THE 13 BEST PUNK ROCK INTROS OF ALL TIME
PUBLISHED 03 September 2017
When your tunes are habitually under two minutes long - you've got to make a good first impression. The most important part of the Punk Rock song is the introduction. The introduction sets the tone for the song, tells a story before the story & then creates a precipice from which the audience hurls itself into the maelstrom of the chaos of Punk Rock. Lets find out what the best Punk Rock intros are ever!
13. The Exploited - Jimmy Boyle
I could easily just populate this list with Exploited intros - but I'm not going to. That said - Danny Heatley is a cracking drummer & the way the rhythm section sounds on these early Exploited records is fantastic.
12. New York Dolls - Looking For A Kiss
Start your tune off with an homage to Punk's teen trash roots by quoting the Shangri-Las & then bust into your caricature of the Rolling Stones & you got Punk Rock so influential KISS names themself after your song, there is no Sex Pistols without you & there is no Punk Rock without the fucking New York Dolls! L-U-V.
11. D.I. - Richard Hung Himself
The introduction to Richard Hung Himself is so short - it's almost non-seglitar - BUT - not only did D.I. get this song immortalized in Penelope Spheeris' "Suburbia" - this intro evokes early LA Punk's Surf - Death Rock (just to name a few) sound perfectly.
10. Chaos UK - No Security
It's weird to think about how the use of "tribal drumming" was one of Malcolm McLaren's ideas that he sold to Adam & the Ants who then handed it off to Bow Wow Wow - but in the meantime - it caught on in UK82 Punk & early Death Rock as found here in Chaos UK's masterpiece "No Security". Simon Greenham's opening yell is one of the best crowd movers of all time.
9. Rudimentary Peni - Media Person
Opening up your tune with a hyper aggro bass-line & then your guitarist clicking his infernal machine into the on position unleashing an uncontrollable amount of feedback makes Media Person feel like a pack of electric dogs being poured out of a garbage can.
8. The Germs - Richie Dagger's Crime
The Germs are disturbingly good most of the time (on record) & their song introductions are even better. Dig the beginning of Richie Dagger's Crime - dagger swagger & that crunchy guitar - holy moly. I'm pretty sure that Pat Smear is the guy behind the tunes - but I'm not totally sure how the Germs wrote songs. Either way - handle this.
7. Conflict - Conflict
As a kid I viewed Conflict as the sequel to CRASS - as CRASS was a reaction to 77 Punk - Conflict was a reaction to UK82 Hardcore Punk - trying to apply the Peace Punk ethos to the increasingly aggressive, yobbish & dunderheaded 2nd Wave of Punks (I'm absolutely not dissing - I love UK82 - but one must call a spade a spade!). Conflict introduce the concept of yelling your band name as the introduction of a song - CONFLICT!!!! Look - if you can say the name of your band in your song & especially as the rallying cry - just fucking do it.
6. The Stooges - No Fun
Even though this street-corner, laid-back Punk Rock gangster clap intro ends up being the entire song - No Fun's clapping intro is the best even though it's #6 on this list. What's a number to a Punk you dummies?
5. Black Flag - Rise Above
Hardcore took the menace of Proto & 77 Punk Rock's introductions & doubled it - adding a pile of powdered violent tension. Black Flag were some of the best at this - & Rise Above is their best intro. Listen.
4. The Partisans - Police Story
English Street Punk begins to add this Vaudeville/Music Hall quality to its tunes & this introduction to the Partisan's "Police Story" is a total caricature of this & this stupid little guitar lick says so much - dunnit?
3. The Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia
While the Dead Kennedys were part of the big, crazy stew of early Punk bands - their sound is better understood as theatrical Sinister Surf Rock & their tunes, musicianship & lyrics are heads & tails above almost every Punk band ever - while staying a Punk Rock group for their entire existence. Jello Biafra has always struck me as a Bat Man villain who decided that we was a good guy for some reason. Anyhow - who can best Holiday In Cambodia for intros? This is #3 so two must be better!
2. Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy
The Ramones claim to have wanted to be as big as the Beatles or KISS - & in an America that is honest with itself - Teenage Lobotomy would have been right next to the National Anthem in songs we revere & relate to. But being truthful about what we are in this country is not the national deal & so the Ramones & their caricature of American inner-city Rocker life was a little TOO REAL for most people. That said - Punk Rock is this - the drum beat that we learn how to play the drums on & the chant. LOBOTOMY. LOBOTOMY. LOBOTOMY. The bass kicks in - the riff hits. NOW I AM A REAL SICKIE.
1. Sex Pistols - Holidays In The Sun
If you go back to the roots of it all - CBGBs owner Hilly Kristal defined Punk Rock as "Street Rock" & the Sex Pistols - as the first "Punk" band & a Punk boutique band designed to sell pants are the entirity of the thing - the boots on the street, Punk as street performance, Punk as art product, Punk as great Rock&Roll - Punk as amorphous agit-prop to light the kids on fire, to become the boots on the street, to go over the Berlin Wall - please don't be waiting for me!