Let's be clear, the list is not arranged by the quality of the entire song - I'm only looking at the coda. Please drop a comment for suggestions to add to this rather short list, I know there must be a good deal more great ones I'm forgetting.
- Hey Jude - The Beatles
- (I've Been) Searchin' So Long - Chicago
- Head Over Heals - Tears for Fears
"... and this is my foooour leaf cloooover..."
- Layla - Derek & the Dominoes
Allman's closer is sublime
- Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
- Atlantis - Donovan
"Way down below the ocean. Where I wanna be."
- Aquarius - The 5th Dimension
"Let the sunshine in"
- I Am the Walrus - The Beatles
King Lear and "Joob, joob, joob!"
- When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
- Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
A guitar solo coda that makes the one in "Hotel California" look bad
- Come Sail Away - Styx
They're not angels, they're aliens!
- Baba O'Riley - The Who
- November Rain - Guns N' Roses
Gives me goosebumps
- Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie
"My mother said, to get things done, you'd better not mess with Major Tom"
- Beautiful Girls - Van Halen
"I love 'em. I need 'em. Can't do without 'em.
- Alec Eiffel - Pixies
- Love Removal Machine - The Cult
- Golden Brown - The Stranglers
Short, but chilling - especially when you know the song's topic
- Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' - Journey
The coda is where the song goes from average to anthem
- Sunrise - Pulp
A sonic explosion if there ever was one
- Karma Police
"For a minute there, I lost myself"
- I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home) - Grand Funk Railroad
So long and repititious, it used to drive me insane. Now I love it.
- All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
"She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah"
- Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
"Where do we go now?"
- Guitar Man - Bread
I'm a sucker for when the orchestra kicks in