I was just spinning Greatest Hits Of The Jam CD in the car when I once again listened to "Going Underground", there's a point in the middle of the song when it just takes off, it explodes, it gives the listener a feeling of euphoria. This is partly achieved by a "key change", which is a very common device in song writing to give the song a lift, to retain the listeners interest. Popular music is inherently repetitive, and such "tricks" are used time and again to break things up.
But Paul Weller is a supremely talented writer, and they key change at that moment is only one ingredient that contributes to the overall feeling of positively in that moment. It got me thinking, what other songs over the years have that "certain something" within them that gives the same feeling of "euphoria". Here are five that I know of:
1. The Jam - Going Underground (see above) here's a Youtube link, the moment happened at 1:49 - https://youtu.be/AE1ct5yEuVY?t=95
2. Genesis - Supper's Ready - The 20+ minutes of this magnum opus is littered with special moments, one of the most impactful occurs at the 19 minute mark when singer Peter Gabriel re-enters the song with his manic vocal, following an inspired off the wall keyboard solo over a frantic 6/8 rhythm by Tony Banks. https://youtu.be/p1Qyp6m1gm4?t=1109
3. The Who - Baba O'Riley - Can't let this list omit a Who song, I could have picked moments from "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Who Are You" to name but two, but I went for the bit in "Baba O'Riley" when Daltrey comes back in with "Sally take my hand..." and Townshend resumes the main riff - a tingle down the spine moment at 2:33 - https://youtu.be/x2KRpRMSu4g?t=136
4. Yes - Close To The Edge - Another prog masterpiece, from one of the most perfect albums ever recorded, the ascending lines of "I get up, I get down..." reaches a climax at precisely 12:12 when Jon Anderson's wailing plea is replaced by Wakeman's crunching organ, pure magic. https://youtu.be/51oPKLSuyQY?t=706
5. David Bowie - Suffragette City - You could probably compile a whole list just with Bowie songs, but here's one that stands out - the main hook is being beaten into the ground in a wild ending to the song, and just when you think it's over - it isn't! The "Wham bam thank you ma'am" moment hits at 2:51 - https://youtu.be/rq1bcVOmyjw?t=154