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Epic Instrumental Opener
A subtrope of Epic Rocking.

In essence, this is when a song has a long instrumental lead-in. It may be part of the song itself, or it may be an entirely separate track.

Done right, it can produce an interesting buildup. Done badly, and it will suffer It Gets Better syndrome.

A variation on the overture, common to Operas, Musicals and some films. When the instrumental is combined with the track that follows, we might have Siamese Twin Songs.

Contrast with Lyrical Cold Open.


  • Santana: "Black Magic Woman" had a very long opening.
  • "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" by The Temptations has a nearly 4 minute long instrumental opening.
  • In a similar vein, about half of "Theme from Shaft" by Isaac Hayes is the instrumental opening. Since this song isn't overly long, there isn't much time left for actual lyrics.
  • Played with by Typhoon: "Prelude," the first song on White Lighter, is instrumental but just eighteen seconds long.
  • "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2, which also opens the Joshua Tree album.
  • Boston's "Long Time" is preceded by a track called "Foreplay". Interestingly, this is the third track on the album, not the intro.
  • Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner" is preceded by a synth instrumental titled "Threshold".
  • The synth riff from The Who's "Baba O'Riley". Also "Won't Get Fooled Again" from the same album.
  • "Leave Them All Behind" by Ride, somewhat similar to The Who's use of this trope.
  • "Eruption" and "Spanish Fly" by Van Halen, leading into "You Really Got Me" and something so badly eclipsed by "Spanish Fly" that nobody remembers what the song is any more.
    • Don't forget the "Little Guitars Intro." And on the same album, "Intruder" leading to the "(Oh) Pretty Woman" cover.
    • "1984" from the eponymous album. Particularly in concerts, where it's combined with the track it follows in the album, "Jump".
    • The Greatest Hits Albums use "Eruption" as an overall epic instrumental opener — while in the album Van Halen, track one is "Runnin' with the Devil".
  • Electric Light Orchestra loved this one:
    • "Eldorado Overture" from Eldorado, which opens with Jeff Lynne reciting a "voice-of-God" prologue to the song over subdued instruments before the instrumental climbs to its climax.
    • "Prologue" from Time does the same thing, though the buildup leads straight into the next track.
    • "Fire On High" from Face the Music. Also a potential source of terror (at least for the first minute or so).
    • "Tightrope" from A New World Record is similar to The Who example above, in that the instrumental is actually the first minute of the track.
    • Ditto with "Secret Messages," from the album of the same title.
    • "Ocean Breakup / King of the Universe" does the same yet again.
    • Out of the Blue actually has two:
      • First is "Believe Me Now", which leads into "Steppin' Out".
      • The second one is part of the opening track to the four-song "Concerto for a Rainy Day" suite, starting with "Standin' in the Rain" (again integrated into the first two minutes of the song itself).
  • Evanescence's "Good Enough", from The Open Door, features an instrumental segment on the front of the song. The first 60 seconds have an entirely different composition, with a slower tempo, before jumping to what's more obviously the preamble to the regular song, which goes for around 15 seconds before vocals begin.
    • The 2002 version of "Whisper" has a 1-and-a-half minute long intro from the Romeo and Juliet movie before the song proper.
  • Many Alan Parsons Project albums open with an instrumental that segues into the first song.
    • The most notable of these instrumentals would have to be "Sirius", the lead-in to "Eye in the Sky"; a song instantly recognizable by any and all Chicago Bulls fans.
  • "Zia Intro" is the, well, intro to "Zia" on Thousand Days' Thousand Days.
  • Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" has about 8 minutes of music before there are any vocals. Some other Pink Floyd songs do this to a lesser extent (such as "Time" and "Echoes"). Then there are songs like "One Of These Days"note , "Careful With That Axe, Eugene"note , and "Absolutely Curtains"note .
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer provide numerous examples of this trope, however the most memorable and awesome is probably the 2 minute instrumental start to the concept suite Tarkus. It's agressive 5/4 epic riff grabs your attention right away.
  • Bush's "Comedown" has about a minute of music before Gavin Rossdale starts singing.
  • Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"; though as the title suggests, it can be argued that it's actually two songs in one, in which case it isn't clear just how long the opening to "Love Lies Bleeding" is. (the melody is all over the place until about 5:20; Elton doesn't start singing until 5:50). The trope still holds true for the album as a whole, of course.
  • The studio version of Joy Division's "Dead Souls" begins with a two-minute guitar workout, and live versions had even more music before the vocals came in. Supposedly this was so that lead singer Ian Curtis had enough time to warm up before singing.
  • Five Iron Frenzy: On the live album Proof That The Youth Are Revolting, they use an instrumental cover of Europe's "The Final Countdown" as an intro for "One Girl Army", and then an instrumental cover of The Cure's "Close to You" as an intro for "Superpowers".
  • Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" takes about 2 minutes to get to the lyrics, as do quite a few of his other songs.
    • The live version of Bat Out of Hell included on the CD release is even longer, taking six and a half minutes before the vocals kick in.
  • Loreena McKennitt's track "The Old Ways" has about a minute and a half of instrumentals before the singing begins. It starts with just harp, then adds on successive parts by violin, Uilleann pipes, drums, and electric guitar.
  • Avenged Sevenfold used this trope in their first album, "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet".
    • As well as in their song Strength Of The World, from the album City Of Evil.
  • A typical Dream Theater song will usually have at least a minute of instrumentals before the vocals kick in, often much longer.
    • Dream Theater have a possible inversion. The 3-minute song Vacant leads into the 11-minute instrumental Stream of Consciousness.
    • "A Change Of Seasons"'s intro runs about 4 1/2 minutes. The track itself clocks in around the 24-minute mark.
    • The longest ones were probably "Octavarium", where the first lyrics aren't sung until 5 and a half minutes in (this intro was probably a tribute to Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond"), and "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", which not only begins with a nearly seven-minute long overture, but ends with a 2-minute-long keyboard note that fades out slowly.
    • "In the Presence of Enemies" starts out with 5 minutes and 12 seconds of instrumentals before the vocals finally start.
  • The eponymous side-long title track of Close to The Edge by Yes opens with a gaggle of environmental sound (birds chirping and what sounds like a rushing waterfall) which fades into a two-minute assault of seemingly chaotic guitar racket, occasionaly overlaid with Jon Anderson's high-pitched, wordless chanting. Around the three minute mark a proper melody finally starts to emerge from the chaos, and it is only at the four minute mark that Anderson steps in with probably the most cryptic, mind-boggling Word Salad Lyrics he'd ever write this side of Tales from Topographic Oceans.
  • King Crimson's 1972 album Larks Tongues in Aspic opens up with "Lark Tongues in Aspic Part 1", a twelve minute instrumental piece that can best be described as a collection of bizarre percussion rhythms and quiet, creepy violin lines, occasionally topped off (for the sake of diversity, you see) with some of the most agressive and distorted heavy metal riffs heard in rock music up to that point.
    • Similarly, 1974's Red, consisting mostly of outtakes (extremely high-quality outtakes, mind you) from the previous two albums, opens with an eponymous eight minute instrumental track. Structurally a pop song, with verses, a chorus, a middle-eight and everything, the song once again has no lyrics and is filled with even more distorted, hyper-agressive (for the period) riffage that seemed to point the way for everything from punk to grunge to death metal.
  • Queen was really good at this, especially in songs by Brian May.
    • Their earliest-recorded officially released song, "The Night Comes Down", is basically a short ballad framed by 2-minute instrumental bookends.
    • Several of their songs had intros of more than half a minute, e.g. "Keep Yourself Alive", "Great King Rat", "39", "The Prophet's Song", "Las Palabras de Amor", "Radio Gaga", "I want It All", "Scandal" and "Innuendo"
    • "Tie Your Mother Down" has an opening of nearly 1½ minutes. For a 5 minute song. For extra points, the first part of the intro to TYMD (the first song on the album) follows the outro to "Teo Torriate" (the last song on the album). Can any one say "Floyd-esque"?
    • Of course, their ultimate example of this trope is "Procession", an Epic Instrumental Opener for their entire second album. What really drives this home is that it segues into the next track, "Father To Son".
  • Primus has got quite a lot of songs like that, the most noticeable being probably "Southbound Pachyderm" with its 2 minutes long introduction.
  • Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Possess Your Heart": The album version has almost 5 minutes of gradual instrumental build-up before the vocals start.
  • Vernian Process loves this trope.
  • Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" (from St. Anger). The vocals don't start until about 2 minutes in, it's an 8 minute song.
    • They have many more. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" has a 2-minute intro... for a 5 minute song!
    • The first part of that intro is a wah-infused bass part by Cliff Burton. From their first album, Cliff's arguably sloppyish bass solo (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth segues into Whiplash.
    • "One".
    • Metallica are probably the reason so many metal bands use an a peaceful sounding instrumental intro to their songs, Fight Fire With Fire, Battery and Blackened all have it. Granted, this sort of thing was done by Black Sabbath as well but the songs were usually indexed seperately.
    • And, of course, the famous intro to "Enter Sandman".
  • Light This City did this with their album title tracks "Facing The Thousand" and the even more awesome "Stormchaser".
  • "The New Ministry" by Walls of Jericho spends about 2 minutes building atmosphere.
  • Iced Earth's The Glorious Burden starts with an instrumental version of The Star Spangled Banner which leads directly into Declaration Day.
    • High Water Mark begins with two minutes of drum pounding.
  • Since Dan Miller joined They Might Be Giants, live performances of the song "Istanbul Not Constantinople" generally open with him playing an epic intro on acoustic guitar for at least two minutes. It can often go longer than the song itself.
  • The title track of 'Nordland I' by Bathory has an intro that lasts just under two minutes. This is straight after an intro track that lasts 2:34.
  • "Up the Beach" by Janes Addiction. If not for the occasional vocals, it could qualify as an Epic Instrumental Opener for the entire album.
  • Most songs by Tool have this, and they usually put short tracks that lead in to their deepest songs. For example "Eon Blue Apocalypse" leads into "The Patient", "Parabol" leads into "Parabola", "Lost Keys" leads into "Rosetta Stoned" as "instrumental", and there's also the live track "Merkaba", the NINE-MINUTE intro to "Sober" (a five-minute song) that was included on the Salival box set.
    • In addition, "The Patient" has at least 1 minute of music before the lyrics, and the song proper doesn't pick up until at least 3 minutes in. "Eulogy" has a 2-minute opener with four different percussion parts. "Reflection" has a whopping 4 minutes of music before any vocals.
  • The album version of "I Need a Lover" by John Cougar Mellencamp has a two-and-a-half-minute intro - nearly half the length of the song.
  • Rob Zombie's song Mars Needs Women off of Hellbilly Deluxe 2 opens with two minutes of Tex Mex guitar strumming, increasingly growing in parts and frenzy. Then, after a minute and a half, abandons everything but the tempo to become a two chord stomper about sex in outer space.
  • Inverted by the pAper chAse, who start their first album with a minute of ambience and dissonant piano and end it with a wistfully doomy 10-minute song of Epic Rocking with both an intro track and a minute-and-a-half intro within the song.
  • Coldplay's two and a half minute instrumental "Life in Technicolor" opens Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends before segueing straight into "Cemeteries of London" (whose lyrics start rather soon by contrast).
  • Zac Brown Band's "Free" is prefaced by a more than minute-long fiddle solo on the album.
  • Clint Black's "State of Mind" opens with a 48-second harmonica solo. This is seen on the album version only; the single and radio edits omit this.
  • Ronnie Milsap's 1984 No. 1 hit "Still Losing You" has a 30-second "dramatic open" instrumental opening in its album version; the radio and single edits cut this.
  • Dan Seals' 1987 No. 1 hit "You Still Move Me" includes a 34-second "dramatic open" instrumental opening on the album version; the radio and single edits cut this.
  • Peter Frampton's "Do You Feel Like We Do."
  • Billy Joel's "Angry Young Man" opens with an instrumental section, prosaically named "Prelude". The opening piano is kind of an "Epic Riff" in and of itself.
  • During live shows, Audioslave performed an instrumental version of former band Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls On Parade" sans Chris Cornell, who returns afterward to sing "Sleep Now In The Fire". Arguably, "Bulls On Parade" is much better as an instrumental.
  • Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir often open their songs with ominous orchestration before the heavy guitars and the screaming starts. This is fairly standard for Black Metal.
  • With Valkyrie Missile on We Don't Need To Whisper, Star of Bethlehem on I-Empire, and Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce on Love, Angels & Airwaves hasn't missed a single album even if you restrict it to tracks whose sole purpose is this trope!
  • Genesis and the opening 2 songs of the album Duke. Takes a couple of minutes for Behind The Lines to start the vocals, and a minute or so for Duchess to start.
    • Watcher of the Skies has a Mellotron(!) Epic Riff as an instrumental opener. Also, Firth of Fifth has a minute of elaborate piano instrumental before the lyrics start.
  • In addition to a somewhat lengthy intro, the extended mix of New Order's "Perfect Kiss" has a long instrumental coda, longer than the main song. "Blue Monday" and "True Faith (the morning sun extended mix)" also do this.
  • Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Murder Mix)", and "Turn Around and Count 2 Ten" to a lesser extent.
  • Orbital has several, including "Are We Here", "The Box" (the 28 minute version ends with a vocal reprise of the first part, the album version has a 6-minute lead-in track), and "Nothing Left"(also 2 tracks).
  • On Pearl Jam's Ten album, the first track, "Once", has a rather cacophonous instrumental opening, and the last track, "Release", ends with a 3-minute reprise of the album opener.
  • DJ Tiesto's "Forever Today" has a 3-minute orchestral intro.
  • Armin van Buuren's 76 album begins with an ambient intro track titled "Prodemium" that segues into "Precious". Later pieces by him with orchestral openings included "Hymne/Sail", "Miserere/Rush Hour", and "Desiderium 207 / Mirage"(in which case it's an epic One-Woman Wail vocal opener).
  • Efterklang's song Polygyne (at the start of the Parades album) has a minute or so of strings building the tension before the vocals start. Antitech on the relatively obscure Springer EP also has one that takes up more than half of the 7 minute track.
  • Deep Purple: "When a Blind Man Cries", when played with Steve Morse.
    • In terms of studio versions, "Speed King", "Lazy", and "April" (including an entire orchestral movement) fulfill this trope quite well.
  • Front Line Assembly; "Infra Red Combat" off their album Hard Wired has more than three minutes of instrumental intro.
  • 80's rock song "The Final Countdown" by Europe has such an epic one that one advert in the UK only used the opener and ran the length of the entire ad.
  • "One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head has a 1:50 orchestral intro.
  • The organ and spoken-word lyrics intro of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy".
  • Miyamoto Shunichi's "Caged Bird" (from DNAngel) has a near two-minute piano intro, and its gorgeous and utterly heartbreaking.
  • Jethro Tull brings us Locomotive Breath, whose opening could easily be another track in and of itself. Strangely, there are some people that associate the instrumental opener to this song with Slipstream, thinking that this part of Locomotive Breath is actually the end portion to Slipstream...
    • Decades hence, "Strange Avenues" provides a deliberate call-back — over half the song is a slow and melancholy yet entirely progressive instrumental. Once the lyrics begin, the titular Aqualung is almost immediately invoked: "The wino sleeps, cold coat lined in the money section, looking like a record cover from 1971."
  • This is a recurring aspect of Rush's longer songs:
    • "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1" both have about 5 minutes of music before the vocals come in.
    • "2112" opens with a 4-minute Overture.
    • "The Camera Eye" has about 3 and a half minutes of instrumentals at the beginning.
    • There is another Epic Overture to Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres.
  • "Remnants" from Disturbed's Asylum album, which is also the opener to the album's title track. It starts with a mournful acoustic segment, soft drumming and droning bass before the amplification comes in, after which it starts to take a few cues from classic Metallica. The song "Asylum" officially starts at 2:43, segueing into a guitar sustain and thundering bass along with the lead singer's Evil Laugh.
  • Inverted with the first track of Daft Punk's live album Alive 2007: it begins with two synthetic voices chanting "ROBOT" and "HUMAN" back and forth, faster and faster, eventually leading into the largely-instrumental "Robot Rock".
  • Iron Maiden has a few of those. For actual length, "Caught Somewhere in Time" (1 1/2 minutes) and "Face in the Sand" (nearly 2 minutes).
