Friday, April 2, 2010

You Had Me @ Hello

(Answers are now posted in the comments section, along with YouTube links--thanks for playing along).

There are some songs that just make you smile with the opening riff.  It reminds me of the funeral scene in the movie THE BIG CHILL where an old college friend of the deceased goes up to the organ in the church to play one of the dead man's favorite songs, The Stones’  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” 

As she plays the first few notes all the other friends start to smile to themselves and glance at one another.  You can tell countless shared memories are coming instantly to each of them.  In that moment they all seem to reconnect even though they’ve been separated for years.  (As an aside, the corpse is played by a young Kevin Costner, though you never see his face--all his other scenes were cut from the movie.  I shall refrain from editorializing.)

Some songs just grab you from the start.  I’ve posted six easy openers here.  Can you name the songs?  Also, tell me what other songs’ opening riffs make you smile?  What's the most recognizable opener you can think of?


  1. Well I wasn't quite around for JFK, but I thought I'd give it a try!

    I know the first one is by Cream because it's been used in some of my favorite movies so that made me smile.

    The second one I used to listen to so I know it's Day Tripper by the Beatles

    Don't know the third.

    Number four is definitely Pretty Woman (also my biggest smile).

    Darn! I know number five but I can't think of the name!

    Fun stuff Brenda! Keep 'em coming!

  2. JA--you're just an old soul. Three out of five for a "youngun" like you is pretty doggone good! Glad the songs have transcended the generations. Thanks for playing.

  3. Three is Credence Clear Water Revival, I think. Five sounds like Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water."

    Openings riffs that come immediately to mind that make me smile:

    Opening riff "Look After You" by The Fray

    Opening riff of Case of You by Joni Mitchell

    Opening riff of I Thought I Lost You by Miley Cyrus

    The opening piano chord of "All for the Best" from Godspell.

    The opening piano chord of "Lush Life" from Johnny Hartman/John Coltrane.

    Guitar riff "Who's Leaving Who" by Marry Me Jane (obscure)

    Opening riff of "Hablemos El Mismo Idioma" by Gloria Estefan, Moondance by Bobby McFerrin.

    Then you have a different category of songs that start with words. Three come immediately to mind:

    American Pie, Don McLean.
    Too Young to Go Steady, Karrin Allyson.
    Idiot Wind, Dylan.

  4. 3 is definitely "Up Around the Bend" by CCR.

  5. Actually I'm AJ :). I'm sure JA would know more of them!

    I'm going to have to change name though, maybe Little Andy would be easier...

  6. Andy, I KNEW that, how did I get it backwards? At least we don't have four generations like the Eugenes in the other branch of the fam!

  7. Hmmmm. Even more proof that there is a split between generations that began around 1946 and earlier--I guess it is for certain that I'm not a Boomer. I would have recognized anything from Hair though!

  8. One of my favorite opening riffs is from Layla, the non acoustic version. Also Born to Run. And i love that scene in The Big Chill, Brenda. A perfect example of showing instead of telling.

  9. I knew them all except the last one--what is it?
    One of my favorite opening riffs is the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City." Okay, so I'm a dork! It so evokes a summer I spent in Florida when I was 15...

  10. Sarah,
    In that case we're both dorks. I love "Summer in the City." The last one is "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple.

    Imagine that, you liking "Born to Run"...happens to be by a Jersey boy, right?

  11. “Sunshine of Your Love”

    “Day Tripper”

    “Up Around the Bend”
    Creedence Clearwater Revival

    “Pretty Woman”
    Roy Orbison

    “Smoke on the Water”
    Deep Purple