Rolling Stone recently published a "lost" interview with John Lennon, conducted just a few days before he was killed. In one part, Lennon explains how Yoko inspired his now-infamous doodles. It was she who taught him a style of Japanese drawing where the artist completes an entire drawing by never lifting the pen/brush from the canvas. It's fluid, and continuous.
I was reminded of this as I've been rocking a Pandora soft rock playlist this week.
The following songs have verse phrases that last 8 bars. 8 bars!!! That's a huge phrase! They're the opening phrases to the next two songs, so you'll only need to listen to the first 30 seconds to hear what I'm talking about.
I apologize for the lame imagery that follows these videos; apparently YouTube has a rule that you have to put really gay imagery when uploading classic ballads.
Huge phrases! They never drop, and they're never repeated, and the whole phrase takes up the entire verse.
It's sort of like Lennon's Japanese-art inspired doodles. The pen is never lifted. Remarkable, especially when you consider how hard it is to write a great 2-bar phrase, let alone an 8-bar phrase. Crushing, in a good way.