    • Iron Maiden has an upbeat instrumental track, "Transylvania", which segues into the vocal ballad "Strange World".
  • The Juno Reactor songs "Nitrogen", "Conquistador", and maybe others, are split into two tracks, with an ambient intro occupying the first track of each.
  • Tony McAlpine's "Empire in the Sky", from Edge of Insanity, has a minute-long electric piano intro track before the main song.
  • The Ominous Pipe Organ intro to the Magician's theme in House of the Dead 2. Unfortunately, the intro is cut short in-game.
  • The eponymous opening track of Rank 1's Symsonic album.
  • The two-part album version of BT's "Loving You More" has a 9-minute dub lead-in that segues into the vocal mix of the song.
  • Trance tracks usually have minute or longer length percussion intros to facilitate DJ mixing, but the original version of Underworld's "Born Slippy"(not NUXX) has a rather elaborate 3 minute breakbeat intro before the synth melody kicks in.
  • Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" launches directly into one of Jimmy Page's patented solos. Expect rocked-off eardrums from the get go.
    • In addition, the album Houses of the Holy begins with "The Song Remains the Same" which is primarily instrumental and only has a few lyrics near the end, playing this role for the entire album.
    • From the same album, we have "No Quarter"; Robert Plant's vocals don't come in until about 1:45 into the song.
    • "Your Time Is Gonna Come", from the self-titled début, has a minute-long organ intro, courtesy of John Paul Jones.
    • "In the Light" from Physical Graffiti has an instrumental intro, of about the same length as "No Quarter", consisting of Jimmy Page's bowed acoustic guitar and John Paul Jones' synthesiser solo.
  • David Bowie's "Station to Station", the lead-off track to the album of the same name, opens with the sound of a rushing train slowly travelling from the right speaker to the left, which takes a little over a minute. Then the musicians enter the fray with an instrumental intro that lasts a little over two minutes. (The total length of the song is 10 minutes, 14 seconds). In live performances, the train effect was approximated by the band. On the same album, the instrumental opening of "Stay" lasts over a minute.
  • Supergrass' "Tales of Endurance Parts 4,5, and 6," the opening track to their superb Road to Rouen. Presumably, the intro is Part 4.
  • "Sacred Worlds", the opener to the Blind Guardian album At The Edge of Time, has a minute-and-a-half of instrumental build-up before the guitars kick-in. The song is even Book Ended by another instrumental section leading it out.
  • Both albums by The Stone Roses had opening songs with long instrumental intoductions: "I Wanna Be Adored" (lasting 1:47 out of a total running time of 4:52) and "Breaking Into Heaven" (lasting 4:37 out of a total running time of 11:37).
  • "Armageddon" by Prism has both an Epic Instrumental Opener and an Epic Instrumental Closer (both of which, sadly, are often cut for mainstream airplay).
  • "Manwhole/Icebreaker" by Skinny Puppy, on the 1993 CD version of Remission. The 2001 remaster jarringly ends "Manwhole" and cuts to the Bites version of "Icebreaker".
  • Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" is typically opened in live performances with an extended Buck Dharma guitar solo. Their live album "A Long Day's Night" contains about a thirty-second snippet; in concert the intro can run almost as long as the song itself.
  • Yo La Tengo's "Blue Line Swinger" spends the first five minutes building from a slow organ riff to full-tilt Power Pop.
  • "Gas In Veins" by Amesouers.
  • The Body's A Body slightly turns the tables by starting with seven minutes of an angelic choir practicing (and nothing more)... before dropping into some hellish three minutes of sludge metal.
  • "The Walls of Babylon" by Symphony X. The lyrics start 3 and a half minutes in, the song is 8 minutes long.
  • Inverted on "Milliontown" by Frost*. The song is 26 and a half minutes long, but the intro is less than a minute long. However, the lyrics stop near the 18 minute mark, giving us an ending instrumental section close to 9 minutes. And it is awesome.
  • Most operas and musicals open with an instrumental overture (French for "opening") which generally introduces one or more of the themes of the work. The curtain is generally not raised until the end of the overture.
