Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Top 5 intros

Yes, another one of those North Downs and beyond posts that goes off-piste. This time I give you my favourite song intros, apropos of nothing other than celebrating the great music that is out there. At the moment, these are my top five:

5) Powderfinger - Neil Young
One lazy chord strum and then, unaccompanied, the great man himself - "LOOK OUT, MAMA, THERE'S A WHITE BOAT COMIN' UP THE RIVER!" - cue Crazy Horse. Enough said.

4) Heroes - David Bowie
A beautiful swagger of synth and guitar, forged by the hands of Carlos Alomor and Robert Fripp, promising the grandeur about to be let go by the Thin White Duke himself - "I, I will be King" Goosebumps kick in.

3) Pyjamarama - Roxy Music
A stuttering chord forged from guitar and Eno synth, repeated four times with dramatic pauses, a simple drum roll, repeat said chords and then enter a dreamy Bryan Ferry who "Couldn't sleep a wink last night", See, some good did come out of the early 1970s!

2) Public Image Ltd - Public Image
A grumbling Jah Wobble bass line, urgent drum tattoo, Mr Lydon's sardonic ''Allo, 'allo" followed by a demonic chortle and then over to Keith Levene's violent jangling guitar. Should be number one, but...

1) I Feel Fine - The Beatles
Way ahead of its time. It's 1964 and tracks just don't start with a feedback guitar that meanders its way to a jaunty 10 note guitar riff before John Lennon leaps in with "Baby's good to me you know..." I associate this with my Father, who played the single incessantly - I would have been five at the time, but even then was bewitched by the musical trickery used to produce it. Timeless and personal.

(Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones missed the Top 5 by a whisker. On another day it might have made it...)

5 comments:

  1. Maybe it is because we are of a certain age but I like your list. Big Neil Young fan and love Heroes by Bowie. Also a massive Eno and Fripp follower. The one glaring omission for me is Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. Also, even though I wasn't really a big fan, the drum and riff intro to You Could Be Mine by Guns n' Roses is a good 'un. Wonderwall by Oasis... This is encouraging me to set up a list of favourite music similar to an earlier post you put together

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  2. 1) Papa was a Rolling Stone (The Temptations)- 3:50 long intro of pure motown-induced funk, fronted by one of the greatest basslines in the history of music.

    2) Voodoo Child, Slight Return (Jimi Hendrix)- Who hasn't whipped out an air-guitar to that riff?

    3) Riders on the Storm (The Doors)- A bassline that genuinely sounds like a rolling thunderstorm, partnered with some seriously psychadelic keyboard action. Oh, Jim Morrison...

    4) The Real Me (The Who)- Instantly hit in the face by a raging drum solo, and an electric guitar that can only provide moral support to a show-stealing bassline.

    5) Reckoner (Radiohead)- A hodgepodge of percussion (rather Stone Roses-esque) instantly cured at 0:12 in a beautiful way that only Radiohead could pull off.

    Enjoyed your selection by the way, Steve.

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  3. Right on Tony Parsons, or is it Julie Burchill? I love off-piste. As for music lyrics, Al Stewart is one of my favourite folkies, he`s written so many great songs, but the one that does for me every time is Fields of France, on the Last Days of the Century album, about a flier who gets shot down over France and the reaction of his sweetheart to his death, a real tear-jerker, I`m welling up already, so must stop...

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  4. Neil - I look forward to seeing your final list on 'Randon's Ramblings' - the sooner the better!

    Bill - a fine list there, proper music by proper artists

    Paul - I'll look out for that song by Al Stewart - just about to go onto Spotify...

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  5. The amazing thing about 'Heroes' as an album, just thinking about it, is Bowie AND Eno AND Fripp...and Alomar's a minor legend in his own right too, in my opinion.

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