Interesting Modern Song Intros

Wow, amazing info! Thanks for that. More exotic than I imagined (didgeridoo’s became familiar after awhile). It looks to be Japanese/Korean in origin. That flute reminds me of the one David Carradine used in the Kung Fu TV series back in the early 70’s (re: Buddhist monk comes to America in the 1800’s). He always carried one around, and would sit and play it in certain scenes.

It’s probably a good example of “this thing is different than that thing”, but it did seem to work for the LG song. I wasn’t familiar with Boney M., but it kind of reminds me of Parliament-Funkadelic from the 70’s … kind of Psychedelic Funk.

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It’s definitely interesting and ‘unrelated’ but yet seems to work to intro the song too. I guess I was taking your “Interesting” criteria to mean “weird and out of place”, or possibly just really wild. This one fits the “weird but works” aspect. This song is not one of my favorite PM songs, but it had its place and is certainly a fun and classic part of his catalog. The intro is kind of “chain gang” meets the intro to Pink Floyd “Money”.

That’s a really good one for the “weird but works” category. Definitely got my attention every time I heard it. For some reason, I used to think it was a Neil Diamond song - they were both on the radio in the early 70’s IIRC. The vocals have a similar quality to Neil’s style from that era.

The drum emphasis on this song is fantastic, one of my favorite VH songs! The intro, as you say, is more like a natural part of the song, but solo drums and featured as the lead-in. What is the “Harley imitation”? The reference eludes me.

I think that refers to the drums sounding like a Harley Davidson motorcycle idling and ready to rock!

Although, to me it sounded more like a drag race car ready to rock!

In either case, it was ready to rock! Thanks.

Takes him a while to get it started (typical) but you’ll hear it.

I did think of Harley-Davidson motorcycles at first, but then I wondered if you were referencing another musician (Jazz) or something. The drums are more evenly rhythmic than a Harley exhaust sound, though yes the basic sound is somewhat similar. Alex’s drum sound is very tight rhythmically, and probably compressed and maybe even gated. The Harley exhaust sound, to me, is very open and acoustic, and rhythmically not as stable - due to timing belt or camshaft + other engine fluctuations. One of my neighbors has a Harley and rides it once or twice a week, so the sound is quite familiar to me.

Not the first 10 seconds, the intro. The rest of the song yes.

No it’s the basic design of the engine, very old school.

“A major component of Harley’s lasting appeal is the sound of the engine—a kind of potato-potato-potato rhythmic mantra of America engineering. Making a V-twin is fairly easy, but Harley chose the easiest way to do it in having the two connecting rods share a single pin on the crankshaft. This means the 45-degree offset of the cylinders is also a 45-degree offset in ignition. That short gap between power strokes means there is a “bang-bang-pause” sound that rhythmically comes out of the exhaust. The wasted-spark ignition also affects the sound, since it is throwing spark into the front cylinder that is not on its power stroke just because the rear cylinder is. The signature sound really is that simple.”

This is not just my observation, it’s all over the internet, although some think it was Eddie’s Miura that got him started. As @studio has pointed out nitro drag cars have a similar rhythm at idle but the sound is more intense.

But feel free to disagree! :grinning:

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No, I think you’re spot on, thanks for the technical details! I notice that it does sound that way the first 6 seconds of the Van Halen song, then, another rhythm/track (more sequenced) seems to get faded in while the other is faded out. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did multiple tracks (drum takes) there and did that. For what reason I don’t know, but it certainly makes the intro interesting nonetheless.

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@ColdRoomStudio is finishing up his newest album and would like some feedback on this song. You’ve already heard it but I think it’s a great candidate for our ‘interesting intro’ thread here as well, what do you think?

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Another Van Halen intro? Why not. The famous car horn intro to ‘Runnin with the Devil’. The story was the band took the horns out of all of their cars in the studio parking lot and hooked them up to a battery and 'Volia!" , an interesting modern song intro. @Stan_Halen may wish to discuss the production details of car horn recording.


Thanks for the tag, it took me a while to get here. I was busy watching The Fall of the Cabal. :joy: Buckle your seat-belts, I think the roller-coaster just left the station.

Anyway, yes I have read several stories of how the intro sound came about. Clearly, they used an improvised setup to make the sound, and maybe had one or more microphones in the middle? The idea seems to have started during their demo sessions with Gene Simmons’ production company in 1977. The sound effect then went on their first album, and joined them on the road as well, according to the stories.

