Author Topic: Best album-opening track ever?  (Read 9340 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Best album-opening track ever?
« on: October 14, 2009, 12:56:04 pm »
Just been reminding myself of the greatness of ABC's Lexicon Of Love and I'm jiggered if I can think of a better album-opening track than the truly majestic Show Me.

Any other contenders?

d.

bikenerd

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 01:03:52 pm »
Race for the Prize by The Flaming Lips.

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 01:15:00 pm »
"Thunder Road" from Born to Run.

Put in the context of the mid-70's, a struggling, massively over-hyped artist, with two not-particularly successful albums in a markedly different style to their name, I think the opening is both magnificent and courageous.


Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2009, 01:18:07 pm »
At the time, I always thought that the first track on 2112 was very impactive.  I also like, but hesitate to admit it, the opening track on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - "Funeral for a friend" is it?

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2009, 01:29:04 pm »
"Rikki Don't Lose That Number" from Pretzel Logic - Steely Dan 1974

Not my favourite or my favourite group (though I do love it) but a fantastic opening track. On headphones or a good stereo it's just magnificent.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2009, 01:29:54 pm »
At the time, I always thought that the first track on 2112 was very impactive.  I also like, but hesitate to admit it, the opening track on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - "Funeral for a friend" is it?

Yes, I listened to that again recently for the first time in decades . I could still remember all the words.  :-[
There's no vibrations, but wait.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2009, 01:35:03 pm »
Speak to Me on Dark Side of the Moon is pretty good.

Just trying to think of some others.
Getting there...

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2009, 01:45:34 pm »
"Burn It Down" from Searching for the Young Soul Rebels is a great opener  8).
Pen Pusher

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 01:46:39 pm »
Hard to beat:

Prefabriques - Trust  (Trust)

Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd (Wish You Were here)

Suspect Device - SLF (Inflammable Material)

I'd have more if the Wikipedia gnomes weren't asleep today ;)

Getting there...

Tim

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 01:48:56 pm »
Hmmmm, so to be not only a good track, but also to serve as a good opening for the album upon which it resides.

I'll propose Bittersweet Symphony, the opening track on Urban Hymns (The Verve), as a contender.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2009, 01:49:43 pm »
Umm... perhaps

"Bug Powder Dust" from Bomb the Bass's Clear

"White Room" from Cream's Wheels of Fire

"Watch That Man" from Bowie's Aladdin Sane

"Highway Star" from Deep Purple's Made In Japan

"Black Dog" from Led Zep 4

"Deadwing" from Porcupine Tree's Deadwing

No, hang on a minute - it's got to be:

"21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson

No contest.
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2009, 01:50:23 pm »
Like A rolling stone, recognisable from the first  rimshot.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2009, 02:05:39 pm »
Bit more checking on Wikipedia later (it's surprising how many tracks I thought opened albums actually appear later):

Princess of the Night - Saxon (Denim & Leather)

Gloria: In Excelsis Deo - Patti Smith (Horses)

Till Vistory - Patti Smith (Easter)
Getting there...

Really Ancien

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 02:08:40 pm »
Some technical explanation is required for those under 35.
An analogue disc is pressed with grooves which are the physical wave-form of the content. One channel of a stereo record is vertical, the other horizontal. The needle is connected to coils in the cartridge, which produces the signal to be amplified. The disc is 12 inches in diameter and moves at 33 1/3 rpm. The first track is on a portion of the disc with a mean diameter of about 11.5 inches, the last track on a side is at a mean diameter of 5.5 inches. This means that the first track will have the capacity for a greater dynamic range and a higher signal to noise ratio, because the groove is moving twice as fast and has twice the effective bandwidth.
The ideal opening track is the most complex, with the most instrumentation and the greatest dynamic range. It should literally pin your ears back, in a way that is difficult to explain if all you have ever heard is compressed versions.
So my ultimate opening track is '21st Century Schizoid Man' by King Crimson. Not for any artistic merit, but because it uses the opening grooves to best effect.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-Iyj_Ze0BHA&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/-Iyj_Ze0BHA&rel=1</a>
The side 2 opener is similar of course, and all the contemplative acoustic stuff is towards the centre of the disc. All this makes no sense to the CD generation, as CDs read from the middle to the edge and have sufficient bandwidth to handle anything.

Damon.

border-rider

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 02:10:24 pm »
Burning Down the House  - Talking Heads (Speaking in Tongues)

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2009, 02:11:20 pm »
Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd (Wish You Were here)

Agreed!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2009, 02:13:11 pm »
It has been suggested that you can judge a good LP by
Side 2 Track 1

(Is that really true about the faster speed giving better fidelity?!?)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 02:14:11 pm »
Some of the LPs of "The Fall" have great openers

The Fall - Frightened <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4IOfQO9z-7g&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/4IOfQO9z-7g&rel=1</a>
The Fall - Lay Of The Land <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/yuSwtUJYIko&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/yuSwtUJYIko&rel=1</a>
The Fall - The Classical <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/umKEj_fFNBw&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/umKEj_fFNBw&rel=1</a>
The Fall - Eat Y'self Fitter <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/6c3dWfKn_Lo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/6c3dWfKn_Lo&rel=1</a>
The Fall - My New House <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/xS_MauJshXU&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/xS_MauJshXU&rel=1</a> ( also Sonic Youth cover this <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gOxsFSVr6ak&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/gOxsFSVr6ak&rel=1</a> )
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2009, 02:14:59 pm »
Umm... perhaps
No, hang on a minute - it's got to be:

"21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson
No contest.

it's a fine track, for sure.

Really Ancien

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2009, 02:16:24 pm »
It has been suggested that you can judge a good LP by
Side 2 Track 1

(Is that really true about the faster speed giving better fidelity?!?)

That's why Singles ran at 45 rpm and why disc jockeys had 12 inch 45 rpm singles. Relax on a 12 inch sounds amazing.

Damon.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2009, 02:16:58 pm »
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony no. 5 in C minor.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2009, 02:17:40 pm »
Relax on a 12 inch sounds amazing.

Damon.

The Innuendo Consultant will see you now, sir...
Getting there...

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2009, 02:18:04 pm »
makes no sense to the CD generation, as CDs read from the middle to the edge and have sufficient bandwidth to handle anything.


Or to 80s kids who hear it first on a 12" single
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2009, 02:18:59 pm »
Burning Down the House  - Talking Heads (Speaking in Tongues)

And Psycho Killer from Stop Making Sense
Getting there...

border-rider

Re: Best album-opening track ever?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2009, 02:20:55 pm »
Burning Down the House  - Talking Heads (Speaking in Tongues)

And Psycho Killer from Stop Making Sense

yes- that is a better opener than Burning Down the House, isn't it ? :)

Forgotten that one.