What does the beginning of "I Will Never Let You Down" sound like?
October 12, 2015 3:04 PM   Subscribe

The first 15 seconds of Rita Ora's "I Will Never Let You Down" is so frustratingly familiar. Do you know what it's reminding me of?

For the past 18 months, I've been trying to figure it out. The first time I heard the beginning of the song, I instantly "knew" it was a song I hadn't heard in years, but just as I felt like I was about to remember which one, the lyrics started, and I was SO confused.

Then I thought it must sample something, so I'll just google it and figure it out. No success there. I've gone through weeks and months of listening to it A LOT, trying to figure it out, then taking long breaks & revisiting it. I think it's too late; now I can only hear the Rita Ora song.

Here's what I know: it's not reminding me of Starships, anything by Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Sweet Nothing by Florence Welch. (internet ideas)

I think it's something from the mid- to late-90s. Something indie and a bit twee - I don't think it was anything that got a lot (or any?) radio airplay, but it's possible. Any ideas?
posted by peep to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The late 60s instead of 90s, but reminds me of the beginning of "Wendy" by The Association.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:27 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

To me it sounds a hell of a lot like the riff from "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:30 PM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Those first 15 seconds make me think of Cake, although I'm having a hard time deciding which song. Maybe a little bit of No Phone and a little bit of Italian Leather Sofa.
posted by jordemort at 3:49 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

It reminds me a little bit of the beginning of Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:54 PM on October 12, 2015

I know you said "NOT RHCP" but it really does sound a lot like Scar Tissue to me, fwiw.
posted by Oxydude at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

Hmmm. To me it sounds like the opening few bars of Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The mystery deepens!
posted by but no cigar at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, right! What Oxydude and I apparently said almost at the same time, but I a tad slower, apparently.
posted by but no cigar at 4:19 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I hear "Scar Tissue" in there as well! But also it sounds like a faster, sugar-poppier version of Bush's Glycerine to me.
posted by naju at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2015

English Beat Save It For Later sprang to mind.
posted by remlapm at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay, this is totally out of left field, but it kinda reminds me of the riff in Love is Strange.
posted by Diagonalize at 5:59 PM on October 12, 2015

I get why people hear Scar Tissue, but a huge part of the familiarity I'm feeling is based on the super poppy, almost sugary sweet, upbeat feel of the Rita Ora intro. So more like Wendy, but I don't think that's what I'm remembering. I really get a 90s indie-ish girl band vibe from it, but can't put my finger on it. Like I expect Juliana Hatfield's voice to start in after the intro. I've listened to a bunch of Juliana, Belly, etc. and it's not her specifically. Just to give an example of what's going on in my memory.
posted by peep at 6:11 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I know you said no chili peppers but, it reminds me of The Zephyr Song by the chili peppers.
posted by seesom at 6:12 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe Garbage? I Think I'm Paranoid feels similar-ish to me.
posted by shadow vector at 6:34 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another RHCP possibility that came to mind: Under the Bridge.
posted by toastchee at 6:51 PM on October 12, 2015

It reminds me instinctively of Dismemberment Plan, maybe something from Emergency & I.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:59 PM on October 12, 2015

Cornershop - Brimful of Asha was what the start of the progression first made me think of.
posted by quinndexter at 8:03 PM on October 12, 2015

Ok I hope you're happy because this has been driving me NUTS since last night! I totally know what you mean but I can't drag it up. The closest I've come so far is the beginning of The Cardigans Lovefool (it's not that but is that sort of what you mean in terms of the vibe?) I'll keep trying and if you ever figure it out please post an update!
posted by billiebee at 1:17 AM on October 13, 2015

Well - to me it sounded like the opening part of Jackie Lee's version of "Rupert the Bear". Make what you will of that!
posted by rongorongo at 4:14 AM on October 13, 2015

This song has always given me the vibe of a pop song circa 1989-1993 but nothing specific.

But now you all have me thinking. I'm curious.

I'll be following this thread to see what everyone comes up with.
posted by glenngulia at 6:17 AM on October 13, 2015

I've been listening to 90s music pretty much non-stop since posting this. Nothing so far, but I'll update if I find anything.
posted by peep at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2015

I immediately thought of Brandy by the Looking Glass.... which apparently the RHCP covered?!?!
posted by jabes at 9:11 AM on October 13, 2015

I just feel really really confident that it is not RHCP. I've listened to all the suggestions just the same, but that's way too mainstream. RHCP has never gone away - their music plays in the grocery store! I've never stopped hearing RHCP and I think this is some song I haven't heard in a decade or two. Like Dressy Bessy or Built to Spill, something like that? Not ultra obscure, but indie; not top 40 radio.
posted by peep at 9:29 AM on October 13, 2015

Now I'm realizing that I mixed up Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly earlier. In any case, that's the kind of stuff I'm listening to in trying to figure this out.
posted by peep at 9:44 AM on October 13, 2015

Those first 15 seconds make me think of the Cannanes, but no one song in particular.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:03 PM on October 13, 2015

It kind of reminds me of the opening of 90s teen movies.
posted by Neekee at 4:15 PM on October 13, 2015

Could it be Duck Sauce - Barbra Steisand ?
posted by ebear at 3:56 AM on October 14, 2015

Kind of a long shot, but since you say 90s indie - it reminds me a lot of the opening (starting around 0:12) to California All the Way by Luna.
posted by lunasol at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2015

lunasol: I was thinking the same thing, but I went and listened to it and it didn't seem close enough to me.

I also wondered about the Breeders, but that was pretty far off when I listened.
posted by All Out of Lulz at 8:41 PM on October 14, 2015

My very first thought was I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats, neither a 90s group nor a female group, but I heard ghost handclaps in those first two measures of Ora's song for sure. (Relevant section of IDLM starts about 20 seconds in.)
posted by tyrantkitty at 10:06 AM on October 17, 2015

OK, so long story short, I have two songs to share, but I'm not satisfied that either one is exactly what I was thinking of. But maybe, kinda?

First someone IRL suggested Lights Out by Santogold. That felt really close, but not quite.

Separately, I found a super old playlist of mine and I saw the title "Together Forever in Love" (by Go Sailor) and I freaked because I was SURE that was it. It fits the "sound" and era I had pegged.

It's probably what I was thinking of, it just doesn't sound as similar as I had thought/remembered.
posted by peep at 1:02 PM on January 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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