The Art of the Bridge
January 3, 2013
Ahh, the bridge. In some cases it’s my favorite part of a song because it allows me to break away for a second (or eight bars) and then bring in the chorus one more time full throttle.
It can also be my least favorite part of a song because sometimes I find bridges to be too…over thought, perhaps. Some artists are excellent when it comes to the bridge. Billy Joel is always good for a bridge. And the Beatles may have been the masters - they were also the masters at many things so this is no surprise. Bruce Springsteen is a big bridge guy. I’d even argue that Hendrix was - he had a ton of solos over different chord progressions not found in the verse or chorus (Fire and Wind Cries Mary come to mind). The Who employed bridges quite a bit. Led Zeppelin had some songs that I think were entirely bridges.
But you know what band doesn’t go for the bridge?
The Rolling Stones. So few of their songs have a bridge because they don’t need one. They’re efficient. They get in, they get out. They get to the point. I’m currently going through their entire discography looking for bridges. I’ll let you know the final tally once I’m done.
Another bridge-less band is Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty is the master of efficiency. A fair amount of Fleetwood Mac songs skim on the bridge, too.
I have more songs with bridges than I do without. I think I do. I’m not sure. I probably do. I can figure that one out faster than I can the Stones’s tally.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
The Rolling Stones
Creedence Clearwater Revival