Thursday, 27 November 2014

10 Greatest Song Intros of All Time

Whether it be five seconds or five minutes, song intros often shape artists, giving them an instantly recognizable sound. In some cases, all you have to hear is a couple bars of an intro to know who it is! Intros undeniably not only encourage, but also compel you to keep listening, spawning into great songs. They often build anticipation and lead into something epic, or hook you in completely with a catchy tune so that you just can't stop listening. Throughout history there has been so many awesome intros that I've found it hard to pick just ten, but I've listed them here for you (whoever can be bothered to read this) so that you can reminisce those from the past with me, and welcome great intros in the future.

1. Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven (1971)


As I stated earlier on, intros can range from just a couple seconds to a couple minutes, with Led Zeppelin's intro building up for about 4 minutes 20 seconds. Undeniably one of THE most iconic songs in rock history, Stairway To Heaven, in my opinion, has the greatest intro of all time.


2. AC/DC - Back in Black (1980)


With their album Back in Black being the second highest-selling album of all time, AC/DC's song titled Back in Black, alongside Highway to Hell, has definitely shaped them as a band. As shown in the video above, just a few chords can make a crowd go wild as they can instantly recognise the tune. God knows how lead singer Brian Johnson is capable of screaming that hard throughout, but a bloody good job he makes of it!

3. Oasis - Wonderwall (1995)


Let's not lie here, anyone who owns a guitar has definitely tried to teach themselves the intro to this (myself included). With consistent chords until the chorus, pretty much anyone and everyone can recognise its catchy tune, and that includes a group of drunk girls after a night-out (unfortunately).

4. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On (1973)


Just four notes is all it takes to recognise Marvin Gaye's lustful tune. These four notes have been mimicked all over TV, film, and advertisements to suggest romance, so all you need to hear is this simple intro to know who's about to get it on.

5. Muse - Knights of Cydonia (2006)


With intros, you usually have the compelling catchiness, or the epic build-up, with Knights of Cydonia being the latter. Building up to about 4 minutes 11 seconds in, Muse fans anticipate a completely epic riff upon listening. Jesus, the things I would do to see this live.

6. Prince - When Doves Cry (1984)


The intro to this ultimately epitomises 80's pop music as a whole, with synths, heavy drumming, and a wicked guitar solo, and I bloody love it. Probably my favourite Prince song of all time, When Doves Cry has an intro iconic to 80's pop culture, all you need now is a sequin shoulder-padded blazer and a Casio watch and you're good to go.

7. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)


Although Smells Like Teen Spirit isn't my favourite Nirvana song, its intro is arguably Nirvana's catchiest. Just one note is all it takes and Nirvana fans should be able to recognise the riff that rose the band to fame.

8. Blur - Song 2 (1997)


IT'S NOT MAAAA PROBLEEEEEEEMMMMM. An iconic band for their time, everyone knows Blur's Song 2. The short riff of their intro is enough to get any rowdy crowd going. Even if they don't know it, it's catchy enough to pretend to know as a few simple notes and an occasional 'woohoo' will do the trick.

9. Dr. Dre - The Next Episode (1991)


Any music fan should be able to hear Dr. Dre's 'DADADADA DAAA' and immediately recognise the song. If not, the background tune should be able to help them. Ultimately, The Next Episode has an incredibly catchy tune in the intro that stays throughout the song, making it, what I would perceive to be one of the greatest rap intros of all time.

10. Arcade Fire - Wake Up (2004)


With the mix of a steady bassline and a euphoric chorus, Wake Up's intro is definitely one I cherish most. When I saw Arcade Fire at Glastonbury Festival earlier this year, they elongated the bassline so much that the crowd were dying with anticipation of the exhilarating chorus, making it one of the best songs I have EVER seen live.

I regrettably have to stop at 10, otherwise I could go on all night, and I have a personal deadline to meet for this! Some others I want to include are: The Maccabees - Pelican, The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines, Biffy Clyro - The Captain, The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, and Chase and Status - Blind Faith. I'm sure the list could go on, but I'm afraid I'll have to stop here. Let me know if I missed anything out!

Thanks for reading!

- D

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