AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #271 : BEGIN THE BEGIN (2)

A GUEST POSTING by jimdoes

There’s been so many great opening tracks that were singles – here’s my ten favourites, although it’s a list that changes daily! It’s really hard deciding on the order for these ICAs – what’s the first first track? What should be last?

BEGIN THE BEGIN – PART TWO

(An ICA of opening tracks that were singles)

LET’S GO CRAZY – PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION

(Opening track on PURPLE RAIN)

The spoken word intro makes it perfect to be the opening track on my singles ICA. And I guess as with most of this ICA there’s not much that I can say that hasn’t been said. If I could go back in time and see one band live it wouldn’t be The Clash or The Beatles or Joy Division – it would be Prince and The Revolution on the Purple Rain tour – look it up on YouTube – it’s incredible.

TEENAGE RIOT – SONIC YOUTH

(Opening track on DAYDREAM NATION)

One of their most accessible songs and one of their pop hits – the opener to their masterpiece – the sprawling Daydream Nation. Not just one of my favourite opening tracks but one of my favourite songs full stop. You’re it. No you’re it.

SUMMER BABE (WINTER VERSION) – PAVEMENT

(Opening track on SLANTED AND ENCHANTED)

I’ve no idea what this song is about or why it’s the winter version (to my knowledge there isn’t a version for any other season) – and I don’t care. It’s just glorious. And it’s part one of one of the best opening one/twos ever recorded – Trigger Cut being the other song.

THE MERCY SEAT – NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS

(Opening track on TENDER PREY)

Another song where I know the song because it was a great single but I’m not familiar with the album. It’s a song that still gets better with every listen and I’ve heard it thousands of times.

HEARTBEATS – THE KNIFE

(Opening track on DEEP CUTS)

Is it any surprise that the majority of the tracks on both my ICAs were released before I was 23? This being one of the few exceptions – and I guess a bit of a curveball. It’s another song where I don’t know any other song on the album, but there’s really no need when this song is so good.

LOSER – BECK

(Opening track on MELLOW GOLD)

From the opening line – “In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey” – I was hooked, I still am.

LONDON CALLING – THE CLASH

(Opening track on LONDON CALLING)

Only the second title track in my opening track ICAs – I thought there may be more but it has given me another idea for an ICA! Anyway, has a band ever had better opening tracks to their albums than The Clash? Janie Jones/Safe European Home/London Calling/The Magnificent Seven/Know Your Rights takes some beating – I could have picked any of them for this ICA. London Calling might be the obvious choice but to me it’s the right choice.

(JC interjects as it avoids taking up space in the comments section……..I’d go with New Order’s initial albums: Dreams Never End/Age of Consent/Love Vigilantes/Paradise/Fine Time/Regret)

MOVIN’ ON UP – PRIMAL SCREAM

(Opening track on SCREAMADELICA)

There’s only so many ways I can say “I love this song” as it’s true of every track on these ICAs. I’ve always thought Movin’ On Up was a bit of an anomaly on Screamdelica – the least druggy track – the most traditional one but also the logical place for the album to start – it’s probably the closest to what came before and what came after. And it sounds like a long lost classic that Primal Scream had covered – I guess I’m saying it’s timeless.

INBETWEEN DAYS – THE CURE

(Opening track on THE HEAD ON THE DOOR)

The Cure at their poppy best. Here’s a bit of trivia about the song title thanks to Wikipedia – “The single used “In Between Days”, whereas the album The Head on the Door uses “In Between Days” on the back of the album cover and the record label, and “Inbetween Days” on the inner sleeve.” I always thought it was Inbetween Days so I’m sticking with that. Anyway, it reminds me of school and my best mate – not for the lyrics – we never went out with the same girls but more that when we were young the joy of discovering and going to see all these bands together.

I WANNA BE ADORED – THE STONE ROSES

(Opening track on THE STONE ROSES)

Timeless. They sound so young yet so full of confidence. Rock n Roll Star? The Stone Roses aimed much higher – and achieved it. On their reunion shows, before a note was sung, the whole audience would be singing the guitar line to this – sort of elevating it into a communal celebration. Iconic. And what better way to end an ICA as will leave you wanting more.

And for completests here’s another ten that just missed out – which would make a pretty good volume 3.

DRIVE – REM
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT – NIRVANA
GIRLS AND BOYS – BLUR
RID OF ME – PJ HARVEY
PERFECT SKIN – LLOYD COLE AND THE COMMOTIONS
SURE SHOT – BEASTIE BOYS
RUNNING UP THAT HILL – KATE BUSH
PROTECTION – MASSIVE ATTACK
DARK AND LONG – UNDERWORLD
FREAKSCENE – DINOSAUR JR

jimdoes

9 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #271 : BEGIN THE BEGIN (2)

  1. This was such a creative idea. Post number one was my favourite. Post number two contains some exquisite pop openers but it didn’t have quite the same impact as number one as:

    It was the 1st time I had heard The Knife so I was less familiar.
    I’m not a fan of Beck or that period by Primal Scream.

    Still, some excellent choices and a great idea overall.

  2. Fantastic post,
    Saw Prince at Celtic Park 1992 , he was incredible ! ( Diamond and Pearls Tour )

    SC

  3. Not sure if the majority of albums led off with a single but many did. So the 10 up top are as good as any but the knowledgable TVV crowd can certainly come up with dozens more. That’s why yesterday’s post was so much fun. I couldn’t even get started with single first tracks. “Oh, I just don’t know where to begin…”

  4. Nice one again, jimdoes. Even amid the presence of
    The Cure, and The Stone Roses, Teenage Riot is pretty
    much unbeatable in that list. But Heartbeats runs it
    close. I know it thanks to the much-missed Keith
    who played it at his club Spitfire, so always good
    to be reminded of it.

  5. Another great list. London Calling is the finest of The Only Band That Matters opening tracks which were singles. Still the subject of (good natured) discussions with many people about whether it’s their finest opener!

  6. @DAM: you can have a pretty good argument about which is the better opening song on the UK and US versions of the Clash’s debut LP.

  7. Another great selection, jimdoes! Possibly the first time I’ve ever heard Let’s Go Crazy followed by Teenage Riot, even on iPod shuffle, but strangely it works. Thanks especially for The Knife. I haven’t heard the original but I’m familiar with the José González cover version, which I think came out in the UK before Deep Cuts got a belated release her. And a good choice of closing opener with I Wanna Be Adored.

    I’ve the comments and speculation about other inclusions and ICAs. Here’s another one to get the creative juices flowing – a 10 track ‘track 10’ ICA. Here’s my random selection from a ‘shortlist’ of over 100:

    1) Psycho Killer: Talking Heads (Talking Heads: 77)
    2) The Guns Of Brixton: The Clash (London Calling)
    3) Resting Place: Burning Spear (Marcus Garvey)
    4) 007, A Fantasy Bond Theme: Barry Adamson (Soul Murder)
    5) Open Up: Leftfield/Lydon (Leftism)

    6) I Saw You: Smith & Mighty ft. Chantelle Champagnie (Life Is…)
    7) Revenge: Eurythmics (In The Garden)
    8) Greatness And Perfection: Julian Cope (World Shut Your Mouth)
    9) Lady Grinning Soul: David Bowie (Aladdin Sane)
    10) From Ghost Town: Robert Forster (The Evangelist)

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