In the 1970s, there were songs that became huge hits simply because the AM half of the audience liked the chorus and the FM half of the audience liked the incredibly long guitar solo.
A really good example is “Hotel California” by The Eagles, which has both a chorus everybody knows and an absolutely killer guitar solo at the end from Joe Walsh. (Not killer enough for it to be a Certain Song, because The Eagles). Another good example is pretty much any hit single from Santana.
Or of course, this eternally popular slice of soft-rock cheese.
Of course, I’m not going to deny the hookiness of the the “Waiting so long” part, or the fact that the guitars almost — but not quite — power up and rock out during the chorus.
Nor am I going to make fun of the fact that it’s not even a sex song. Nope, those “two tickets to paradise” were apparently literal, not metaphorical.
Because seriously, whichever studio vet unleashed the 45-second solo that comes in after after the first chorus hopefully just dropped his guitar and walked out, knowing that he’d hit some kind of career peak. Seriously, that musta been some killer coke that day, because I can attest that it just jumped out of the radio.
In the late 1970s, any guitar solo that leapt out of the speakers — no matter the context — simply had to be paid attention to and given its due. It’s the equivalent of what you kids call “The Drop.” Or at least I think it is.
Without that guitar solo, “Two Tickets To Paradise” is just another late 1970s song that woulda been wiped out of mind by the punk rock bulldozer, but instead, here it is, probably because it got so ingrained at just the right time.
“Two Tickets to Paradise”