The Movie Never Ends

I’ve been listening to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” for over twenty years now. (Thankfully, not continuously.) Only recently did I realize an odd quality of the song: the chorus doesn’t appear until the very end. Technically, that means it’s not a chorus at all, right?

posted 21 October 2008 in Tasty Bits and tagged , . 10 comments

10 Comments on The Movie Never Ends

  1. Chris M. Says:

    Well, a “chorus” doesn’t have to be a “refrain,” does it?

  2. Gavin Says:

    I think it does, actually, unless you’re just defining it as “the catchiest bit.”

    From the American Heritage Dictionary (fourth edition), the relevant definitions seem to be:
    1b. A refrain in which others, such as audience members, join a soloist in a song.
    1c. A line or group of lines repeated at intervals in a song.

    Subject for further discussion: Does “Hey Jude” have a chorus?

  3. Tom Nawrocki Says:

    I always thought of it as more of an outro than a chorus. Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells a Story” is structured the same way.

  4. Tom Nawrocki Says:

    Come to think of it, there are a lot of Journey songs put together this way: “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “The Party’s Over”…. There are probably more, but my familiarity with the Journey catalog is not what it might be.

  5. Gavin Says:

    “LTS” less so in my book, because there’s a significant instrumental break, which makes the chorus feels like it genuinely recurs, but “The Party’s Over” absolutely.

    There must be other songs with this construction; I’m going to keep my ears open for them now.

  6. Rob Says:

    I think the chorus is the part that goes “Strangers waitin’, up and down the boulevard.” The part that goes “Don’t stop believin'” is the coda.

    The part that goes “diddle diddle diddle diddle DIDDLE DIDDLE DIDDLE DIDDLE squEEEEEal! BLAM BLAM!” is the “schon.”

    “I’ll Be Alright Without You” (I hate that spelling) is another one constructed the same way (medium-size chorus, giant coda) as “DTB,” “LTS” and “TPO.” Journey: Outro Masters!

  7. Tom Nawrocki Says:

    DTB? “Do the Bird”?

  8. Gavin Says:

    I think Rob is correct: although those Journey outros feel like choruses, they are actually steroid-infused codas.

    When the songs were getting top-40 airplay, they worked as choruses if you took the long view: you could sing along with the catchiest section, and then wait for it to come around again a few hours later.

  9. Sajib Says:

    There are a lot of Journey songs put together this way: “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “The Parties Over” etc. All songs are good. I like all.

  10. Sajib Says:

    I think it’s not a chorus at all. Because of the quality event was so weak.

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