Just off the top of my head:
Linkin Park "In the End"
U2 "I still haven't found what I'm looking for"
Enya "Sail Away"
Simon and Garfunkel "Scarborough Fair"
None of them have very long intros, but I find them each unique and captivating in a different way.
intro to yellow brick road ,elton john, long and outstanding
My vote goes for Tom Waits' opening monologue to "Better Off Without a Wife"
not that I am a Journey fan... but I always like the beginning to 'Don't Stop Believing' it is quite good, especially relative to the rest of the songs the band has recorded...
AS much as I used to..... "love my mtv"..... I'll pass on the Dire need to include it here.
In the Air Tonight Phil collins
Time Pink Floyd
Way Up Waymon Tisdale
Georgia On a Fast Train Billy Joe Shaver Live version
...come to mind now.
how about the drum intro to Deep Purple's "Woman From Tokyo"
Van Halen - Jump
Aha - Take On Me
Noel Pointer - Classy Lady
Prince - When The Doves Cry
Sorry, I was still a little boy in the 70's.
Alice Cooper: Halo of Flies
If you like bluegrass rock(I call it heavy wood), check out a band called Railroad Earth. The put out a live disc a couple of years back named "Elko". The intro on Disc 2, track 2, song called Mighty River has a killer intro.
Secondarily, try the Grateful dead Dick's Pick's 34, the Eyes of The World has a great Phil Lesh bass solo into an intro jam before the band goes into the tune, also very good.
The Beatles - Revolution. For years I thought John Lennon gave us that magnificent intro, then I saw a video where Paul McCartney steps up to the mic and belts out that scream.
Sweet Jane....Lou Reed live...Hunter and Wagner on guitars..
Ever so many. Here's one: "Whipping Post", Allman Brothers.
Slash's intro to "Sweet Child o Mine." Bill Evans and Paul Chambers opening "So What."
The song has been overplayed to the extreme but I love the intro to Hotel California on "Hell Freezes Over."
Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman"
"I Need A Lover" by John Mellencamp may be the relatively longest intro to a radio friendly pop song ever.
Beachboys "California Girls"
Long, Cool Woman in a Black Dress by The Hollies. I love the way it announces itself. Have you noticed Spencer Davis intros show up in TV ads quite often?
Chicken Train - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Love Reign Over Me - The Who
"School" by Supertramp is freakin' awesome "dude".
But I gotta second "Time" by Pink Floyd as tied for first. Oh yeah, 'dude".
TED NUGGENT-live. The intro to Wang Dang Sweet Poontang is the best intro to any rock song. "This is a love song..." Haha-I love that guy.
i always dug the guitar buildup at the start of "unsatisfied" by the replacements. also, the little riff that opens robyn hitchcock's "ny doll"--real purty.
A second vote for Lou Reed, Hunter, & Wagner - "Sweet Jane" from the Transformer Lp
Live version of "Yours is No Disgrace" by Yes on 'Yessongs.'
Cheap Tricks' cover of "Ain't That A Shame" on Budokan!!!
"Stanglehold" by Tedly Von Nugent. That's some meaty guitar!
Ween. Buckingham green
Black Sabbath, Thrill of it all.
"You really got me" by the Kinks or the cover by Van Halen
"Eight Miles High" by The Byrds. Chris Hillman's incredible bass licks, then Roger McGuinn on 12-string electric guitar, then perfect harmonies by the Byrds with the title line.
"Morning Dew" from the first Grateful Dead Warner Bros. album.
"Playing in the Band", Grateful Dead "Skull and Roses" album
Best Ted Nuggent into: Free for All...
Hard Day's night - you know what it is instantly, and it took decades for people to figure out how they did it (guitar and piano). Not necessarily a great musically, but distinctive.
A third vote for Lou Reed Live-"Sweet Jane....it immediately popped into my head when I read the thread, and where I was at the first time I heard it.
"I Will Possess Your Heart" by Death Cab For Cutie.
If you are in Washington DC then this will make you smile.
Long double guitar into to Sweet Jane on the Lou Reed Rock and Roll Animal live album.
Karelfd, I was 5 rows back at LA Forum when Zep introed LP3. At opening of show house lights all went out for about 3 minutes. Then Plant kicked off his vocal cry of the Immigrant Song. The light show burst upon us only once the instruments kicked in. It was one of the finer concert moments I've experienced. Most of audience did not know what was going on. A real thrill.
"Watcher of the Skies" - Genesis
"You're So Vain", Carly Simon. It is Klaus Voorman noodling around on his bass guitar.
baba o riley--the who
sweet jane (rock n roll animal version)--lou reed
"Private Investigations" Dire Straits
"Shine on, you Crazy Diamond" Pink Floyd
"The Other One" Grateful Dead
A lot of Lou Reed fans. Lots of good intros by him. Not sure I would pick him though. Still thinking about it. If I have to listen to all my music to decide, it may be a month or so.
Gerry Rafferty-Baker Street
Big Titties by Black Oak Arkansas.
"You better grease up..." The Stones' Sparks Will Fly on Voodoo Lounge.
The two tunes Kieth does blows Mic and his tiny todger away.
Whiter Shade of Pale - the organ intro on that is the best. Case closed.
Free Man In Paris by Sufjan Stevens has an ear opening intro.
Okay, my vote goes to Lou Reed also. However I have to choose The Raven as a whole. Can't pick a single one. Too many great ones.