The Best Opening Track On An Album Is?

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Rolling Stones 'Exile On Main St.'

Listening to the Rolling Stones remastered Exile on Main St. was a thrill, but what gut-punched me right off, was hearing "Rocks Off," the opening track to this 1972 double album.

 

 

Sleigh Bells cover
Sleigh Bells 'Treats'

Later in the day, I was listening to the Sleigh Bells debut. You can't hear this album without an immediate visceral reaction. The album is called Treats and the opening song is titled "Tell 'Em."

 

 

It used to be that the opening track to a record was what got you to go back and put on the album, at least to hear side one. But do opening tracks matter in a world where shuffle is probably more pervasive than linear listening?

I think so. In fact, I'll usually decide how much time to spend with a new album just from hearing the opening track. I listen for a defining sound that clues me into what lies ahead. If it doesn't happen on the first track, I'm likely not to listen to the second.  But my listening is different from most. I have bins of music to go through.

What about you?  Do opening tracks matter? And what's the best opening track you ever heard?  And what makes it a great opening track.

Just name one.  We'll compile some of your favorites on a later post.

 

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