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Four More Measures

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You hear a song coming on the radio. You know the song. You love the song. It's one of your favorites. You're all ready to belt out the start of the song but... the intro keeps playing. Cue embarrassment. You should have waited Four More Measures.

The bane of karaoke singers everywhere, Four More Measures is a music trope relating to songs that trick people into thinking they are about to launch before they do, causing hilarity for everyone in the vicinity. It's like a musical Damn You, Muscle Memory! event. It's particularly bad for songs with an Epic Instrumental Opener (even more if it doesn't seem to end).

Examples of Songs That Cause This Include:

  • James Blunt's "You're Beautiful". Especially notable as the singer himself screws it up in the version released to the public. The "Weird Al" Yankovic parody lampshades this fact.
  • Trent Reznor did a similar gaffe in the Nine Inch Nails song "Discipline".
  • "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat also hangs a lampshade on it, with the singer asking "Can you count me in?" So she doesn't screw it up.
  • Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"
  • Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock And Roll"... remember, the piano goes twice.
  • Similarly, Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" from Aqualung; the opening riff is played twice, but for some reason, mp3s tend to cut off the first one.
  • Green Day's "Good Riddance". It's not helped by the two false starts on guitar at the beginning either.
  • Led Zeppelin's "Tangerine". It takes Jimmy Page a couple tries to get the tempo right.
  • Disturbed's cover of "Land of Confusion" can throw off those more familiar with the original Genesis version, as the Disturbed version repeats the opening riff.
  • The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie". "Me see.... [drum fill] Me see Jamaica, the moon above." This is a slightly justified example, as the band had believed they were merely doing a rehearsal of the song, so they expected to make mistakes. The drum fill was a hasty improvisation by the drummer to cover the gap after the false start.
  • Inverted in the single release of the Monty Python Lumberjack song. The music attempts to transition from the epic listing of trees to the actual singing portion, but when the singer keeps listing, it goes back to its epic tones, almost as if it were ashamed.
  • When recording "Creep", Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood came in too early before the chorus (some sources say this was intentional and that he wanted to ruin the song). However, the rest of the band liked it and decided to Throw It In.
  • Pink Floyd's "Time" from The Dark Side of the Moon, noted for its long intro section.
  • The Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" from The Velvet Underground & Nico.
  • Oasis' "Wonderwall" - man, that intro goes on FOREVER... (more precisely it's a whooping 16 measures long)
  • Metallica's "Creeping Death", just before the "die" section - it seems just a tad too long.
    • The intro to "Orion" also is subject to this.
    • Corey Taylor fell victim to this trope covering this song with Trivium and Robb Flynn.
  • MGMT's "Electric Feel" from Oracular Spectacular sure does take its time.
  • Happens a multitude of times in the song "Everything Else" by the group of the same name.
  • This can be heard during Daft Punk's Alive 2007 Live Album. Twice. The first time during "One More Time/Aerodynamic", in which the intro from "One More Time" was extended an extra bar causing hilarity when members of the crowd were heard trying to sing along, and again during "Superheroes/Human After All/Rock'n Roll", in which if you listen very closely, you can hear some audience members singing along too soon.
  • "I Saw Her Again (Last Night)" by The Mamas and the Papas has a false start at the last chorus, but it works well, so the band left it in.
  • Emilie Autumn plays the Manipulator Mix of "Dead is the New Alive" at her gigs, which repeats the first line before launching into the pre-chorus. Gig-goers accustomed to the album version, to Autumn's often delight, will launch into the pre-chorus early.
  • Invoked in Psychostick's "#1 Radio $ingle", a parody of commercialized radio rock which adds a Narm Charm-ishly flashy harmonics section after the initial distorted guitar opening.
  • In P!nk's "Raise Your Glass", the singer herself screws up the timing at the climax: "So raise your... aw, fuck."note 
  • In "Polly" from Nevermind by Nirvana, Kurt comes in with "Polly says" before Krist finishes his bass riff. This was even done on purpose in the faster "(New Wave) Polly" version featured in Incesticide.
  • The Beatles did this on some of the unused recordings later released as part of The Beatles Anthology, such as on "I Am The Walrus" where John Lennon comes in too early with the line "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye".
  • Ride's "Dreams Burn Down", "In a Different Place", "Seagull", "Time Machine"... they did this quite often, actually.
  • Death Cab for Cutie spends about half of the eight-minute epic "I Will Possess Your Heart" doing this before the lyrics finally come in. "Doors Unlocked and Open" does this to a slightly lesser extent.
  • It would probably take less time to list the few songs by The Cure that don't have intros that either go on forever or have the vocals kick in four measures later than everybody thinks.
  • Really, any band is liable to do this in live concerts, as a form of improvisation.
  • Inverted with the TV ARRANGE of Aoi Tori from The Idolmaster, which starts two beats early - more obvious if one compares it to the M@STER version.
  • Sometimes present in American Football's music, like in "Never Meant", "For Sure", and "Stay Home".
  • Coldplay's "The Scientist" has this, owing to the fact that the studio version starts much later than the version featured on the music video.
  • The Who's "Baba O'Riley" seemingly has to take four more measures for its iconic opening riff.