  • Some older movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia, feature overtures set to blank screens, mirroring a lowered curtain. The opening credits sequence of a more recent movie may resemble an overture, with visuals restricted to the credits themselves or general establishing shots.
  • A concerto, written for a featured instrument with a larger ensemble (such as violin and orchestra), often opens with the first theme introduced by the ensemble while the soloist waits. When the soloist enters, it is often to end the first theme and introduce another. Depending on the overall scale of the piece, the soloist might sit by for several minutes; as time went on and pieces, in general, grew longer, an audience member might be forgiven for wondering whether the soloist was ever going to play. On the other hand, many composers, particularly during the later Romantic era, chose to open with a dramatic statement by the soloist, possibly as a deliberate subversion of the traditional approach.note 
    • Tchaikovsky played this trope straight in his first piano concerto. Although the first few bars are in the concerto's home key of B-flat minor, when the piano makes its entrance the key switches to D-flat major (relative major of B-flat minor) as the orchestra plays an expanded version of the melody from the opening bars. After three or four minutes, the key shifts back to B-flat minor (and the time signature changes from 3/4 to 4/4), and the theme from the introduction is never heard again. In spite of this, the introductory theme is by far the most famous passage from the entire concerto.
  • Many symphonies, especially during the Romantic era, prefaced the so-called exposition with an introduction on a totally different theme. These introductions were often slower than the rest of the movement. Depending on the work, the introduction theme may return in the development, in another movement of the symphony, or not at all. Examples:
    • The first movement of Tchaikovsky's fourth symphony begins with a dark fanfare that starts in the brass and spreads to the whole orchestra. Almost as soon as it begins, it fades away into near silence before the first theme begins. The introductory theme comes back in the development of the first movement. Much later, it returns once more in the development of the final movement.
    • Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony begins with a a slow, funereal introduction in a minor key. After two and a half minutes, the introduction fades out to be replaced by the quicker "real" first theme. It's left alone for the better part of twenty minutes before making a two brief, distorted appearances in the second movement. Then it's brought up again at the very end of the third movement, Lighter and Softer. The last movement opens with the theme again, this time majestically in major. After Tchaikovsky spends three minutes convincing the listener that this is definitely, truly, for real the genuine theme of the movement, it's yanked yet again in favor of a completely different set of themes, which even get their own decoy ending before the original theme comes back triumphantly to end the symphony.
    • Rachmaninov's second symphony opens with a slow, four-minute introduction, featuring two themes based on scalar motion. The rest of the first movement is based around a faster version of these themes, which also recur (often as accompanying motifs, sometimes as featured melodies) throughout the third and fourth movements.
    • Dvorak's ninth symphonynote , the "New World" symphony, opens with a slow introduction in first the lower strings, then the upper woodwinds. Then, the whole orchestra enters as the tempo suddenly increases, before subsiding again, then building once more as the main theme for the first movement begins to take shape. The first movement "proper" finally begins after about two minutes, based on the theme from the end of the introduction. It appears again during a climax in the middle of the second movement, as a transitory figure before the "trio" section and then again in the coda in the third movement, and once again in the coda of the finale (first as part of a whirlwind of themes from across all four movements, then as an accompanying figure just before the final bars).
  • Happens a few times on Julia Ecklar's album Divine Intervention, two of which are separate tracks ('Overture' to 'Ladyhawke', and 'Apocalypse' to "Survivor's Song"), one of which is just inline ('Temper of Revenge').
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix is surely one of the most epic cases. Hendrix redid his own song Voodoo Chile to put an epic opening and epic closing, and it is by far the most memorable part of the song.
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks has such an epic opener in the penultimate track ("Keeping Warm") of their debut album These Four Walls; it takes up 4:22 out of about eight minutes!
  • "Threnody" by SebastiAn may hold the record for the largest intro-to-song ratio in music history. Behold!
  • The first half of Sigue Sigue Sputnik's Albinoni Vs. Star Wars is a synthesized remake of Albinoni/Giazotto's Adagio in G Minor, and had its own extended mix.
  • "All of the Lights" by Kanye West has an orchestral opening that is epic.
  • "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits has an intro that's 2:05 long (featuring guest vocals by Sting singing "I want my MTV" to the tune from the chorus of The Police's 1980 hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me").
