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Even though they're always flawed, these kinds of lists make great fodder. I took a look through it and found some songs I'd forgotten about that have great opening riffs... like "Barracuda" by Heart (I'm not a big Heart fan, but that's great) and "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy (I'd have ranked that one higher). 

The writer has the Stones' "Beast of Burden" in a sort of honorable mention but I'd have had that high in my 50 greatest. And he purposely omitted "Start Me Up" because it's too obvious. Well, if it's too obvious, it should be in the Top 10!

Also, any of us here would demand Raspberries' "Tonight" be on the list, not far from "GATW."

And... the writer totally ignored ELO. I'd have put "Ma-Ma Belle" very, very high on my list. And... if not for the opening Beethoven strings they used on "Roll Over Beethoven," Jeff Lynne's opening riff on that one might just top such a list.


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Fun thread, fun list, massive omissions:

"Mama-Belle", ELO
"Working Man", RUSH
"Ecstacy", Raspberries - better opening riff than GATW imho
"Grow some funk of your own", Elton John


Other omissions:

"Fool For the City", Foghat
"Welcome to the Jungle", Guns & Roses
"When the whip comes down", Rolling Stones

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One more I´d put on my list:

"Tryin", Eagles.....they rocked a lot more on their early albums than most of us give them credit for. This was probably my fave from their 1st album. I´m surprised this one wasn´t a flagship opening number for their shows, at least in their first few years. 

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When you look at ANY list, the first thing you will always take note of is "Does it seem like the person making the list has a similar taste in music liking?". If the answer is YES, then I become intrigued, especially by stuff on the list that I'm unfamiliar with. It usually leads me to doing some digging.

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I gave this answer to a query on Facebook about the limiter used on the intro to "Go All The Way":

Ken Sharp and I spoke to Raspberries engineer Shelly Yakus, who told us:

"There was a new piece of equipment at the Record Plant, a Roger Mayer limiter. What it did was compress the sound of whatever you fed into it, changing its sound to something completely different. They tried this limiter over and over on artist after artist and every time they tried it, no result close to acceptable was generated.

"We nicknamed it ‘Oscar Meyer,’ because you put music in one end, and it was so brutal in changing the sound, that we used to say we got hot dogs out the other end. The sound of the limiter was so violent that we couldn’t find anything we could use it on. So when ‘Go All The Way’ didn’t work and they were going to take it off the album, I told Jimmy [Ienner], ‘You know we’ve got this very, very exciting limiter.

"It doesn’t work on many things, but I have a feeling it’ll work on this song.’ I put ‘Go All The Way’ through the limiter and it came alive—like what you heard on the radio. Jimmy and I looked at each other and said, ‘Man, this thing sounds like a #1 record!’

"‘Go All The Way’ went from not being on the album to a hit by passing it through that limiter. The limiter had settings on it from one through ten, so if you needed eight and a half, you couldn’t get it, and that was the problem with it. Most music needed a number in between the pre-set numbers to make it work. Well, ‘Go All The Way’ happened to be the same tempo as the attack and release of the limiter. Because the limiter wouldn’t work for any other song, we sent it back to the factory to modify it so that we’d have more control. When the limiter came back, it never made the same sound.”

—from "Eric Carmen: Marathon Man"

Then I did a quick search on the limiter to see if I could find a photo of one that seemed like it could be the model used on GATW...and lo and behold, I found the holy grail...what might be the ACTUAL limiter used at the Record Plant to being the intro to "Go All The Way" to life.

This looks to be the actual component: 



The description says it's from Studio A, and Raspberries recorded in Studio B, so I guess they lugged it over at Shelly's suggestion. Anyway, check out the photos. You can clearly see the switches match up with Shelly's description of ONLY having settings from one to ten. Pretty incredible piece of recording history. Should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to the listing, it sold for $13,470 five years ago...so maybe the buyer had an idea just how special this piece of equipment was!


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I'm not a "list" reader, but I did look to see if two of my favorite songs with  unusual beginnings were mentioned, and they were.

I Feel Fine by the Beatles and Sweet Jane by the Velvets



Oh, that secret chord...

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