The "Hook"

continuing Makako’s thread, (sort of)

As Makako said, it’s the hook that makes a hit single.

So, what are the top ten hooks?

Here’s five of my faves, (in no particular order).

1. Money for nothing, Dire Staights. Let’s be honest, it’s a pretty boring song, except for the guitar hook.

2. Monster, Steppenwolf. That graunchy guitar bit just before the end section does it for me. It’s magnificent.

3. All early Beatles. Great songs, and even better hooks. Just think about Day Tripper. :D

4. Ditto early Stones. Keith Richards was the guitar hook king; Honky Tonk Woman, Brown Sugar, etc., etc.

5. Man, I feel like a woman, Shania Twain. When that synth/brass hook starts playing, ya just gotta get up and dance!



The most recent hook fest I’ve noticed is U2’s Vertigo. That song is like a hook orgasm. The riffs, a few key lyrics, Bono’s big high notes on ‘feel’, these are classic pop hooks. Nobody else does hooks like U2 these days. Well nobody I listen to anyway :wink:

4 Other ones that come to mind - just from the CDs currently on my desk -

Spencer Davis Group, Gimme Some Lovin’, the massive distorted organ notes preceding the verse with the ‘hey’ right after.

Pink Floyd, ‘we dont need no education’…need i say more.

Fleetwood Mac, the double-stop intro riff on rhiannon, if you were breathing in the 70s it is synaptically imprinted…

Crowded House, Dont dream its over - ‘hey now, hey now’ - fantastic hook, although neil finn wrote a million songs better than this…

Speaking of, Paul Hester, drummer for Crowded House, committed suicide last week. Very sad indeed. Not to distract from the polish guy of course…

Probably depends on your demographic.

Generally “pop” wise that Beyonce song “Crazy right now” (I think that’s it’s name) has that opening hook with the combo of the hrns and her going whoa oh whoa oh whoa oh oh oh which is #### catchy. Even though I don’t like the song or style of music much.

Being a guitarist though my “memorable” hooks (even if I don’t like the band or song that much) would be:

Ain’t Talkin’ 'Bout Love - Van Halen
Layla - Eric Clapton
Enter Sandman - Metal Licka
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
Walk This Way - Aerosmith

Might pick a few different ones depending on when you ask me.

But as with the hook guide in Makako’s post note that all of these are the intro’s to the song (get to the hook as soon as possible)


(Stomp stomp clap)
(Stomp stomp clap)
(Stomp stomp clap)
(Stomp stomp clap)
We will, we will rock you!


Actually, having discussed this at the pub tonight, Bon Jovi wrote a lot of good “hooks”

"Shot through the heart, and your to blame. You gove love a bad name"

Depends on whether you classify a “hook” as somehting you need to be able to sing along to or just a guitar riff or similar…

“Whoah, we’re half way there. Whoah living on a prayer”

“Your love is like bad medicine. Bad medicine is waht I need. Wo oh oah.”

All of your choices but in my opinion John´s one is perfect:

Stomp, stomp clap …

Ohh… another one I just thought of… the chorus to Highway to ####…

Stairway to Heaven Intro

sunshine of your love

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

In a gadda da vida (had to throw that one in)

Ok guys,
who is the candidate to put everything together?

“Satisfaction” guitar riff.

Quote (TomS @ April 06 2005,10:48)
"Satisfaction" guitar riff.

Bownt, bownt, budda, da bow, badow, da, da, da, bownt, bownt...

Keefer = COOL riffs.

Good call Tom!

TG :)


Reelin’ in the years

Early Doobie Brothers, China Grove, Long Train, etc etc.

Kenny Loggins, Mr. Soundtrack to another boring movie KING.(Except for Caddy Shack)

Pink Floyd - Money (The Bass riff hooked my butt!)

POP MUSIC, Steam - Na Na Na Hey hey hey Goodbye.
Gary Glitter - Rock n Roll
What’s her face - Mickey (oh yeah Toni Basil)
Hey Macarena - by who ever

Guitar Riffs
Born to be Wild - Stepped on Wolves
Mississippi Queen - Mountain
Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
The Ventures (anything)
Life’s been Good - Joe Walsh
Funk #49 - James Gang
Hotel California/Life in the Fast Lane - Eagles
Stevie Ray Vaughn - Just name any song.
If Wishes Were Horses - Jon Butcher
Long Cool Woman - Hollies
Purple Haze - Jimi
Bitch - Stones
Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ - Stones
(Uh Sticky Fingers me all time fav Stones LP)
Led Zep, too many to choose from. Black Dog, or maybe Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker.


Turkey in the Straw :)
The Bonanza Theme
I Dream of Jeanie Theme
Take Me On (Uh Huh…)
The Tom Jones song… It’s Not Unusual
The tune by Madonna where the Jesus statue crys. (I hear you snikering out there… ) :p

1. Money for nothing, Dire Staights. Let's be honest, it's a pretty boring song, except for the guitar hook.

Hey - this song is totally Mark Knopfler at his satirical/witty best!

I agree about the hooks but the songwriter tips of today all say, forget about the hook & write good melodies with lyrics that say what's already been said but in a new, totally different way.

What’s New Pussycat, whoa whoa whoa,

Now how do ya say that different in a totally new way?

What’s up yer ass biatch, yeah yeah yeah …maybe?

that sounded cynical didn’t it, oh well.