Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Had Me At Hello

That's my favorite line, uttered by Charlie Steiner, from those great ESPN "This Is Sportscenter" commercials. I seem to recall it from someplace else, although I'm not sure about that. A little help?

At any rate, there are some songs that hook me right at the beginning, although not every song I love has a raucous start. In fact, some of my favorite songs start off slow before enmeshing you in a web of musicianship from which you cannot escape.

Along those lines, Led Zeppelin, usually who I consider my favorite band, is represented only four times on the following list. Yet, Guns N Roses, a band I don't consider myself to be a great fan of, has some very crafty song beginnings, and has 3 entries on my list. Weird. But alas, that is a subject for another post.

The songs I want to honor with this post are those songs that hook me from the instant I hear them. They don't necessarily have to end great, or even middle (?) great, although most do. Songs instantly recognizable, such that, unless there is some dire emergency, I'll stop to listen to whether I'm flipping the stations or just riding along in the car. Even if I only listen until the end of the song's beginning. That was a confusing sentence to write.

After a lot of thought, the following are what I believe to be the songs with the greatest beginnings. Notice a lot of these songs have strong guitar openings. Seems to be a theme for me.

I'm sure I've forgotten several, so let me know what I've omitted. And if I'm wrong about any of these, then argue your point in the comments.

My favorite song beginning? Number 10 on the playlist.

By the way, I've noticed some technical difficulties with this post. If you cannot see the player, click on "pop out player" and it will take you to the playing list.


  1. Two thumbs up for "Stone in Love" -- Great beginning and I like the rest of it too.

    "True Fine Love" by Steve Miller hooks me.

    So does just about every song by the Kinks. If I had to narrow it down "Lola', 'You Really Got Me" have good hooks.

    The Moody Blues have a happy opening to "Dr. Livingston, I Presume" It is good music to clean house to.

  2. "You had me at hello" is Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire.

  3. "or even middle (?) great"

    Did you just verb a noun or an adjective?

    I can't get to the player from work. Is Brown Sugar on the list? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven gets me that way, too. Ditto Carry On My Wayward Son.

  4. MarieN!

    "Stone in Love" is one of my favorites- it came out the year I graduated high school. Good tune.

    "You Really Got Me" definitely belongs on the list. And I always forget about the Moody Blues.


    Of course! I knew it was sports related in some way for it to tie in to ESPN.

    Quipper Rick!

    I believe a noun. Good nominees. I may have to re-do the list.

  5. nice little list... now I'm going to have to edit mine again to get songs in there I forget about... they really should set it so a playlist can be 125-150 songs.

    And for the record Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Rock & Roll, and Revolution are four of my favorite openings.

    I'm going to steal your idea and do a post on my playlist now lol.

  6. Angus!

    I should turn around and steal your idea and do a post on my overall playlist. I've never counted how many of each group I have in my "100".

  7. Here's my pump up list from iTunes:
    Move Along All-American Rejects
    Baba O'Riley The Who
    Crazy Gnarls Barkley
    Crazy Little Thing Taylor Hicks
    Do Ya The Move
    Feel Good Inc. Gorillaz
    Fly Sugar Ray
    Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) Styx
    Gold Digger Kanye West/Jamie Foxx
    Got To Get You Into My Life EarthWind&Fire
    Grace Kelly MIKA
    Hells Bells AC/DC
    Here It Goes Again O.K. Go
    Hey Ya! Outkast
    Holiday Green Day
    Hollywood Nights Taylor Hicks
    I'm Free The Who
    Jailhouse Rock ZZ Top
    Long Train Runnin' Doobie Brothers
    LoveStoned Justin Timberlake
    MMMBop Hanson
    My Hero Foo Fighters
    Mysterious Ways U2
    A Perfect Kind of Love Nicole Willis
    Play That Funky Music Taylor Hicks
    Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
    Rock the Casbah The Clash
    September Earth Wind & Fire
    SexyBack Justin Timberlake
    Shake Your Hips Slim Harpo
    Sir Duke Stevie Wonder
    Soul Man Sam & Dave
    Stronger Kanye West
    Thunder Island Jay Ferguson
    Thunderstruck AC/DC
    Time of the Season Blake Lewis
    Vertigo U2
    Walking on Broken Glass Annie Lennox

  8. TK!

    I don't know what a pump up list is, but that's certainly an eclectic list. Is the fact that your play list is in alphabetical order by design or random chance?

  9. I should have clarified how I created my pump up list. I listened to each song in my iTunes list once to identify which songs had me in the first few seconds. The song had to have a strong opening and continue to be a vibrant song, good for cleaning house, walking, cheering me up, etc.

  10. TK,

    you must not have the 3000 songs that I do cause that would take me forever to do

  11. Angus,

    I don't know how many song I have, but I estimate it is between 500 and 1000. I only listened to the first ten seconds. The song has to get me in the first ten seconds or it doesn't make the cut!

  12. TK!

    Thanks for the clarification.

  13. Scottius!

    You forgot Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets by Metallica...or is it just me?

    And, not to toot my brother's horn or anything...go here, and listen to Hollywood and Too Much Too Soon. (Angus might like them, too!)

  14. Rick!

    Pretty cool. But which one's your brother- Elegantly or Wasted?