I have spent the last 50 years collecting records (of every genre) and the other day I was thinking about what is the best opening to any record that I have either heard or bought? I was thinking of the records that when you hear the first few bars you immediately know what is coming, songs that have become iconic and stood the test of time.
So here is my personal choice, accepting that I have left out so many that many will argue could, and should have been included.
All Right Now – Free who can not respond to the thumping bass drum and guitar riff by Paul Kossoff and the bluesy vocal of Paul Rodgers belting out the lyrics
Who are You? – The Who always a great song and now even better known after being used for the American crime series CSI
The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys possibly the greatest pop song of the 20th century with lyrics which have never been surpassed
Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones show me anyone who doesn’t recognise the opening guitar riff of this song and I will show you a hermit!
River of Dreams – Billy Joel great opening to possibly Joels finest song, gospel influenced and with Joel in wonderful voice
Every Breath You Take – The Police everyone but everyone knows this opening with the interplay between Sting on his stand up bass and Andy Summers on lead guitar
I Cant Help Myself – The Four Tops possibly not their best known song but the one that everyone recognizes because of the opening rhythmic rift which just makes you want to get up and dance
Spanish Harlem – Aretha Franklin the guitar and drum intro is laid back before Aretha unleashes that magnificent voice of hers on one of the greatest ever pop songs
I think my first choice must go to a song that opens with the lyrics “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!” and of course we are talking about Little Richard and “Tutti Frutti” from way back in the 1950s when “Rock and Roll” was in its infancy.
I remember back in the early 1960s Little Richard did a special TV show for Granada TV here in the UK and we had never seen a performer like him, and many would argue that he was the greatest rock and roll performer.
So there you have it, the greatest opening to a song is Tutti Frutti by Little Richard.