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:
Albums That Contain An Intro Track:
- 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. "The White Songbook", off the album The White Songbook, has an Epic Instrumental Opener making full use of the Bolero Effect, and ends with some spoken-word lyrics. The rest of the album is more conventional synthpop. "Hello Mannequin", off the album Hello Mannequin: a slow, spoken word piece on an album otherwise full of danceable synthpop. "And This No More", off Dwarf Mountain Alphabet, is the album's only instrumental track.
- Orbital's second album, Orbital II, opens with "Time Becomes..." which is just a looped vocal sample from Star Trek: The Next Generation. And Blue Album opens with "Transient"—a full song, but it's an ambient one with no percussion. The rest of the album is techno.
- 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 KLF's The White Room opens with "What Time Is Love? (Live at Trancentral)", which begins with Black Steel singing a verse over some mellow keys. He then gets cut off by a sampled "Kick Out the Jams!" shout, and the album launches into frantic stadium house music. (The previously-released single version of "What Time is Love? [Live at Trancentral]" completely lacked the mellow intro.) Black Steel's verse shows up again at the end of the album, on the song "Justified and Ancient", and this time he gets to finish.
- Dr Israel's Inna City Pressure begins with "Inna City", a slow spoken-word piece. It segues seamlessly into the Lyrical Cold Open of the next track, the ragga jungle-influenced "Pressure".
- Figure's dubstep album Monsters Vol. 4 starts off with the three-and-a-half-minute "Death's Gospel", which sets the mood with (in order) creepy ambience, a Drone of Dread, an ominous Ethereal Choir coupled with a Lonely Piano Piece, and another drone, before wrapping things up with some Whispering Ghosts and Falling Bass.
- All of VNV Nation's albums have one of these. Transnational opens with "Generator", which is a Siamese Twin Song and Epic Instrumental Opener to "Everything".
- The title tracks of Covenant's Modern Ruin and Leaving Babylon.
- All of Hexode's albums have intro and outro tracks. As a general rule, the outros are absolutely terrifying.
- Todd Terje's It's Album Time begins with "Intro (It's Album Time)". It's a bit over a minute long, with a short tune that builds and repeats, while voices chant "It's album time!"
- The appropriately titled Intro in Outkast's Stankonia.
- Wyclef Jean's "The Ecleftic" has a intro scene with spoken word.
- Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: The CD reissue of Moanin’ opens with a 30 second sample of a rehearsal, complete with Studio Chatter between trumpeter Lee Morgan and producer Rudy Van Gelder. (The original LP version of the album omitted this track.)
- 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.
- "Det Som Engang Var" and "Fallen" by Burzum
- Cradle Of Filth is fond of these, and they often overlap with Epic Instrumental Opener.
- "Generation Why?" by Diamond Plate starts of with various soundbites.
- Dragonforce's first album, Valley of the Damned, begins with "Invocation of Apocalyptic Evil", which is generally an instrumental lead-up to the title track.
- "Slainia" and "Helvetios" by Eluveitie start off with bits of spoken word.
- "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk" by Emperor starts with Al Svartr (The Oath) a slow atmospheric piece.
- On "Frost" by Enslaved the album starts out with the Title Track, a keyboard piece.
- Gamma Ray's No World Order begins with "Induction", a calling out of the Illuminati and those who would seek to control others, which leads up to "Dethrone Tyranny."
- "Tunes Of War" by Grave Digger starts off with the track The Brave a song played on bag pipes.
- Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism by ''Immortal
- 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."
- Demon Hunter. The Triptych opens with "The Flame That Guides Us Home", an a cappella piece sung by a women's choir, leading directly into the second track, "Not I". On True Defiance, the first twenty seconds of the first track are very lo-fi (as if they were recorded on cheap tapes in someone's garage) before abruptly switching to a louder and clearer studio recording. Extremist opens with "Death", featuring choral chanting and death metal, in contrast with the metalcore-influenced sound of the rest of the album.
- Showbread's No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical uses this for a joke at the listener's expense. The first track, "A Llama Eats a Giraffe (and Vice Versa)" begins with a quiet phone conversation between two people which lasts for about 30 seconds. An unsuspecting listener who turn up the volume to understand it will then get assaulted by a Metal Scream and blaring guitars when the song itself starts without any prior warning.
- Dream Theater's "Regression" from Metropolis, Pt. 2 and "False Awakening Suite" from Dream Theater. The intro to "Root of All Evil" from Octavarium also counts.
- Type O Negative's October Rust has the joke track "Bad Ground", which is just an amplifier hum, followed by introductory dialogue from the band members.
- They pulled a similar trick with the first track of their next album, World Coming Down: "Skip It" is an 11 second track of what sounds like a skipping cd, followed by a member of the band shouting "Sucker!". There was even a format-specific version of this intro for the cassette edition, which sounded like a tape being eaten instead.
- 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 album Goodbye Lullaby from Avril Lavigne starts with "Black Star", a piano track with one verse.
- 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.
- Green Day's album 21st Century Breakdown begins with the radio-staticed acapella "Song of the Century" later reprised for the song American Eulogy.
- Fastbacks compilation The Question Is No begins with the spoken word "Dear Mr. Oswald" refusing the request of an executive attempting to replace the singer.
- Channel Orange by Frank Ocean starts with the track "Start", which samples a sound of a PlayStation starting up, along with other electronic sounds.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is presented as a concert by the eponymous band, with the first song an intro track. (2:02 per The Other Wiki, with a reprise at the end of the record @ 1:08, followed by an Encore song.)
- 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 Deloused 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.
- David Bowie's Diamond Dogs has an Opening Narration as its first track: "Future Legend", which establishes the Crapsack World setting of the album. 1. Outside has "Leon Takes Us Outside", an instrumental with a few cryptic spoken-word phrases sprinkled over it.
- Queen's second album Queen II opens with the track "Procession", a short faux-classical Brian May composed instrumental that segues directly into the second track (which in turn segues into the third track). More importantly however, "Procession" served as an introduction for many fans to Brian May's trademark guitar sound and the guitar harmonies that often accompanied them.
- The Beach Boys' S Mi LE begins with 'Our Prayer,' a church-like hymn with huge echo that provides just a taste of the amazing music to follow it.
- Several albums by The Alan Parsons Project begin with an instrumental piece that segues into the first song. The remix version of their first, Tales of Mystery and Imagination features spoken intros to the first and second halves, read by Orson Welles as Edgar Allan Poe
- 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.