  • Most of Everything Else's first album is an example.
  • "On Air=>Space and Time" and "Goodbye 21st Century=>Streamline" from VNV Nation's Automatic. Transnational opens with the Siamese Twin Songs "Generator=>Everything".
  • The intro to Dethklok's "Detharmonic" is an example.
    • As well as any song from a season finale; "Go Into the Water", "Black Fire Upon Us", and "The Galaxy" all have openings that are over a minute. "Volcano", "Rejoin", and to an extent "I Ejaculate Fire" and "Starved" also count.
  • The intro track "Prologue: Earthrise" on Genki Rockets' Heavenly Star album is a prelude to the title track, although it doesn't directly precede it track-wise, segue-ing to "Breeze" instead. The game Child of Eden somewhat inverts this by making it the last song of Archive 5 before the credits sequence, after two remixes of "Heavenly Star".
  • Gino Vannelli’s “Pauper in Paradise Suite” takes this to a ridiculous extreme. His brief two verses of vocals begin fourteen minutes and eleven seconds into a 16-minute piece!
  • Delta Goodrem's Believe Again features an 42 second symphonic beginning and even longer ending (50 seconds).
    • Extraordinary Day also features a 30 second introduction.
  • Kamelot takes way over a minute to set the scene for their song "Seal of Woven Years".
  • There exist concert recordings of Tom Petty's "Breakdown" where the instrumental opening is longer than the original studio track.
  • Dreampop group Northern Picture Library's "Catholic Easter Colours". The vocals don't start until more than four minutes into the seven minute track, but that's only the half of it - the track is the third of a three-track segued sequence which between them extend the build-up to nearly nine minutes.
  • The infamous sequence using BT 4's arrangement of "All Along The Watchtower" from the third season finale of the remade Battlestar Galactica has a rather epic musical lead-in to the dramatic reveal before the song itself starts, using the general sound of the song and aided by the events of the episode going on at the time. On the soundtrack, this was made a second track right before Watchtower, entitled "Heeding The Call".
  • "Call For The Priest" by Judas Priest opens with a minute or so long hymn-styled sequence called "Let Us Prey", which later makes an appearance in the middle of the track.
    • Screaming for Vengeance starts with "The Hellion", which builds into "The Electric Eye".
    • Likewise, "Nostradamus" opens with "Dawn of Creation", which builds into "Prophecy".
    • "One Shot At Glory", the last song on Painkiller, has "Battle Hymms" as a build-up.
  • Keoki's Ego Trip album uses the intro of the extended version of "Majick" as an album intro and lead-in to "Madness".
  • The vocals for Versailles' "Faith & Decision" begin seven minutes into the sixteen-and-a-half-minute-long song.
  • Most of Dragonforce's songs have these (and, by extension, many metal bands). It's typical for the vocals to come in thirty to one hundred and twenty seconds into the song.
  • While AC/DC does not always use this trope, it appears in several songs such as "Hells Bells" (one minute and a half in of a 5 minute song), "The Razors Edge" (a minute and a half in for the main vocals, with some undertone used after around 45 seconds), "Walk All Over You" (at 1:15 in), and "For Those About to Rock" (at 45 seconds). It is worth noting that their songs usually averages between 3 and 5 minutes long.
  • Michael Jackson's Dangerous has this in a few tracks, such as "Black and White" (with a mostly spoken intro featuring Slash's guitar, translated into a comedic segment with Macaulay Culkin in the video) and "Will You Be There" (a chant taken from Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth) - which are thankfully shortened on the singles and compilations.
  • Porcupine Tree does this several times an album, every album. Steven Wilson's solo records do the same thing.
  • "Don't Stand So Close To Me"' by The Police has a slow, droning buildup.
  • "Bloody Well Right" by Supertramp starts with a jazzy electric piano solo section, followed with (as the band comes in) a slinky wah-wah guitar solo, then a short saxophone melody.
  • "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath has a fairly lengthy dirge of an intro, featuring an air-raid siren.
    • "Fairies Wear Boots" and "Into the Void" both have intros that run for a minute and a half. Both have their own names, "Jack the Stripper" and "Death Mask," though they aren't always listed. And if you count "Bassically" as part of N.I.B. it takes almost a minute for the vocals to come in.
