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Stop and Go
-Electric Six, "Improper Dancing"

You're listening to a really fast song and all of a sudden it just stops. It is silent for a couple of seconds. Then it continues as if nothing happened.

This effect can also be achieved with Siamese Twin Songs that are commonly airplayed together as one song.

Not to be confused with the name of a convenience or gas store. Contrast Musicalis Interruptus. Compare Subdued Section (where only certain instruments do this). A musical version of Dramatic Pause. Sister Trope to Fake-Out Fade-Out, where the mid-song stop has more of a lead-up.


  • "Living on the Edge" by Aerosmith comes to a complete stop for a few seconds between the final verse and the final chorus.
  • Arctic Monkeys use this trope very often in their songs, with notable examples being "Brianstorm", "If You Were There, Beware", and "The View From The Afternoon".
  • Alanis Morissette's All I Really Want "Why are you so terrified of silence? Here can you handle this?" followed by two seconds of silence. Then the song continues.
  • The Young Rascals' 1966 hit "Good Lovin'" has one of the better-known instances of this.
  • A fairly obscure example: "A Cowboy Symphony" by Pierre La Plante.
  • The Elton John song "Island Girl" does this twice.
  • System of a Down does this at the very beginning of "Prison Song". One brief guitar chord — a few seconds of silence — then the song kicks in.
  • "Jesus I Was Evil" by Darcy Clay does this before the last chorus.
  • "Gloomy Sunday" actually pulls three of these.
  • These are abused in the higher difficulty songs on Dance Dance Revolution, in which the arrows will freeze in place during said silence.
  • Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel: Come up and see me (make me smile)
  • "I'm Only Sleeping" and "All My Loving" by The Beatles. ("Helter Skelter" doesn't count because it's a Fake-Out Fade-Out. Ditto "Rain" and "Strawberry Fields Forever".)
  • From Touhou has Alice's theme, the Prismriver Sisters' theme and Flandre's theme.
  • "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller was an early example.
  • Also jazz, "Moanin'" by Charles Mingus has one that forces a transition from a chaotic section of the song where literally every wind player is soloing at once back to a rockin' bari sax riff.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression (Part 1)" has a variation on this. During the line "We've got thrills and shocks, supersonic fighting cocks" the music cuts out completely for the duration of the word "shocks".
  • "Betrayed" from The Producers, when his recap gets to intermission.
  • "Monkey Wrench" and "Next Year" by Foo Fighters. Exaggerated with "Rope" where it's done twice.
  • "I see you shiver with antici...... (CONSTI!)........pation."
  • "How Sweet to Be an Idiot" by Neil Innes.
  • Happens in "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers.
  • Near the end of "53rd and 3rd" by the Ramones.
  • "I Looked At You" by the Doors is a great example.
  • "This Dying Soul" and "Fatal Tragedy" of Dream Theater are two examples.
  • Occurs in "Just" by Radiohead. In the video the silent moment is significant because it is the moment where a man who has inexplicably come to lie down on the middle of the footpath whispers something to the crowd that has gathered to watch. We don't hear what it is, but it cause them all to lie down just like him.
  • About 2/3's of the way through the extended jam coda of 'I Am the Resurrection', the last track on The Stone Roses' eponymous debut.
  • Used in Electric Six's "Improper Dancing", and explicitly called out by vocalist Dick Valentine: "Stop... Continue!". In live performances they traditionally play with this by sandwiching a whole cover song between "Stop!" and "Continue!"
  • This happens in AFI's song "The Despair Factor" — except Davey stops to say, "My whole life is a dark room. One. Big. Dark. Room." Then it carries on fast, as before.
  • Appropriately enough, "Dance Stop" by Daniel Amos.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence LOVES this trope.
  • "God's Comic" by Elvis Costello.
  • "Need You Tonight" by INXS has a moment where the song comes to a halt, but not to complete silence: it's when Michael Hutchence sings "I'm lonely!" before the final chorus. In the middle of the line, the band stops, and there's a split second of silence before they go on again.
  • "River of Dreams" by Billy Joel does this toward the end. Joel would have fun with it during live renditions by seeing how far he could drag out the pause before the audience lost its patience.
    • He did it during a Grammy ceremony as a protest after the network cut short a speech by FRANK SINATRA because it wanted to go to commercial. During the pause, he quipped to the audience, "Valuable advertising time is going by."
  • Eels' "Novocaine For The Soul" from Beautiful Freak has a long awkward pause right before the bridge. It's fairly unexpected because it's not remotely a fast song.
  • Fugazi's "Waiting Room": somewhat unusually this happens before the lyrics even start.
    • Weirder yet that it lasts exactly as long as you think it would (8 beats), ends with a full bar of tom buildup, and comes back in with the same exact dynamics as before.
      • seems to pretty much just be a manufactured moment for crowds to just scream their heads off. And It's awesome
  • Augen Auf by Oomph.
  • "The Little Girl I Once Knew" by The Beach Boys does this twice. It was released as a single, but it didn't chart very well because radio disc jockeys were reluctant to play it due to its moments of dead air.
  • Stop!... Hatin' is bad.
  • Symphony X does this live on occasion.
  • Queens of the Stone Age are fond of both this trope and the Fake-Out Fade-Out; the most prominent example is the extremely jarring silence in the middle of "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire".
