Years ago, I remember KIX-106 had a policy on never talking over the beginning of a song when they played it. They claimed that the beginning of the song is sometimes the best part and who wants to hear a DJ yabbering on about what’s coming up in the next hour?
I’ve always remembered this because I totally agree. Some of the best songs of all time have big opening bars. They will grab our attention straight away, and like a good movie opening or the first tastefuls of a yummy meal, once you have a little, you want it all.
Think about it. Epic, by Faith No More has a bit powerful opening few chords and you instantly know the song. Friday I’m in Love by The Cure has the instantly recognisable guitar riff to start it before the song takes off. Led Zepellin’s Stairway to Heaven has one of the best and most copied riffs (see Wayne’s World) you’ve heard to start their epic tune. Sabotage by The Beastie Boys with its messy guitar sound. Enter Sandman from Metallica with its sinister riff.
Even the 2 songs that I have picked so far, Smells Like Teen Spirit and All Along The Watchtower have powerful and solid openings.
So it makes it so easy to pick my next song that I am voting for.
This song has the most beautiful guitar riff opening of any song I have ever known. Even when I hear it now, it gives me tingles and makes me stop and feel the music. You know how sometimes you can just feel the music flowing through you?
Rewind to 1987, the first time I heard this song. I was watching Video Hits and probably after Mel and Kim or something there they were. Guns N’ Roses. A long haired bandana wearing skinny white guy. A permed drummer. A blonde haired mess of a bassist. A guitarist in dark glasses and then, that man, Mr. Saul Hudson. AKA Slash. Nothing can quite compare to seeing Slash rip out the guts of Sweet Child and lay down that solo near the end of the song. Especially when he is 5 metres away from you, as he was when I saw Gunners at Eastern Creek in 1993.
Coincidentally, Slash lost his mother to lung cancer this as I discovered on his twitter page. Who’d have thought that Slash would ever use Twitter??
Guns N’ Roses went on to influence me in more ways than one over the following years and still stand as one of my favourite bands of all time now..
3. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
The original music video (with the radio edit, which has always pissed me off)
The full version can be found in this following video which was filmed at The Ritz in New York in 1988