Created By: Atticus on May 7, 2012 Last Edited By: Atticus on August 30, 2014

Cuing the Solo

Calling out the soloist before they start playing

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Whether it's a form of shout-out or acknowledgement, or to make sure the soloist knows where to come in, it's common for singers to call out to a fellow musician before they take their solo. Sometimes they call by name, sometimes they call by instrument, but apparently singers just don't trust the rest of the band to pay attention.

  • Although it's a brief fill rather than an extended solo, one of the most iconic examples of this trope is the cry of "Play it, Steve!" in "Soul Man", both on the original Sam & Dave recording, and the cover by The Blues Brothers.
  • Lenny Kravitz calls out guest guitarist Slash in "Always on the Run".
  • Ringo in "Boys": "All right, George!"
  • Vince Neil simply calls "Guitar!" on "Dr. Feelgood" for the second solo.
  • Anthony Kiedis pulls off an elaborate one when covering "Fire". While Jimi originally referred to himself in the bridge section with "Move over Rover, and let Jimi take over", Kiedis replaces Hendrix's name with that of the band's guitarist.
  • Louis Armstrong in a recording of "Duke's Place" with Duke himself: "Take it, Duke!"
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • May 7, 2012
    • In the duet version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John and George Michael, George says "Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Elton John" before the second verse.

    • In the Bon Jovi song "We Weren't Born To Follow", Jon shouts "Guitars!" before a guitar solo.
  • May 8, 2012
  • July 7, 2012
    "Eric Clapton, ukelele" - Neil Innes in The Intro and the Outro.
  • July 7, 2012
    • Havalina Rail Co, twice on their self-titled album. On "Ragtime", Matt Wignall says "Sol-accordion-lo!" just before Daniel Brooker begins an accordion solo. On "New Song", Matt introduces every member of the band, ending with "Ready to do it for you on the drums, the fabulous thunderbird, Jeff Suri. Havalina, ladies and gentlemen!" which is immediately followed by an extended drum solo.
    • The Dingees: One of the few decipherable lyrics in "Capital Imperial" is "Guitar solo!"
  • July 7, 2012
    • In "Monkey Gone To Heaven" by the The Pixies, Frank Black says "Rock me Joe!"
  • July 7, 2012
    Subverted in The Smothers Brothers version of "Boil that Cabbage Down."
    Dick: Take it Tom!
    Tom: No.
  • July 8, 2012
    • In Poison's big hit "Talk Dirty To Me" Bret Michaels calls out just before the solo, "C.C., pick up that guitar and talk to me!" C.C. DeVille obliges.
    • On the Steve Taylor track "Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better," he calls out guest star Papa John Creach's solo with, "Sing it to 'em, Papa John!"
  • July 8, 2012
    Newspaper Comics
    • Played for laughs in Bloom County. Binkley and Milo are rehearsing. Milo is singing a quiet love ballad and says "Take it, Binkley." Binkley then sings part of a loud, hard core metal song and says "Take it, Milo!" Milo replies "Take it where?"
  • July 8, 2012
    • Frank Zappa used the phrase, "Blow your harmonica, son" so often (starting with the song "Trouble Every Day" on his first album, Freak Out), that it's now considered part of his Conceptual Continuity. Since Zappa was an extremely strict disciplinarian, this could not have been an actual cue; it was either a Shout Out to bluesman Lightin' Slim (a popular theory), or a snarky way of suggesting that the playing the harmonica--a notoriously easy instrument--was a sign of a mediocre musician who might need a cue.
  • July 11, 2012
    The Blueoyster Cult's live version of the Red And The Black, where singer/guitarist Buck Dharma cues that rarest of things..
    lemme hear some of that bass now, Joey -
    a bass guitar solo from bassist Joey Bouchard.
  • July 15, 2013
    • In the PDQ Bach opera The Abduction of Figaro, when Captain Kadd finishes the last verse of his ballad and is ready for the dance break, he shouts to the conductor, "Take it away, Maestro!"
  • July 15, 2013
    Not a bad title, but what about rearranging it to something likea Solo Cue?
  • July 15, 2013
    Jimmy Buffett on "Why Don't We Get Drunk..." cues his backup band for the solo with "Take it, Coral Reefers, here we go!". Reportedly he'd also do this as a gag while performing alone, turning upstage to cue the blank wall.
  • October 23, 2013
    In Michael Jackson's Take That song "D.S.", Michael shouts out "Slash!" to call for Slash's solo.
  • October 24, 2013
    @Ag Prov: It's actually Viv Stanshall who introduces Eric Clapton (and the other band members, real and imaginary) on "The Intro and the Outro."
  • October 24, 2013
    Sheldon: Bongo solo!
  • October 24, 2013
    Bumping this, as we seem to have two parallel YKKT Ws on the same idea, this one and Band Mate Shout Out.
  • October 24, 2013
    Yeah, this and Band Mate Shout Out is similar and there is probably a big overlap.

    This one obiously requires a solo. BMSO don't, but it probably very common. BMSO requires the name, this one can be either name or instrument.

    Not sure if this can be covered by one trope or not.
  • October 27, 2013
    EDIT: Actually, that goes on the other trope.
  • November 7, 2013
    @Trust Ben: You're right, it was Viv. The whole Intro And The Outro piece spoofs, sends up and satirises this concept to way past eleven.

    There is a deconstruction and explanation of all the sixties cultural references here, on the h2g2 site:

  • August 30, 2014
    During "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," one of the few Sha Na Na original songs, Donny calls out "Guitar!" for Danny's guitar solo.
  • August 30, 2014
    I think this can be Internal Subtrope of Bandmate Shout Out.