This week's Music Monday is a look at the most important part of any real rock song: the intro lick. Scott's breaking down five of the very best, the kind of songs that will have you run in from the other room to turn up the radio. Come on in to find descriptions, discussion, and a link to our weekly Spotify playlist.
Here's what a good intro lick needs. One: it's gotta wake you up like an alarm clock. And two, you have to be able to sing it as you bob your head and wave the horns of rock. Someone like Richard Thompson, for example, is a great guitarist, but sing his guitar part and you'll get tired real fast. A good lick is like a jingle, it's gotta be short, catchy, memorable and repeating. Like, for example, Scott's first pick:
The Raspberries - Go All The Way
When it comes to K-Tel friendly hits, the Raspberries exist in that perfect place between The Sweet and Kaptain Kool and the Kongs. "Go All The Way" was and is a solid smash, but everything else is just kinda… well, there's a reason most people will never hear the words "I own every Raspberries album!" But that opening lick still grabs you, don't it? Broww dat dat! Bat dat dat! Brrr-oww dat dat! Bat dat dat!
Today we're looking at the very best intro licks, and we want you to contribute too. But there's a catch: if you submit it, you've got to write it out. Remember, we're not rating the guitarists themselves, we're just talking about their opening licks. And if you want your submission to be on the Spotify playlist next week, you gotta write it out like Scott did.
And speaking of which remember our Spotify playlist will be featuring a great selection from last week's Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is New Beginnings and it came out pretty well. Just know that before you start remembering last week, you've gotta check out our current Music Monday below.
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
We've talked before about manufactured bands, so what made the Sex Pistols cool while the Monkees were considered corporate? Well, it could be how they ripped off EMI, or it could be how John Lydon always had some ready comeback, but it could also be how a lot of their songs start with an easy-to-understand, super catchy lick. "Pretty Vacant" could be the best of these and almost begs you to turn up the radio and nod your head. Bada DEE DEE bada dee dee. Bada DEE DEE bada dee dee.
Alice Cooper - School's Out
There was a time when a song that said "the school's been blown to pieces" was accepted as childish parody. Sadly, we're past that point, and a song like this one just couldn't be a radio hit today. Which is a shame, because the opening licks instantly wake up the rebellious adolescent inside us all. Bat dat daaaaa, bat dat daaaaa, bat da daaat daaaaa.
Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
You don't even have to like Guns N' Roses to appreciate the beauty of the first two seconds of their arguably most famous hit. And then, right after it, there's a second wave! This is the kind of song that rock stars pray they'll uncover, the kind of song that you can tease to make a stadium leap to their feet. Badada dadada dadada! Bada dadada dadada dadada! Bat da dat da dat da dat da da! Bat da dat da dat da dat da da!
My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow
Yeah, go on. Call me hipster. But that opening is just slamming guitar. It's back and forth like a playground swingset and it's got all the energy of a kid full of birthday cake. And lest you think I'm breaking my other rule, here it is written out: VrwoooWEEE vrwooooWAAA VrwoooWEEE vrwooooWAAA VrwoooWEEE vrwooooWAAA VrwoooWEEE vrwooooWAAA. That's right. If you can write it out, no matter how complex, it counts!
Get your transcription ear ready, because only the best Onomatopoeia masters will get the points today. Pick that special lick Scott overlooked, write it in the comments, then spell it out with words! And after you help us confuse the mods, hit the Turntable.fm room for our regular Music Monday experience.