What Music Gives You Chills?

Just like great sex and fine foods, music is one of those things that can send chills up my spine. What songs do that to you? Here’s a partial list for me:

[li]Water Song[/li][sup]HOT TUNA[/sup]
The introduction’s false crescendo breaks perfectly into the more complex mainline of the song.

[li]Lady Goes To Church[/li][sup]JOHN RENBOURN[/sup]
The central passage of this acoustic piece contains an intricate combination of harmony and melody line.

[li]Take Five[/li][sup]Dave Brubeck[/sup]
Composer Paul Desmond’s immortal saxophone riff so perfectly embodies a sense of pure elation.

[li]Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The term “pull out all of the stops” was invented to describe this specific style of Bach’s organ works.

[li]Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G Major[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The rubbing of the basses in the fast movements lifts the flute solo to make your heart soar.

[li]Fugue in C from Volume 1 of The Well Tempered Clavier[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
Glenn Gould’s second track on the A side is some beautifully intricate piano work.

[li]No One Like You[/li][sup]THE SCORPIONS[/sup]
The dual unison guitar work during the introduction breaks down into a pair of superb solos in the heart of the song.

[li]Always With You Always With Me[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
The classical phrasing of the fundamental melody line is almost painfully lyrical.

[li]Bulgarian Dance[/li][sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]
The guitarist’s complicated and nearly atonal “Turko-Arabic” motif resolves in and out of harmonic phase.

[li]Definitely Maybe[/li][sup]JEFF BECK[/sup]
Seeing him play this by making slide excursions directly over the guitar’s pickups with perfect voicing reinforced the beauty of this song for me.

[li]Cliffs of Dover[/li][sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]
Rock-solid meter and harmony almost mandates the blistering transition passages in this rock instrumental masterpiece.

[li]The Crush of Love[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
What seems to be an almost classical rock piece suddenly cranks over into ripples of pure speed metal.

[li]Birdfingers[/li][sup]LARRY CORYELL[/sup]
The fluttering fretwork of this fleet jazz gemstone sparkles with a crystal clarity.

[li]Brandenburg Concerto #6 Allegro[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The flute line interweaves with the strings with all of it mantled by crisp brass ornamentation.

[li]Righteous[/li][sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]
The harmonica and guitar crescendo near the end pour on the coal to superheat this bit of molten blues rock.

[li]Light Flight[/li][sup]PENTANGLE[/sup]
Jaqui M[sup]c[/sup]Shea’s angelic vocals front one of the most versatile European bands ever.

[li]Fingerbuster[/li][sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]
This slick blast of boogie woogie glides down the scale in perfectly interlocked licks.

[li]Fanfare for the Common Man[/li][sup]Aaron Copeland[/sup]
The dignified scrolling of the brass section comes into a final resolution that sets the soul to keening.

[li]Now That We’ve Ended As Lovers[/li][sup]Jeff Beck[/sup]
An almost weeping electric guitar suddenly flares with daredevil virtuosity in this unabashed jewel of hotshot jazz rock.

[li]Whammer Jammer[/li][sup]J. Geils Band[/sup]
Magic Dick’s stellar harmonica work is unrivaled in this scintillating old fashioned rock and roll treasure.

Your taste in music is formidable.

Being a Trekie, the opening themes to the various shows/movies.

Nostalgia gives me chills. Like if “Day after Day” by Badfinger suddenly comes on the radio, it’ll provide chills.

The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky

Petroushka by Stravinsky

Concerto For Flute and Harp (K299) by Mozart

Most things Grateful Dead.

Comfortably Numb, by Pink Floyd

I can’t recall the exact title, but I think it’s “There’s a Party at My House,” by Randy Newman. It’s a fun, bouncy song right up until the last line (“Hey, Bobby, get the rope!”) when you suddenly realize the party’s about to end in a gang-rape.

Or a lynching, although a gang-rape does sound like an appropraitely Newman-esque ending.

MY chills songs:

Adagio or Strings by Samuel Barber. Gave me the chills even BEFORE Stone used it in ‘Platoon’

“Putnam’s Camp” from Three Places in New England by Charles Ives.

Losing It from the RUSH album ‘Signals’

The Torture Never Stops by Frank Zappa (on various alums, although the original is on ‘Zoot Allures’, IIRC.

Time by the Alan Parsons Project. Personal memory chills.

Many, many others…

Sans chills, Newman’s “Political Lesson” was too perfect for it’s time.

