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By shelz.

There are a million and one different things that can make a song great.  It could be the lyrics.  It could be a glass-shattering guitar solo.  Maybe the girl singing the hook stole the show.  One thing that has always been massively important in setting the tone for a track is the intro.  There are some songs that have an opening that fades into the sunset without the least amount of impact.  Then there are other songs you probably didn’t hear the end of for weeks after copping it because you couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds.  These are the songs we’re talking about.

The best intro of all time is dinner conversation that doesn’t allow for dinner.  Everyone can prattle off ten songs that have a sonic preface worth of inclusion into the list, but we at Planet Ill only consider the best of the best.  These are songs that are known specifically for the open. Songs that call you to the dance floor, get your hands in the air, get the tears to rolling or the yappin’ to stop with one note. So sit back and enjoy, or ball your fist up because we forgot your favorite.   Planet Ill’s 10 best intros of allllll tiiiiiiiime. Word to Muhammad Ali

The O’Jay’s – “For the Love of Money”

OJays – For the Love of Money

The echoing bass riffs on the open of “For the Love of Money” were enough to get any disco floor packed in the 70’s.  It led the O’Jays straight to the Grammys and the highest chart placement of their careers. It has since been appended to so many scenes in movie and TV featuring reckless spending that the riff has adopted an unspoken understanding.  You hear the first handful of notes; you know someone is about to fiscally wild out. You can’t get any more classic than that.

Guns N Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine

Guns N Roses – Sweet Child O Mine

It’s sad this song has been relegated to late night rock oldies playlists and the leader of this once mighty group is more known for plastic surgery than his classic debut album, but back in the 80’s GnR took over a hair band scene known for its less-than-stellar musicianship with this song.  Slash’s beautiful guitar work leads the way as Stradlin and Adler join in to round the opening out. They lay down a lush red carpet for Axl’s lyrics which were a small moment of tranquility in the otherwise brutal chaos that was Appetite For Destruction.

Run-Dmc – “King of Rock”

Run-Dmc – King Of Rock

It’s hard to explain the impact Run-DMC was having on pop culture during the King of Rock days. This was the first go round of all black everything.  You had the hats, the Adidas (with no laces), the Cazals and dookey ropes.  You spent time in the mirror perfecting the b-boy stance just like Jay did it.  And I haven’t even talked about the music yet.  “King of Rock” dropped and you immediately knew the lyrics through some weird Hip-Hop osmosis and when the song came on you yelled them to the roof tops.  The thump and the echo just made it all the more epic.

Prince – “Computer Blue”

Prince – Computer Blue

I don’t know how many versions of this song exist.  It was tinkered with unmercifully for Purple Rain.  Chopped and amended for brevity’s sake time and time again, and that was a mistake.  However, one part that remains intact is the intro.  That weird beginning guitar that almost sounds like a car skidding to a stop.  Then there is the steady pulse the drums provide and that odd conversation between Wendy and Lisa.  What’s the water really for? And why are they talking like that?  Sounds ominous and it’s still one of the best intros Prince has put together.  Maybe one of the best songs he’s put together.  That’s if you aren’t listening to the short and sweet version from the album.

Sleigh Bells – “Treats”

Sleigh Bells – Treats

Treats is the album’s namesake and the last song on the LP.  It’s not one of the singles and it hasn’t been picked up by advertising.  But the song does have a huge, impressive intro.  Even though the hazy distortion and synth is piled on at obnoxious levels from the start, you don’t have to wade through the murk for the guitar.  The slow drag of that riff sounds like it could saw your house in half. The song builds slowly but doesn’t pick up speed. It’s lead heavy and writes a check that the rest of the song more than cashes.

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