The top 20 best song intros of all time

What’s the best song intro you’ve ever had the honour of hearing? See if your favourite made it onto the RouteNote team’s picks of the most iconic song introductions of all time.

Writing music and want to start your track with a bang? Helpfully, we’ve compiled twenty cool song intros that the RouteNote team have declared the best song beginnings of all time. From the bizarre to the fiendishly catchy, expect killer basslines and pure cheesy pop genius.

In the cut-throat world of digital music streaming, standing out means everything. Trigger-happy listeners on Spotify are just waiting to hit the skip button, and you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Listen to these iconic song introductions and get inspired to write a killer intro to your own song.


Michael Jackson – Billie Jean


Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love


Charles Mingus – Moanin’


Thundercat – Them Changes


Led Zeppelin – Kashmir


Screaming Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on You


Tame Impala – The Less I Know the Better


The Beatles – Come Together


Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.


Muse – Uprising


Pink Floyd – Money


Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams (Come True)


Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody


Europe – The Final Countdown


Fleetwood Mac – Dreams


Men At Work – Down Under


Gwen Stefani – Rich Girl


Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell


Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Zephyr Song


My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade


There you have it, the RouteNote team have spoken. But what would you say is best beginning to a track? Let us know your favourite song intro in the comments.

Learn how to write an amazing introduction to your song with our guide:

And see if your favourite bassline made our best basslines of all time list here!


If you’re well past the songwriting stage and finished mixing and mastering your track, it could be time to release your music to the world. RouteNote can help with that. Our digital music distribution gets your songs onto streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, onto social media sound libraries like TikTok, and protects your music on YouTube, too.

Find out more and sign up here today. It’s free.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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6 comments

    Ok, this is a pretty subjective list.
    I’m gonna add my 2cents.

    Stairway to Heaven – Iconic guitar intro learned by every guitarist
    Ticket to Ride
    Day Tripper – first use of feedback on record
    Whole Lotta Love –
    Brown Sugar
    Jumpin’ Jack Flash
    You Really Got Me (V.H. or the Kinks)
    Thunder Road
    Born to Run
    Free Fallin’
    Sunshine of Your Love
    Foxey Lady
    Purple Haze
    Voodoo Chile

    etc, etc, etc

    Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones

    As much as I love Kasmir by Led Zeppelin, that isn’t an intro, it’s the same riff that continues throughout the song.

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