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The moment in a song where the refrain comes around for one last time, tempo dramatically slows down, and volume increases to full. Tempo often increases a few bars after for a flashy finish.

Common in modern production numbers, where the entire ensemble gets to sing and tap their hearts out. It doesn't have to be the entire chorus, though... or from a musical.

Often used to lead into a Big Rock Ending. Compare Truck Driver's Gear Change.

Examples of Last Chorus Slow-Down include:
  • "Lookin' Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  • "Side By Side By Side" from Company: "Okay now, ev-'ry-bo-dy..."
  • Hello, Dolly! does this with its title song... TWICE!
  • The most characteristic example from La Cage aux Folles is the title song, but "Masculinity" and "The Best Of Times" also have this.
  • Then there is also the act one finale to Mame, which is the title song.
  • "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers.
  • The title song of Cabaret is a solo version of this.
  • The Sinatra version of "New York, New York" is another solo example.
  • "American Pie," by Don McLean.
  • Right at the end of "Bohemian Rhapsody."
    • As if those last two weren't long enough already.
  • "That's Death" from the Discworld adventure game Discworld II: Mortality Bytes.
  • "Return to the Sea" from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch goes a little too far with this one. When it slows down, it also changes its tune enough that, until the full version came out on the CD, people thought the last part was a different song.
  • "Castles Made of Sand" by Jimi Hendrix. Slowdown? Check. ("And so castles made of sand... slip into the sea... eventuallyyy.."). Normal end? Yeah, that too. (The slide guitar melody from the intro is repeated with added reverb)
  • One song in the Rhythm Game O2Jam, "Identity part II," does this, and, if you're playing it on Hard difficulty, you are then suddenly greeted by rapid scales and a charlie foxtrot of notes arranged to form a word in Korean hangul. The latter is humanly impossible to clear without missing any notes.
  • "Powerslave" by Iron Maiden.
    • "Run to the Hills" also.
    • "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate" (though it doesn't play the entire chorus).
  • The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday".
  • "House of the Rising Sun" played by The Animals.
  • "Your Cover's Blown" by Belle & Sebastian.
  • Rufus Wainwright loves this trope.
  • "Zehn kleine Jägermeister" by Die Toten Hosen.
  • "Playboys of the Southwestern World" by Blake Shelton uses a last chorus slowdown, but only on the first half of the last chorus.
  • 99 Luftballoons/Red Balloons.
  • "Masquerade" from Phantom of the Opera is a prime example of this. The last repetition is much slower, and louder, than the rest of the piece. However, it doesn't speed up again, but rather suddenly falls sideways into a minor key when the Phantom enters, and then gets cut off.
  • "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast.
  • The Dropkick Murphys' version of Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya does this epically.
    • Dropkick Murphys love this trope in general. "Black Velvet Band" and "Skinhead on the MBTA" are just a few other examples that come to mind.
  • "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood does this, complete with drumline and dramatic cymbal crash after "Stand up."
  • "A-RA-SHI" by Arashi
  • "Stairway to Heaven".
  • Babylon by Edguy
  • They Both Reached For The Gun from Chicago.
  • The full version of the Heartcatch Pretty Cure opening theme could be considered as having this... except it's a Second-to-Last Chorus Slow Down.
  • The full-length version of The Angry Video Game Nerd's Theme Tune.
  • Creature Feature's Such Horrible Things.
  • Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell does this several times. Actually it's more of a Bridge Slow Down, but whatever.
  • The title song of Victor Victoria, at least in the Screen to Stage Adaptation.
  • Billy Joel's "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)"
  • "Family Snapshot" by Peter Gabriel.
  • While a bit hard to distinguish, REM's song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" supposedly slows down during the last chorus. Word of God says the band noticed bassist Mike Mills looked pained during recording and slowed down somewhat, and Mills was taken to the hospital afterwards[1].
  • "Magical Mystery Tour" by The Beatles.
  • Played straight in "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners, but then subverted as the song ends up slightly faster than how they started!
  • "The Cliff" by the Red Army Chorus. "...udaloye zhityo aaaaataaaaammaaaaaaannnaaaaaa...."
  • Arch Enemy has quite some songs ending like these. A couple examples would be "The Last Enemy" or "Nemesis".
  • Megadeth has "A Tout le Monde" and "Trust".
  • Opeth's "The Drapery Falls" kind of ends like this. "Deliverance" as well (though the "rock" ending after the Last Chorus Slow-Down is rather long).
  • Power Metal band Cellador has the song "No Chances Lost" ending like this.
  • Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters".

Notes

  1. Both the recording and the tour for Monster were quite the Troubled Production: every band member save Peter Buck fell ill or required medical attention at least once
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