Songs I want to enter a room to
True story here: It’s the year 2000 and in my screenwriting class at The Towson University our teacher puts on Sergio Leone’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” as sort of a background noise while we do a screenwriting group exercise.
One of my classmates is running late. We get to the opening credit’s scene with the movie’s famous theme song. Our friend running late just then arrives and stands in the doorway. He pauses as the music reaches its crescendo before walking in.
The teacher had noticed him standing in the doorway before coming in and gives him a look like, “What are you doing?” Classmate says, “Sorry, I always wanted to enter a room to that music.”
I bring that story up because yesterday, Bill Simmons wrote a cool piece on Grantland about pro wrestler entrance music. Now me, I love wrestling entrances. What boy raised on pro wrestling, such as I, doesn’t want to enter places with loud music and pyro going off as you strike absurd poses and play to a crowd?
Simmons’ column got me thinking about that classmate in college. I felt compelled to put together this short list of songs I’d want to enter a room to.
“The Ecstasy of Gold” - Ennio Morricone
This is the “other” well-known piece from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” used during the scene when Eli Wallach arrives at the cemetery where the gold he and Clint Eastwood have been searching for all movie is.
The song has been used as Metallica’s stage entrance music for years and David Fincher used it in a Nike commercial he made a few years ago featuring LaDanian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu.
The song just has this regal kind of air to it. It starts with that slow piano intro and then just builds and builds and builds. It’s as explosive as any rock song.
You just want to walk into a room while this song is playing, stop and just soak everything in. Like you’re the coolest person alive.
Thankfully, I’ll be able to scratch this one off my bucket list when we have our wedding party. My very understanding spouse is willing to indulge me in allowing us to make our entrance to this song.
“Break Down The Walls (Chris Jericho theme)” – Jim Johnston
Another one that has been a theme song for someone, this was Simmons’ pick for best wrestler entrance song and I’m not inclined to disagree with him.
Call me a dork, but I’ve always wanted to have this song play, then step into a doorway and then do Jericho’s “back turned-arms outstretched” pose. Preferably while a pyrotechnician is nearby to get the feel of the real thing.
“Raining Blood” – Slayer
Slayer has made so many songs that sound evil, but “Raining Blood” is the ultimate in evil-sounding music. And I don’t mean in a goofy, comic book, Glenn Danzig-style evil either. I mean full on, hell-on-earth kind of evil.
The intro to “Raining Blood” is what makes the song. First the sound of rain pouring down, then Dave Lombardo hits the toms (dum-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum) and then the main riff kicks in and all the sudden you’ve been transported into hell or something. Even in concert, Slayer has a hard time making the intro sound as cool as it does on the album.
I wondered if somehow I could rig it so I’m entering a room, the lights go out, the intro to “Raining Blood” kicks in and when the main riff starts, up go the lights and there I am.
As an aside, if you’re able to find it, check out Tori Amos’ cover of this song. If you’re familiar with Slayer’s version, you won’t even recognize it when Amos turns it into a soft piano ballad. Even the guys from Slayer couldn’t recognize it until she got to the end.
“Pulse of the Maggots” – Slipknot
Why this wasn’t the first song from Slipknot’s excellent album “Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses” I don’t know. Like any good room-entering song, it has a great intro, in this case an air raid siren. For some reason, I find the sound of an air raid siren cool, as long as, you know, I’m not involved in an actual air raid.
The air raid siren on “Pulse of the Maggots” is combined with the sound of boots stomping on the ground and singer Corey Taylor screaming like a deranged dictator about how “the test subjects are running the experiment” (the song is about Slipknot’s fans) before the band comes in.
This is a song that pretty much begs to be played loud. It doesn’t work any other way. Personally, I think it would be a tremendous intro song for a pro sports team to use before they take the field. Alas, because Slipknot isn’t exactly family friendly (and a song called “Pulse of the Maggots” doesn’t raise the most pleasant image) it will never happen.
“Blood Fire War Hate” – Soulfly
Like the others here, this one has an awesome beginning: a propulsive tribal rhythm with the repeated chanting of the title, then the preliminary riff before it turns into a thrash assault.
I played this in my hockey locker room before a game. I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I was ready to run through a wall after hearing it. The song’s about five minutes long, and is worth going through to the end for the outro.
I debated between this one and another Soulfly song, “Bring It,” but this one is more majestic and epic sounding. You can enter a room and pose like Captain Morgan while this song is going and not look silly.