    • Earlier example: the instrumental "Hispanic Impressions" from their debut.
    • And of course the one right before the Epic Rocking finale of "Song for the Dead".
  • Eagles of Death Metal use this trope about as often as humanly possible. "I Only Want You" is the most striking example, featuring two of these in a less-than-three-minute song.
  • "The Look" by Roxette.
  • "No Matter What" by Badfinger.
  • "When Big Joan Sits Up" by Captain Beefheart, after the line "she's out of reach".
    • "Blabber 'N Smoke": "It's gonna hang you all.... dangle you all".
  • The introduction to Sonata Arctica's "Misplaced" does this.
  • The second verse of P!nk's "Sober" does this immediately after a line that says "I don't wanna be the girl that has to fill the silence" for about 3 seconds.
  • Before the final verse of "All Nightmare Long" by Metallica.
  • OK Go do this in "Get Over It" (and hang a big fat lampshade on it in the video by stretching out the pause long enough to play some ping pong).
    • And again in "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe".
  • Goldfrapp's "Oompa Radar" stops at a somewhat reasonable point, complete with a quick outro. It then rumbles loudly back into action totally unexpectedly after a few long seconds.
  • Britney Spears' cover of "I Love Rock N' Roll" does this.
  • They Might Be Giants do a version in their song "Older." "And time... is still marching on." This is another case where the artist likes to stretch out the pause for as long as they can live for comedic value. (And throw confetti.)
  • The Who do this in "The Seeker' twice. The echo on Roger Daltrey's voice makes those moments all the more striking.
  • Freetime by Kenna has this several times. The video has a Black Screen of Death followed by a Jump Cut to match the audio each time.
  • Rock on by David Essex.
  • Heart's "Magic Man" has one roughly 2/3 of the way through.
  • Garbage's song "Supervixen" has a repeating one as a part of the main riff.
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by CAKE.
  • "The Love from a Dead Orchestra" by Versailles.
  • Overnight Sensation (Hit Record/Life's a Gas) from the Raspberries [] has quite possibly the perfect example. It happens at 4:24.
  • Ed Sheeran's "Give Me Love".
  • Firehouse's "Lovers Lane", lampshaded in the lyrics themselves
    My motor's runnin' Yea, it's gettin' hot, I get overloaded overheated could explode I can't believe it we just gotta stop. beat *song continues*
  • Wire's "Field Day For The Sundays" manages to fit three short ones in a 30 second song.
  • Happens with some frequency in "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. "Stop...Hammer time!"
  • This live version of "Wanna Be Starting Something" by Michael Jackson has a huge pause in it about halfway through.
  • Heavily layered on on the first verse of "She Calls This Love" by Reece Mastin
  • I Knew You Were Trouble. by Taylor Swift
  • Led Zeppelin's song "What is and What Should Never Be" has a couple of these.
    • Also the song "Thank You".
    • "Heartbreaker" ends mid-word before picking up on the next song in the album a half second later, "Living Loving Maid", which is the second half of a Siamese Twin Song.
      • There are also a couple Stop And Goes within "Heartbreaker" itself.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach does this in the third stanza of the cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden (BWV 4), in which the music stops on the word "nicht" (nothing remains) before continuing.
  • "Bodhisattva" by Steely Dan.
  • Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" are Siamese Twin Songs which are almost always played together as one piece, and as such the space between them (abrupt guitar riff ending, followed by cold intro vocals) sounds like a Stop and Go.
  • "Career of Evil" by Blue Oyster Cult.
  • A very well done film example, in The Lord Of The Rings when the Rohirrim are helping defend The White Tower the music suddenly stops for a time, allowing the audience to concentrate on the battle sounds, before just as suddenly starting up again.
  • Even lampshaded by German punk band "Die Ärzte" in "Radio Brennt": "Stop!" (sound of deep breathing) "Weiter!" (="go on!")
  • Done by Neutral Milk Hotel in "Ferris Wheel on Fire."
  • La Dispute do this twice in "Said the King to the River."
  • Deep Purple in the live version of "Space Truckin'".
  • Happens after the first chorus in the full version of the Daria theme song, "You're Standing on My Neck" by Splendora.
  • And to show this trope is Older Than Radio, Johann Strauss does this near the end of "By the Beautiful Blue Danube"
  • Green Day's "Peacemaker" on their 21st Century Breakdown album stops for a second in the middle for the guitar to find the right note to start the solo on.
  • "Stop!" by Jane's Addiction. Most songs named "Stop", really.
  • Any rhythm game that expresses tempo changes to the player (that is, has the targets coming in at the speed of the song instead of at a fixed consistent speed) is bound to show off with a few songs like this.
    • One of the more popular Dance Dance Revolution songs to feature this was "Max 300", a song with charts of unprecedented difficulty at the time. The middle of the song slows to a stop, leaving the future targets (arrows) sitting in place for a few seconds, before the song, and arrows, abruptly start up again. Some boss songs really got out of hand with this trope, such as "Chaos", which abruptly stops dozens of times with hardly any pattern at all.
    • Similarly, In The Groove has a few: "Delirium" in the first game, which has 5 stops in rapid succession, and "Go *60* Go" in the second game, among others. A licensed song by the name of "Stop n' Go" was slated for the unreleased third game.
  • "Seven" by Sunny Day Real Estate, during the verses- plays main riff during each line, then stops for a moment between each one.

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