The 40 Greatest Opening Lines In Music History

  • 4647496891_b498779d22_o

  • Prince_Crazy

  • Beck

  • 8-Rocket-D

  • nirvana-in-utero

  • smokey_1

  • 85354782_10

  • black-album

  • janis-joplin-me-and-bobby-mcgee-cbs-4

  • the-smiths-heaven-knows-im-miserable-now-1984

  • 1308242211906789

  • 2402r

  • lola_thekinks-single-cover-1970

  • the-bee-gees-stayin-alive-rso-3

  • bob-dylan-blonde_on_blonde

  • 74709391_10

  • 109366497_10

  • 114788104

  • 115015826-2

  • Amy-Winehouse-Back-to-Black

  • bo-diddley-who-do-you-love-cd

  • Eminem

  • bruce-springsteen-tunnel-of-love

  • God-Only-Knows

  • 74301980_10

  • rubber_soul

  • 1022233203

  • There-goes

  • the-who-my-generation-festival

  • Kinky

  • jimi-hendrix_hey-joe-red_f

  • welcome_1

  • tumblr_m8af60tbeu1ro7d5ao1_1280

  • the_righteous_brothers

  • 23725-queen-bohemian-rhapsody

  • led-zeppelini

  • NineInchNailsHurt

  • L.L

  • sex-pistols-anarchy-in-the-uk-viirgin

  • 45-You’re-Breaking-My-Heart-MEX-front

As we discussed earlier this week, first impressions are crucial…even in music! Like a well-written story, a good song always has a killer line to hook you in, set the mood, and get your imagination going. Some are funny, others are sad, some are mysterious, and then there are those that are straight up sexy. Whatever the case, a fantastic opening lyric is sometimes all you need to make a track unforgettable.

From classic tunes by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, to modern dance-electronica like LCD Soundsystem and rap champs Jay Z and Eminem, music makers know to never underestimate the power of a great opener. Those lines seduce our ears and keep us around for more! So now it’s time to forget the music and just listen to the WORDS, man! Head up to the gallery above to see forty of our all-time favorite opening lines in music history. Enjoy!

[Photo: Getty Images/Elektra]

VH1 Music Editor + Seltzer Enthusiast