Songs with the Wow Factor
They will leave an impression with the listener
We hear songs all the time whether by radio, television or computer. Sometimes the songs don’t leave an impression, but other times we say Wow that is quite a song or singer or both. Here is a list of songs that have that special something. They are songs that will never sound dated and will always be on someone’s playlist.
BAND ON THE RUN this song was released by Paul McCartney and his new band Wings back in 1973. I remember I was in junior high school when BAND ON THE RUN came out and everyone was buzzing about it. The song was longer than an average song on the radio and it was done in three parts. It starts off slow and easy in part one then the electric guitars enters with synthesizers and a heavy bass and it turns funky. Part three of the song goes acoustic guitar and back to free and easy. It grooves all the way through. It paved the way for a concept song and it is still entertaining today.
VISION OF LOVE was released by Mariah Carey in 1990. It was her debut. When I first heard this song I was at work and I was blown away by the vocals and wondered who was singing with those vocal abilities? This was the perfect debut song. It had a pop feel as well as a blend of rhythm and blues. Mariah started off by just using tones and then the song goes into the lyrics. She really pours it on at the end and sings her heart out and holds on to those notes for all it is worth. What a talent.
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER this song was performed by Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl game of 1991 during the Persian Gulf War. Whitney changed the arrangements of the song to give her more of a chance to breathe and it turned jazzier, and had more of a gospel sound than the waltz like sound of original arrangement. The song starts off with a military sound of horns and drums. It gets softer in the middle with the string section, and as the song draws to a close Whitney lets loose and gives a goose bump performance with her vocal strength. This song and the video of it show a nation bounding together. Days after the performance people wanted to know where they could get a copy of the song. Whitney was at her best with this song and performance.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP it was released by Adele in 2010. This song made Adele a household name. Adele shows how soulful she is from the beginning in this song. The power of her vocals, she is accompanied by guitar and drums at the beginning. Adele sings powerfully throughout and with great emotion. All the while the harmonies of the background singers weave throughout the track. Adele deserved all the accolades she received for this song and for her album. It is a masterpiece.
SWEET DREAMS released by The Eurhymics in 1983. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were a couple at the time of this song, but they had just broken up. They decided they could still make music together. Dave came up with the beat and Annie came up with the synthesizer. The video is just as memorable as the song with the couple in a business office in what looks like a recording executive’s office. The video then goes to a field with a business table out in the middle of it. A cow appears in the office and out in the field. Annie’s red hair and androgynous appearance make for a video you can’t take your eyes off of. Sweet Dreams begins with the synthesizers and a drum beat. The whole song is a hook and you can’t get the tune of your head once you hear it. It is a great song and a great video by this talented duo.
GOOD VIBRATIONS by the Beach Boys. It was released in 1966 and it was ahead of its time with the arrangement and the harmonies. The song was created by Brian Wilson and it was inspired by what his mother had told him about dogs. They were able to sense someone’s vibrations and would bark at bad vibrations. Brian decided to write a song about people being able to do it with emotions. Carl Wilson never sounded better as he begins the song and then more and more instruments, and harmonies are added to it. It is a perfect summer song and it is a perfect all around song. It could be released in any era and still sound fresh and vibrant.
TOO CLOSE was released by Alex Clare in 2011, but it wasn’t till I heard the song on a Microsoft commercial that I said "Wow who is that singer?" The song is soulful and Alex has some powerful vocals as well as emotion to show that ending a relationship is never easy. The song has synthesizers, neat beats on drumsticks only as well as a heavy drum sound. The English can be very soulful and I hope that Alex has many more songs that will touch us like this one does.
COULD IT BE I’M FALLING IN LOVE? this song was released by The Spinners in 1972. It is such a happy mellow sound. It begins with xylophone, bongo sounds and strings. The lead singer enters with a smooth sounding vocal, and the lyrics are all about the joy of falling in love. This song captures that moment and feeling. The strings, the horns, and the vocals carry this song all the way through. COULD IT BY I'M FALLING IN LOVE is an unforgettable song with a timeless theme. Love is love no matter what era it is in.
GO YOUR OWN WAY this song was released by Fleetwood Mac in 1976. It was written by Lindsey Buckingham about his break up with Stevie Nicks. Great songs come from real emotion and this song has it. The love may have gone wrong, but everything in this song is right the arrangement of the guitars, drums, and harmonies. Lindsey sings it with raw emotion and it must have been a release to sing the song in concert and at his former love. Go Your Own Way indeed.
DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT A THING this song was released by Stevie Wonder in 1973. It is unique because at the beginning you have Stevie portraying a guy trying to impress a lady with his many talents. He speaks to a lady and she responds with a bit of hesitation, but you feel with a little time Stevie will convince her to go with him. It starts the song off on a happy note and it just gets better as it goes along. The song has a Latin feel as well as some soul for good measure. The message of the song is one of being optimistic and taking things in stride. Good points to remember. This song will bring a smile every time.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY this song was released by Queen in 1975. It was written by Freddie Mercury the lead singer and the song showcases his great talent not only as a singer, but as a song writer too. This song has harmony, rock, a guitar solo, and a bit of opera in it as well. The song has great emotion and Freddie makes you feel the impact of the song. It remains Queen’s most popular songs with good reason. You cannot hear this song and not want to sing along.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS this is another song was released by Queen it was released in 1977. The group wanted a song that would get the crowds in the concert going and they came up with this song. A scientific group determined that this was the catchiest song and they are right. There is the hook We are the champions no time for losers we are the Champions of the World. Everyone knows the words and it is a great feel good song. No wonder it gets played at so many sporting events. Freddie Mercury was a master showman and he delivered some of his greatest performances singing this song.
Songs are so special and you know they are good when they leave an impression and when you can hear them repeatedly and never tire of them. These songs fit in that category and will always have a place in the listener’s hearts.