Our name is somewhat of a misnomer, as what we call perfect notes include short, inspired patterns of notes, unexpected or altered patterns of beats, percussion, unclassifiable sounds, and even the absence of a note or voice that a lesser artist would have retained. Even the best-architected songs, in their absence, eventually become common and drained of their original emotional and spiritual impact, but a single perfect note can sustain in perpetuity the power, vitality, and depth of the song that possesses it. As an example, I believe that we would agree that there is one nestled in the chorus in Murray Head's "One night in Bangkok" but it took a considerable amount of trouble and technology for him to actually locate it. One of my favorites is a passage in Peter Gabriel's "Love to be loved" where you only realize after the fact that there's been a key change: like staring at the Pleiades, you can only see them if you don't look directly into them.
So I was delighted to read retroCRUSH's most agreeable 50 Coolest Song Parts. While it focuses a little more on lyrics, riffs, solos, and sustained efforts than the spontaneity and ephemerality that is generally implied by perfect notes, I find that it's a very well-researched compilation and wide enough to include Johnny Cash, the Sex Pistols, and the B-52s. You'll learn something you might not have known about the fretless bass solo in Paul Simon's "You can call me Al" (at, alas, merely #36), Joe Strummer's hopelessly bludgeoned Spanish (#20), and, yes, everybody's favorite Johnny Cash lyric (#5).
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