There are endless “best song” polls and discussions online, but I haven’t seen any that focus on noises – the little bursts of sound that elevate a song from “all right” to “blimey”. A few examples:
- The blast of feedback in London Calling by the Clash
- The beep in Beep by Pussycat Dolls
- Pretty much anything going on in the background of a Public Enemy song
You get the idea. I don’t think guitar effects or other instrumental effects should count – so no room for the mighty “Der Der!” bit from Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, and no room for the superb keyboard sound from Keane’s Is It Any Wonder or some of Edge’s infinite guitar U2 stuff – and I’d rule out spliced songs too (so no “take me back to dear old blighty” from The Smiths’ Queen Is Dead) but I reckon bizarre backing tracks of found sounds fit the bill, so I’d include Timbaland’s work on the current Justin Timberlake track (which is largely a collection of breathing noises).