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  1. #1

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    I was playing the theme from "Shaft" for my wife the other day it struck me that the intro is the longest part of the song.
    The same goes for the radio-edit of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone."

    This runs counter to the current mantra, "Don't bore us, get to the chorus!"

    I was wondering what other notable records have long intros.
    Certainly Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" has an incredibly long intro (8 minutes?)
    Less long but much longer than usual: "Stairway To Heaven", "Hotel California", and The Who's "Baba O'Riley" (over a minute)

    Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" comes to mind and so does John Cougar's "I Need A Lover." (The intro to that is 2 and a half minutes long, which is rare for a pop / rock single.)

    Not all of these got heavy (or any) AM radio airplay in their heyday but "Shaft" surely did. Carol Kaye on bass!



    "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" was over 11 minutes long but there was a much shorter radio edit. Even that had an unusually long (and absolutely killer) intro (two minutes of a version that runs only three and half)


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  3. #2

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    Floyd were the kings of the long intro on a tune that was actually popular.

    "Wish you were Here" isn't super long, but at 1:35 it's more than a quarter of the whole tune...

    I need to think more on this. Very interesting topic.

  4. #3

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    First thing that came in my mind was *Spain* with the great concerto-Intro.

  5. #4

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    Elton John's Funeral for a Friend, in effect, is the intro for his Love Lies Bleeding. They are never played apart.

  6. #5

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    The intro to "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors is 45 seconds long. The intro to "L.A. Woman," from the same album, is about ten seconds longer.
    Not in the running with Pink Floyd or "Shaft" but still fairly long intros.

  7. #6

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    The Who's "Eminence Front" has a long intro, nearly two minutes.


  8. #7

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    I don't know (or care, really) about pop music, but Gabriel-era Genesis produced some epic "long"-ish intros. Tony Banks was the man. Firth Of Fifth, The Battle of Epping Forest, Watcher of the Skies.... I remember the keyboard player in my teen prog-rock band telling me the times sig/s. employed in that last one. I don't remember what they were, but I could play the bass line by ear! Said band member went on to achieve great things in the industry. Maybe I should have learned to talk about time signatures.

    Masterpiece:

  9. #8

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    actually the long intro dates back to the beginning of recorded music...and hits!...the band usually took a round before the singer entered

    very typical example



    cheers

  10. #9

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  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    actually the long intro dates back to the beginning of recorded music...and hits!...the band usually took a round before the singer entered
    During the period where the bandleader was the main attraction, the vocalist was often just delivering a "solo," as any instrumentalist would. You hear this on all those Teddy Wilson records featuring Billie Holiday where she just pops up briefly in the middle of the tune, but isn't really the focus of the arrangment. You see it in early Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Anita O'Day--basically any singer who got started in the 1930s.

    Singers like Crosby and Sinatra (and even Billie Holiday in the 1940s) changed that power dynamic. They went solo, and their arrangements flipped the old formula on its head--singer starts soon after the song begins, then the instrumental solo gives the listener a little variety, then the singer takes the piece out.

  12. #11

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    "Shaft grabs your attention with that hi-hat hook and just builds and builds. I like a mix with a prominent hh component. It sounds real to me.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    The Who's "Eminence Front" has a long intro, nearly two minutes.

    Watching MTV after school with the kids I always turned it UP when this one came on. You've got to bring 'em up right.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 04-07-2021 at 10:34 AM.

  14. #13

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    I love those Phillip Glass type of intros on The Who songs mentioned.

    Let's see... Lazy by Deep Purple might fit in the long intro list. 4 min or so.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Neverisky
    Let's see... Lazy by Deep Purple might fit in the long intro list. 4 min or so.
    Good one! Big fan of that song. In light of a more recent thread, Deep Purple's "Machine Head" is one of those albums where I like every song.