7 Classic Songs Whose Verses Outshine Their Choruses

6. Watching The Detectives €“ Elvis Costello

Lurid, layered, lo-fi brilliance from Napoleon Dynamite, who slithers with his signature sleaze through some of his most complex verses €“ verses so good, in fact, that the chorus feels poky in comparison. Fortunately it doesn€™t stick around too long, so we still get a weighty slice of Costello magic to indulge over before we have to put up with the plodding refrain. If only the Little Hands of Concrete could have welded something a little more€ consistent.

5. Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie

The best song on Scary Monsters and one of Bowie€™s most iconic post-Ziggy hits, €˜Ashes to Ashes€™ is a superbly structured and somewhat disquieting return for Major Tom in a drug-themed purge of creativity. The central riff is mind-blowingly catchy and the verses are delivered with a fractured, desperate grace that Bowie embraces so convincingly that I simply wish it could just go on forever. The introduction of a chorus is not an unwelcome change €“ of course, it has to go somewhere €“ but it€™s something which could never match such wonderful verses. That said, the way it trickles back into the verses is exquisite; Bowie€™s rhythmic moaning of €œhitting an all€ time€ low€ as the riff weaves its way back in is spellbinding.

A mythical hedonist, a chronic solipsist, a poet armed with a mouth full of adjectives, a brain full of adverbs and a box full of laxatives. Writing words in a language that isn't real to impress people that I invented since The Big Bang.