Someone mentioned Charles Ives

There is an album I had a while back by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic which had the most chilling Ive’s triptych on Side 2 : “Central Park in the Dark”, “Decoration Day” and “The Unanswered Question.” The effect of all three pieces together left one breathless.

Chills, or the willies - Tubular Bells.
Moonlight Sonata, though not in the same way.

Have you heard the song? Definitely NOT a lynching. In the song, the guys are singling out one pale-complexioned redheaded girl who’s maybe had too much to drink. She’s getting a bit flushed as she’s dancing, and the guys wonder to each other what her nipples are like.

The climax (an appropriate word for it) of part 1 of Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn.

King Crimson’s Starless, from Red, when they revert to the original theme at the closing of the piece.

Echidna’s Arf from Frank Zappa’s Roxy & Elsewhere. Don’t ask me why, it just does.

The Great Gates of Kiev, from Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

We were married to “Pictures” - the bridesmaid’s entrance was to Promenade, the bride’s entrance was to the BEGINNING of the Great Gates of Kiev, and we concluded/exited to the ENDING of the Great Gates of Kiev.

Yes Yes Yes !!!

I’d like to append

Eruption by Eddie Van Halen , Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendricks(sic), and of course the Theme from Pulp Fiction.


[li]The Drugs Don’t Work[/li][sup]THE VERVE[/sup]
[li]Psyche Rock[/li][sup]PIERRE HENRY / FATBOY SLIM[/sup]
[li]The Universal[/li][sup]BLUR[/sup]
[li]By The Sea[/li][sup]SUEDE[/sup]
[li]The Only One I Know[/li][sup]THE CHARLATANS[/sup]
[li]This Is The One[/li][sup]THE STONE ROSES[/sup]

I’m sure there are more, but I can’t think of them offhand.

Fish On by Primus, from Sailing the Seas of Cheese.

The Fall of Adam, by Marilyn Manson, from Holywood. I like the driving beat and the chant from the end. “Do you love your GUNS and your GOD and your GOVERNMENT?”

Hamburger Train, by Primus, from Pork Soda.

Stash, by Phish, from A Picture of Nectar.

You Enjoy Myself, by Phish, from Junta.

Glory Box -Portishead
Rhapsody In Blue

Depeche mode - Sister of the Night
VnV nation- Legion( anarchon)
Rammstein- Seeman
Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb
NIN- The Great Below
Einsturzende Neubauten- Headcleaner
Tear Garden- Romulus and Venus
Legendary Pink Dots-I love you in your tragic beauty
Front 242- Quite Unusual
Coil- The 1st 5 minutes after death ,How to destroy Angels
Current 93- Lucifer in London
Feindflug- Stukas Im Vieser
Covenant- Tabula Rasa
Download- Bass Metal
Throbbing Gristle- Hamburger Lady
Tsoy- Gruppa Krovi
Mesh- Self Healing Lie

Where Did You Sleep Last Night from Unplugged in New York by Nirvana.

The way Kurt’s voice cracks at the end still gives me the chills-such pure emotion.

Zenster, as usual, you are a wellspring of musical insight.

For me, Van Halen’s ICE CREAM MAN. It’s a great example of how a really simple song structure can yield something exciting. The combination of David Lee Roth’s sense of humor and Eddie’s guitar was devastating.

Some 13 or 14 years ago I took Mrs. B to see the Canadian Brass play. Towards the end of the program they performed J. S. Bach’s “little” fugue in G. The notes were so pure, the timing so perfect, that every hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood straight up. When they finished, the audience was dead silent for a moment before applauding. I wanted the concert to end right there so that I could have the echos of that one perfect piece bouncing around in my head all night.

In the movie The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, there is a scene where the confederates and the yankees are fighting over a bridge with Ennio Morricone’s The Death of a Soldier playing that is one of the most moving indictments of the stupidity of war I’ve ever seen on film.
Another Morricone piece that gives me chills is The Carriage of the Spirits.

For reasons of my own, Danny Boy always chokes me up.

The Ride of the Valkyries played real loud, gets my blood up.

Ravel’s Bolero, even before that movie.

The theme song from The High and the Mighty, for reasons I can’t explain.


Scherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov

Antartica, by Vangelis

And of course, Rhapsody in Blue.

The End and Riders on the Storm by the Doors.

I have a soundtrack of horror movie songs: that’s pretty chilling.

Hey You, Another Brick in the Wall, On the Turning Away by Pink Floyd.

Rotten Apple by Alice in Chains.

Probably others…

The end of the song Man That You Fear by Marilyn Manson

Also the end of the song Ana’s Song by Silverchair