Great songs hook you quickly, and reel you in. This is nicely illustrated by Guitar World’s The 20 Best Guitar Intro’s of All Time.
Day Tripper, Sunshine Of Your Love, Smoke On The Water, Heartbreaker, You Really Got Me … Hendrix, Van Halen, Chuck Berry, Hetfield, Keef … Some of the best riffs of all time courtesy the greatest riff-meisters of all time.
Most great songs have a ‘hook,’ something that grabs you, catches your attention, somehow makes you feel like you already know the song even when you’re hearing it for the first time. Sometimes that hook is a riff, but not always. Sometimes the hook doesn’t show up until part way through the song. But looking at GW’s list, I’d have to say the winning formula has got to be to snag ‘em right away.