A great song intro gets into your head and doesn't get out. They can come from any source, some expected and some completely surprising. Here are 5 killer and completely unrelated intros.
Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne (0:33)
Why It's Great: One of the definitive opening guitar riffs of all time. I've heard it hundreds of times and I still haven't tired of it.
Why It's Kind of Sad: The first 33 seconds is a sinister, unapologetic masterpiece. Then, suddenly, the song changes gears and the tone shifts into something...almost upbeat. What gives? The simple fact is the verses in Crazy Train BLOW. That's right, I said it. The riff during the verses is all wrong. If that killer intro played for four and a half minutes, I would be a happy man.
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand (1:23)
Why it's killer: Sweet riffs, great beat with a greater tempo change. I dare you to stifle your foot's desire to stomp to this joyous minute and 23 seconds.
Why it's kind of sad: Well, Franz Ferdinand are from Scotland, proving once again that Americans typically make cringe-inducing music (see the next example). Also, I had trouble deciding whether Take Me Out or Do You Want To (off of Franz's second album, hilarious music video here) had a better case to make this list. Americans cannot make music. As proof, let's take a look at...
Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA (0:10)
Why It's Killer: And just like that, my musical credibility is out the window. I don't care, this intro is catchy. Guitar riff that sounds exactly like summer (if that's possible) plus a heavy snare to kick the beat off.
Why It's Kind of Sad: Make that "Why It Kind of Makes You Want to Vomit." Three words: Miley effing Cyrus. She's not going away any time soon, which is a shame because this chick flat-out cannot sing. Luckily, she never has to. The vocals are over-produced and likely went through more tweaks than the Rivers' family Christmas party. Plus, she'll always be lip syncing during her live shows. Easy life.
Moment Most Likely to Cause You To Vomit All Over Everything:This special category is in honor of the 1:04 mark. I defy you to listen to her pronounce the "S" in USA and NOT puke. I can't do it. Even after my stomach has emptied, as tears stream down my face and I muster the words "No more, Miley. Please. Have mercy," I still cough up bile like it's my job when I hear her sing that letter.
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N' Roses (0:40)
Why It's Killer: It's Guns, brah! Slash shreds. The riff was tailor-made to make an arena full of people scream like madmen. Side note: I hate Nascar. I hear going to a race in person is a blast, but I've never done it. And so, I hate it. Guys racing in circles at breakneck speeds for hours and hours, and they're not even supposed to crash. Not fun.
My point? There's a Nascar commercial (that I can't find online. If you find it, PLEASE send it to me) that uses Welcome to the Jungle's intro. Accompanying the music is a montage of a space shuttle launching, a cheetah sprinting, a roller coaster flying past. It is absolutely one of the greatest commercials ever, and it makes me love Nascar. And I can't imagine a more appropriate song to support the lights-out montage.
Why It's Kind of Sad: Considering the acclaim and reverence with which Guns N' Roses are remembered, you'd think they'd have more than 4 good songs. But they don't. Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O' Mine, November Rain and Paradise City are their great tunes. The End. And I'm being generous with Paradise City. I am THISCLOSE to my breaking point with that song.
Knockin' On Heaven's Door? Shitshow. Civil War? Please. Live and Let Die? Die. All their other songs are even worse. If I saw them live back in the day, I'd be happy with a 30 minute show if it meant I got to hear only their four good songs. I speak the truth, and all you Axl groupies can take a long walk off a short volcano.
When The Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin (1:25)
Why It's Killer: When I first heard Zeppelin, Stairway was my favorite song. As I dove deeper into the Led, Dazed and Confused emerged as king (best use of a B chord in rock history). Now, after years of listening to the band some people call the greatest of all time, When the Levee Breaks is my favorite Zeppelin tune, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
The intro is haunting and 100% unique thanks to the distant beat by (look away, Rush heads) the greatest rock drummer of all time. Consistent guitar and wailing harmonica symbolize the pounding storm threatening to break the levee. Absolutely one of the greatest songs by one of the best bands ever.
Why It's Kind of Sad: Bonham died almost 30 years ago and Plant, Page and Jones are getting up there in years. That's about as sad as it gets.
That concludes this short and horribly incomplete list. Got killer intros that I missed? Make sure you call me an idiot for passing it over in the comments section, and remember to throw me the YouTube link. DO IT NOW.