A Dozen Classic Songs without Choruses

Almost every popular song has a chorus, that repeating part that often contains the song’s hook, its most memorable musical passage. Strong choruses are considered almost essential for a song’s success. But not always.

Here’s a list of classic songs with no discernable chorus:

  1. “Stairway to Heaven”/Led Zeppelin
  2. “Bohemian Rhapsody”/Queen
  3. “Sympathy for the Devil”/Rolling Stones
  4. “Maggie May”/Rod Stewart
  5. “Wish You Were Here”/Pink Floyd
  6. “All Along the Watchtower”/Jimi Hendrix
  7. “Cool for Cats”/Squeeze
  8. “Baker Street”/Gerry Rafferty (the repeating sax bit doesn’t count)
  9. “Virginia Plain”/Roxy Music
  10. “Bittersweet Symphony”/The Verve
  11. “Paranoid Android”/Radiohead
  12. “Losing My Religion”/REM

Let’s see if we can add to this. Any suggestions?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

7 thoughts on “A Dozen Classic Songs without Choruses

  • November 23, 2015 at 11:06 am
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    The “That’s me in the corner” sections don’t count as a chorus in Losing My Religion? And doesn’t Bittersweet Symphony start with the chorus?

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 11:16 am
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    “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” has no chorus or bridge.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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    Every song Neutral Milk Hotel has ever put out.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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    I don’t understand. Sympathy For the Devil has a chorus and it’s repeated like any other song.

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game

    Reply

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