Interesting/ironic aspects that maybe people haven’t considered …
What does the Devil always have? Horns! :joy: :joy: :joy: Coincidence? Maybe.
Also, by slowing down the sound (through tape machine I assume) and creating the descending tone, it creates the imagery of going down into Hell. I always thought that was pretty obvious. YMMV.
Of course, the lyrics seem to represent a freewheeling Rock band navigating life “on the road” (though the chorus makes more impact, psychologically). I guess I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that. :thinking: However, it’s not too hard to see these references as themes from Hollyweird (now Hollywoke) and the elite Recording Industry, which have promoted things associated with Satanism for a long time. Naturally, these things are disguised, or blatantly open but couched in lighthearted humor and satire to conceal the meaning. Again, YMMV. Maybe I’ve just spend too much time studying the effects of MK Ultra (CIA) and psychological brainwashing techniques. :face_with_monocle:
Those are much more common and widespread than many people realize. And exist right in front of your nose, since birth.

I probably can’t say much on that beyond my guesses above. Several different horns perhaps, an accommodating room or space (or outside), and microphones to capture it - for the base recording. The descending pitch afterward through probably tape machine and track bounce to another tape machine. Maybe there’s a fast phaser on the sound and some other effects? Volume at different points seems to play a role also, in the perceived sound.

The ‘Official’ video is interesting too. The horns sound a bit different (original recording?). That video was filmed (and staged) at Whiskey-a-Go-Go from what I read, and the album photos were taken there too. I notice that when DLR sings the 4th line of the first lyric, “Yes, I’m living at a pace that kills” (not what I thought the words were BTW), at 0:56 he seems to purposely look ‘heavenward’. Another coincidence?


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Okay, Happy Sunday everyone!

This intro is… interesting:

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Yes it is! I’m very familiar with the song, but I never heard that intro on the radio or other playback mediums. The piano player was really riffing there! I can’t remember which band member sang this, but it wasn’t the usual ones like Peter Cetera (bass). You can clearly hear Peter on the backing vocals though, which are curiously mostly on the right side.

The theme of Time is treated lightly/humorously here, but yet there’s an undercurrent of philosophical inquiry into why we even care about it.

I don’t remember the “spoken word” part at 3:28 either. The radio version must have omitted this?

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The rhythmic statement made by that piano is carried onto the horn parts. Then dissappears for the rest of the song! Fascinating!

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Subliminal messages weren’t tolerated back in that day on AM radio I reckon.

TV stations signed off with The National Anthem and Sunday morning programming included a few mainstream religious services.

Now, FM came along, with their long hair, pot smoking, college educated hippier than thou formula and they played it.
They played the whole thang real good!

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Ah yes, the good old days. :wink: Then that went away and it was psychic hotlines and phone sex ads. :smirk:

I’m pretty sure I heard this song on FM radio in the early 70’s, and never heard this intro. Neither have I heard it in years since on streaming etc such as YouTube, though this YT channel did feature it.

That said, numerous “deep cuts” and anomalies appeared on FM radio, as well as weird intros. I guess AM radio did have more of a “family friendly” Americana focus for some reason. However, Chicago Transit Authority wasn’t nearly as controversial or bizarre as many other things were.

I don’t know that this ever made it on radio, but I think it qualifies as an interesting Intro. If you can make it through 18+ minutes, I think you’ll find this song quite interesting. I’m guessing few have heard this, unless you’re a huge Todd Rundgren fan. The musicianship is quite good IMO. And the sound effects are almost psychedelic at times.

I absolutely love Todd!
I have a co worker friend in the audio world who was Todd’s FOH
mix engineer for 15+ years.

I also got a chance to talk with Todd and Michele when his group was touring with Yes and Carl Palmer here in LA. Very nice man.

There are many variants to Todd and music in general. He’s always on tour with Ringo while doing his own thing too. Thanks.

Go Todd!

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Wow, awesome! I thought my post might be an anomaly. Todd has been there all along. I heard his early work on Pop radio in the early 70’s. The Utopia thing was great in the mid-70’s. I was aware of him being a producer for many years. In the 80’s, he had a hit with “Bang The Drum All Day”

The 2008 “Strike” was another high point. He’s had such a long eventful career, though not always in the public eye. What a legend.

Okay, this has got to be in the running for longest radio hit intro ever. Heck, I think it might be longer than some Beatles songs!