  • Joy Electric's "The White Songbook". A full three minutes of the four-minute song are devoted to constructing a dense wall of synthesizers.
  • Reversed on Simple Minds' "Street Fighting Years" album, where the last song is a powerful instrumental bagpipe tune.
  • Two of Foals' oldest songs contain lengthy intros. Try This on Your Piano has 42 seconds of intro, while Look at My Furrows of Worry takes 1:39 to kick in with vocals
  • Several songs by Theocracy feature long introductory instrumental sections. I AM, for example, doesn't have vocals until 1:46 and Laying the Demon to Rest is instrumental until 1:35. The Healing Hand lasts 73 seconds without vocals. Naturally, all of these songs are longer than 9 minutes.
  • Thousand Foot Krutch has a couple. Already Home starts with an intro of 44 seconds and the Welcome to the Masquerade album starts with an instrumental track called "The Invitation", 59 seconds, that is basically the intro to the title track.
  • The Cure's "Fascination Street" has a 2:23 intro (out of a total time of 5:16).
    • A vast number of Cure songs boast long intros, invariably combined with Epic Rocking. Almost every album has at least one.
  • The opening track of The Crüxshadows' Ethernaut, "Into the Ether"(which has wordless vocals), is this to "Cassandra", which in turn segues to "Love and Hatred".
  • Psyborg Corp's The Mechanical Renaissance begins with "Lullaby(Blessed By Plutonium)", which leads into "Technocracy".
  • During their farewell tour, the traditional Swedish House Mafia Grand Finale song "Save the World" had an extended, almost minute-long piano intro.
  • "Ghost of Stephen Foster", by the Squrrel Nut Zippers, is a fast-paced piece of klezmer music... but first you need to sit through a minute-long opening somber violin section, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of the track.
  • A fair amount of Phish tracks do this, such as "You Enjoy Myself", "Run Like an Antelope", and "Seven Below".
  • Sigur Rós do this a lot as part of their Epic Rocking. Of particular note, when "Ny Batteri" was released as a single, they added a five-minute build-up as track one, segueing into the original song on track two.
  • Slayer: Darkness of Christ off of God Hates us all
  • The Passing by Lamb of God
  • A good number of song remixes basically have very long introductions, some of them to the point where there's very little or no lyrical content at all, with the latter becoming glorified instrumentals.
  • The synthesized calliope that opens Styx's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)."
  • In a Classical music example, the aria "Martern Aller Arten" from Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio has almost two minutes of fanfare and concertante-style orchestral solos before Konstanze starts singing.
  • On their self-titled and only album, and the B-side of C-c-can't You See?, Vicious Pink's "8:15 to Nowhere", also released as a stand-alone single, is a prelude to "Great Balls of Fire"(yes, that one), making them Siamese Twin Songs.
  • Clan of Xymox's "Stranger" has a 5-minute warmup before the vocals kick in, and those only last for a single stanza. The Matters of Mind Body, and Soul album has the 7-minute overture "Once in a Blue Moon" leading into "She's Falling in Love", and on a smaller scale, "Hector 00-00"->"I Close My Eyes".
  • "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock Of Seagulls has a 1:34 long opening sequence.
  • Interface's "Ignition", the album intro track of A Perfect World, segues to "It Begins Today". From the same album, "Searching(Through Empty Spaces}" is an instrumental prelude to "Everyone Listening".
  • Maroon 5's "Secret" opens with about 50 seconds of ambient noises, and then finally starts about 1:35 in.
  • MatthewGood's song Champions of Nothing (off the album Hospital Music) starts with an instrumental that lasts for 3 minutes, full of looping sounds and repeating riffs, and then launches into a bridge rather than a verse.
  • Suicide Commando's When Evil Speaks opens with "Feeding My Inner Hate" leading into "Cut, Bleed, Eviscerate".
  • The intro to KISS' "Rock Bottom" from Dressed To Kill, which lasts 1 minute 57 seconds.
  • Infusion's "Daylight Hours" has a very peaceful ambient/electronic buildup that lasts several minutes, about two minutes of lyrics, and then a long instrumental tail to cap it off.

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