A GUEST POSTING by jimdoes
What seems like a million years ago I did an ICA of final tracks on albums (ICA 176 – only 2 and a bit years ago)– and I said at the time I’d do an ICA of openers which I’ve eventually got round to. But it’s taken much longer than I thought and proven an impossible task getting it down to ten songs – so I’ve done two ICAs. When putting my list together I realised how many opening tracks were singles – I guess it helps listeners if they’ve got something familiar to start with. I’m not imagining that to be a problem with my ICAs – I’m sure most readers will know these songs and have their own favourite opening tracks but these are mine, starting with an ICA of opening tracks that weren’t singles.
BEGIN THE BEGIN – PART ONE
(An ICA of opening tracks that were not singles)
RACE FOR THE PRIZE – THE FLAMING LIPS
(Opening track on THE SOFT BULLETIN)
It’s almost impossible to choose a first song of first songs – obviously any one of the following tracks could’ve been first but I’ve gone with a song that is a rush of pure joy and it’s a great pop record. It’s the sound of a band in transition and realising their potential. Letting loose. Going from weird druggy outsiders to weird druggy stadium fillers. Most importantly it still makes me smile and it’s the perfect intro to what some consider to be their masterpiece.
DEBASER – PIXIES
(Opening track on DOOLITTLE)
I was 19 when this record came out – they were already my favourite band, so imagine hearing this for the first time. Blew me away then – still blows me away today. It was eventually released as a single when their greatest hits album came out but at the time this was just the perfect intro to one of the greatest albums ever recorded.
LOVE VIGILANTES – NEW ORDER
(Opening track on LOW LIFE)
Confession – I’ve seen New Order live countless times but I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan. Generally I just know the singles. I’ve tried listening to their albums but maybe because as a teenager I didn’t get into them, they just don’t do anything for me. I couldn’t name any album tracks by New Order – except Love Vigilantes – I couldn’t even name another song off Low Life. But Love Vigilantes is a song I’ve always loved – I think it’s one of those songs that is familiar even if you’ve never heard it before – plus it tells a story with a twist (I won’t spoil the ending – just in case you’ve not heard it!!!).
EVERYONE THINKS HE LOOKS DAFT – THE WEDDING PRESENT
(Opening track on GEORGE BEST)
The first song I ever heard by The Wedding Present. I bought George Best after I read about it in the NME. It remains one of my favourite tracks – the laugh halfway through, those jangling guitars, the down to earth lyrics, the whistle near the end and the long instrumental outro. It’s also got one of the best starts to a first track – Gedge’s “Oh why do you…” before the guitars kick in is sheer perfection.
THE QUEEN IS DEAD – THE SMITHS
(Opening track on THE QUEEN IS DEAD)
Ok I know the general feeling about the racist lead singer who will not be named and I tried to avoid including this song. But The Queen Is Dead remains one of the greatest opening tracks ever. And it’s not just the voice and the lyrics – they are great – but this is all about Marr, Joyce and Rourke. Lawnmower my arse.
(JC adds.…..the track is unavailable for posting on TVV…..jimdoes was OK when I told him this would be the case)
ROCK N ROLL STAR – OASIS
(Opening track on DEFINITELY MAYBE)
As statements of intent go, this has to be the best – debut album, all attitude, supremely confident.
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON – NWA
(Opening track on STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON)
“You’re about to witness the strength of street knowledge” – now, ain’t that the truth?
EVERYTHING IN IT’S RIGHT PLACE – RADIOHEAD
(Opening track on KID A)
What a song. Everything In It’s Right Place is the sound of a band confounding expectations and doing exactly what they want. Because they can. And it’s a band knowing exactly what they don’t want – they’d been listening to loads of WARP records and they wanted to leave their stadium indie behind. They most certainly didn’t want to be U2. On first listen this song shocks you – making you wonder what could come next – but it’s a real grower and has become one of my favourite Radiohead songs.
THE MAN COMES AROUND – JOHNNY CASH
(Opening track on THE MAN COMES AROUND)
According to Wikipedia – “The song was inspired by a dream Cash had about Queen Elizabeth II in which the queen compared Cash to “a thorn tree in a whirlwind.” Haunted by the dream, Cash became curious if the phrase was a biblical reference and eventually found a similar phrase in the Book of Job.”
From the spoken word intro to the jaunty acoustic guitar, I love this song. One of the last songs Johnny Cash wrote as he was dying of cancer – it’s about Christ and the Day of Judgement – on paper that sounds like it’s going to be a really sad maudlin song but it is just so upbeat and makes me smile!
DISORDER – JOY DIVISION
(Opening track on UNKNOWN PLEASURES)
This seemed the best opening track to be the closing track on the first of my first track ICAs. (Hope that makes sense!) I don’t imagine there’s a single VV reader that wouldn’t have this in their top ten opening tracks (non-singles version).