You may have already seen our Loud Lists of the 15 Greatest Drum Intros and the 15 Greatest Bass Intros of all time, so now we’re rounding out the lesser-utilized instruments to kick off a classic track with the 15 Greatest Vocal Intros of All Time.
Is there any intro in the history of music more iconic than Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The multi-part vocal harmony was so ahead of its time, there was no technological way to replicate it live during Freddie Mercury’s lifetime. Though Mercury would begin his magnum opus with its piano part in concert, fans always missed “Is this the real life?” which is instantly recognizable to anyone on this planet.
Few bands had bigger cojones than Led Zeppelin, and in “Black Dog,” Robert Plant delivers a legendary vocal lead that still leaves historians baffled on how something could rock so hard. Inspired by his blues heroes, Plant’s delivery of “Hey, hey mama, said the way you move / Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove,” is page one of the Zeppelin encyclopedia. Jimmy’s Page’s walking guitar lick may be the song’s explosion, but Plant’s intro is the spark.
As for 2010s metal, it’s tough to find a better song intro than Ghost’s “Year Zero.” The track that supercharged Ghost’s ascension to the top begins with the harmonic chant of the names of six demon names: Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer. Always sneaking religious context past your doorstep, Ghost made some of these lesser-known names household for metalheads, who chant them with glee at every gig.
Check out our picks for the 15 Greatest Vocal Intros of All Time in the Loud List above.