Some albums start off with a sort of prelude before the rest of the "proper" songs. The Album Intro Track is a short track or sometimes a short section of the first track, usually less than three minutes, that is meant to be an introduction to the rest of the album.
Some common types of intros:
Music that is of a different genre than the rest of the album
"All Hail Bright Futures" by And So I Watch You From Afar begins with a track called Eunoia which leads in to the first proper track.
"Hey Everyone" by Dananananaykroyd begins with an instrumental intro track which is also called "Hey Everyone".
"Theme from Flood" from They Might Be Giants' Flood. A 27 second choral piece introducing the album. (Alternative music)
It's a brand new record for 1990: They Might Be Giants' brand new album... Flooooood
fun.'s Some Nights kicks off with "Some Nights (Intro)", which pretty much highlights the musical and thematic elements of the rest of the work.
Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish at the Hot Dog Flavoured Water" and "Significant Other" both have intro tracks lasting roughly 30-40 seconds.
The xx's Self-Titled Albumxx starts with the instrumental "Intro". Ironically, due to being sampled for Rihanna's "Drunk On Love", along with some usage on national television, it's one of their more famous songs.
Spiritualized's Sweet Heart, Sweet Light begins with "Huh?", a brief instrumental track that segues into the first proper song, "Hey Jane". The melody from "Huh?" reappears at the end of the album as the chorus to "Life Is a Problem".
Mae's The Everglow begins with "Prologue", which features a simple piano melody and narration welcoming the listener and encouraging them to read the liner notes as the music plays. As Book Ends, the last track is "Epilogue", which has the same piano and the same narrator, thanking the audience for listening.
18 Months by Calvin Harris has "Green Valley", a short instrumental that fades right into lead single "Bounce".
#willpower by Will.I.Am has "Good Morning". It's his way of saying "hello" to the listeners.
Joy Electric's "Hello Mannequin", off the album Hello Mannequin: a spoken word piece on an album otherwise full of danceable synthpop.
Orbital's second album, Orbital II, opens with "Time Becomes..." which is just a looped vocal sample from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Hybrid's album Wide Angle begins with "Opening Credits", a brief orchestral piece followed by a single drum machine fill. The rest of the album is progressive house (with prominent orchestral bits on several tracks).
The appropriately titled Intro in Outkast'sStankonia.
Wyclef Jean's "The Ecleftic" has a intro scene with spoken word.
Jaga Jazzist's One-Armed Bandit starts with "The Thing Introduces...", a 23 second track performed by a completely different band (The Thing).
Many Bathory albums have an intro track, consisting mainly of keyboard parts.
Linkin Park's "Meteora" has a short track leading up to the first song.
"Paranoid Circus" by Lyriel starts out with spoken word.
Metallica starts off both "Ride The Lighting" and "Master Of Puppets" with an acoustic guitar part.
"Annihilation Of The Wicked" by Nile starts off with Dusk Falls Upon The Temple Of The Serpent On The Mount Of Sunrise an instrumental.
"Shout At The Devil" by Mötley Crüe starts with the track In The Beginning with highly distorted spoken word.
"Mezmerize" by System of a Down begins with an intro version of the song Soldier Side, the full version of which isn't heard until the last track of the sister album "Hypnotize".
Sabaton's album Carolus Rex begins with a short track titled "Dominium Maris Baltici", which is also the Epic Instrumental Opener for the second track on the album, "Lion from the North".
"Ascendancy" by Trivium begins with an instrumental track titled "The End of Everything."
Strife, from Homestuck, opens with "Stormspirit", a 46-seconds long piano piece in contrast to the mix of electronic and rock music of the other songs.
Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics begins with a short, mellow, midtempo track intended to summarize the purpose of the album; namely, paying homage to the legendary jazz and blues artists of the early 20th century.
So here I stand today, in tribute I do pay, to those before me who laid it down and paved the way
Rated R by Rihanna starts with "Mad House", which incorporates a Vincent Price-like speech "warning" uneasy listeners and inviting those "who can take it".
The self-titled debut album by Bad Brains inverts this trope by having a 45 second track called "Intro" appear as the last song on the album.
Ixnay on the Hombre by The Offspring begins with "Disclaimer", and exceedingly sarcastic disclaimer about its objectionable content.
Channel Orange by Frank Ocean starts with the track "Start", which samples a sound of a PlayStation starting up, along with other electronic sounds.
The Jimi Hendrix album Axis: Bold as Love begins with a track depicting a British-accented talk show host, with a slightly sped-up "chipmunk" voice, talking skeptically about U.F.O.s and aliens, with his guest revealing himself to be an alien (with guitar noises depicting his ship picking him up)--the track is called "EXP", and segues into "Up From the Skies", a song from the point of view of an Ancient Astronaut returning to Earth.
"Son et lumiere", the first track of The Mars Volta's "De-Loused in the Comatorium", provides an ambient rise to the first song.
The Moody Blues' 1969 album On The Threshold Of a Dream begins with a short spoken playlet that riffs on the idea of computer intelligence and Descartes' famous axiom "I think, therefore I am". This was an idea they first used on the preceding album In Search of the Lost Chord. A subsequent LP Every Good Boy Deserves Favour also begins with an off-beat spoken piece.
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon begins with a cacophony of ringing clocks, cash registers, voices, and screams called "Speak to Me". Many of the sounds occur individually on subsequent tracks on the album (such as the cash registers from "Money", the clocks from "Time", and the high arias from "The Great Gig in the Sky").
J Rock band Donutman's album Start Up To Get Over begins with a 30 second track that's a mellow guitar riff with a spoken word sample of an English conversation. The rest of the album is standard rock, albeit sung in wonderful Engrish.
The original soundtrack for Super Mario 64 begins with a track called "It's a me, Mario!", which is Mario saying exactly that. Unlike the game, it has no echo effect.
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