I have lots more stories to write, believe me, but these lists of songs are ridiculously fun to put together. What I’m talking about here is songs that have a particularly great beginning, whether it is a singular guitar strum or something kind of surprising.
As always, my lists are never comprehensive.
“Where is My Mind?” by the Pixies. It’s best to start here: Stop.
“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. It’s not just that I could watch this video a thousand times, which I probably have. As one reviewer wrote, “It starts with that piano curlicue that doubles back on itself before it’s even gone…”
“Looking for a Kiss” by The New York Dolls. Of course it’s best to watch videos of this song with David Johansen in a dress, but live he doesn’t always begin the song properly: “When I say I’m in love, you best believe I’m in love, l-u-v.”
“Wrong Em Boyo” by The Rulers. You might know The Clash version, but here is the original slowed-down Rulers version. Fifty seconds in, they start all over again.
“Great Ball of Fire” (cover) by the 5,6,7,8s. There are no words to describe how much I love this. I laugh every single time I play it, which is, of course, over and over again.
“Sweet Jane” by The Velvet Underground. Well, yes, of course, eventually I’d get to this one. What a sweet little instantly recognizable beginning to one of the loveliest songs of all time.