I had given it up as a lost art, much like another forgotten victim of commercialism in the world of entertainment. First it was advertising time that led to the disappearance of TV shows with catchy theme songs, such as classics like The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island or even less ancient series like Full House or Friends.
Then apparently came the almost complete disappearance of songs with spoken word intros, which once were staples of popular music. Part of the charm that endures from Sixties groups like the Kingston Trio is the witty introductions to songs like “M.T.A.” or even the serious preludes to ballads such as “Tom Dooley.”
Fortunately, a popular artist released an album in 2017, whose first song provides a spoken introduction. Tat track head the following list of ten such songs that begin with speech rather than vocals.
Mirage by Toro Y Moi
Chaz Bundick opens 2017’s Boo Boo disc with this track, which begins with him saying, “I just want everybody to have a good time, I really do.”
Andy Warhol by David Bowie
Hunky Dory features this ode to the eccentric artist, beginning with Bowie trying various pronunciations of the name in the title.
Love Me I’m A Liberal by Phil Ochs
“Every American community has various shades of political commentary,” protest singer Ochs says in the intro to this classic. “The shadiest of these is the liberals, twenty five degrees left of center when times are good, but twenty five degrees to the right of center when it affects them personally.”
Ballroom Blitz by the Sweet
Lead singer Brian Connelly starts off this stadium favorite by addressing his fellow band members, asking “Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick? All right, fellas, let’s go!”
The Cover of the Rolling Stone by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
You can hear the guys in the band discussing their reaction to making the front page, saying “Ah, I don’t believe it, ha ha, just look, don’t touch it, man.”
While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles
As “Bungalow Bill” fades out, its successor on the White Album starts out with George Harrison yelling “Hey all!” before the unforgettable piano joins with Eric Clapton’s slow hand on the strings.
One of My Turns by Pink Floyd
Toni Tennille speaks at the beginning of this highlight from The Wall, as she asks the troubled main character questions like “Are all these your guitars?” and “Do you want to take a bath?”
Daydream Believer by the Monkees
After Davy Jones asks his pals which track is on tap, all three reply that it is seven-A. He then tells them tat they are picking on him because he is short.
Steven by Alice Cooper
Using the voice of the boy on the Welcome To My Nightmare album, Cooper says “I don’t want you to leave” to open this track.
Leader of the Pack by the Shangri-Las
Two girls discuss a third who seems to be seeing someone named Jimmie, asking one another “Is she really going out with him?” The third girl then admits that, yes, she has fallen for the biker in the title.