“…when you do it correctly, a good introduction and a good outro makes the song feel like it’s coming out of something and then evolving into something”~ Bruce Springsteen
A song with a great introduction can leave a lasting impression. A great intro—using the music industry’s vernacular—will set the tone for a song and forever sear it in the listener’s mind.
Intros setup musical pieces across the spectrum; however, Rock and Roll has perfected it better than any other genre. In fact, it’s easy to say that Rock and Roll has taken introductions to another level.
Most songs start with a nice riff or a vocal interlude, but every now and then, a song will come along that is truly special. It separates itself from others by having a masterfully remarkable introduction that is so powerful it instantly connects with listeners.
What is a staple of a great intro? When the first few cords of the song are played, and a listener will immediately know the artist, the album, and the song instantly.
Below is A Crow’s View’s list of the five most recognizable intros. They’ve been compiled with two simple rules: no vocals of any kind, no lifted soundtracks.
5) A World of Fantasy by Triumph
This is a bit of an obscure song by a Canadian trio known as Triumph. The band had several hits in the 80s, but never really achieved super stardom. A World of Fantasy is a power ballad with an intro that is beautifully done. This masterpiece seamlessly drifts into vocals that launches into the song. Although it isn’t the band’s biggest hit, its intro is amazing and still gets played on radio stations around the country. Once you hear this song, you will always remember it.
4) Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent
The Motor City Madman’s signature hit is unmistakable. Cat Scratch Fever starts strong and relentlessly pounds the listener with ear busting riffs and vocals delivered only the way Uncle Ted can. When this song comes over the airwaves, you can’t help but to get feverish and shake, rattle and roll to its beat.
3) Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones
This unmistakable intro by the “greatest rock-n-roll band of all time” is ubiquitous at sport arenas and stadiums throughout the United States, if not the world. Once the first few chords of this song penetrates people’s ears, an immediate adrenaline ensues. Crowds can’t help but to get pumped up and cheer their team to victory.
2) No One Like You by The Scorpions
Germany’s legendary rockers may have bigger hit songs, but none have the gravitas of this 1980s smash hit from the album Blackout. It’s blistering licks and rapid deceleration to its vocals pulls off this song’s charm. It’s a ballad that rocks you like no other.
1) Sweet Child o Mine by Guns & Roses
Guns & Roses tore up the world of Rock when they exploded on the scene. Their album “Appetite for Destruction,” is one of the best albums ever produced. It’s fitting that its mega hit single, Sweet Child o Mine, easily took the top spot on this list’s best and most recognizable intros. When this song starts, from the very first cord, there isn’t any question what band, album and song is playing.
Sweet Child o Mine stands tall among other great songs as the best intro in Rock!