From good to great: great albums with a "meh" first track

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    From good to great: great albums with a "meh" first track

    The first track is essential in setting the "stage", mood, and tone of an album.   The track that comes first is often one of the best tracks, and in the days when "radio-friendly" was key, the opening track was frequently the song that got the "overplayed" treatment.

    However, the first track is not always a mind-blower on a great album.   

    Re-thinking the hallowed position -- on albums that you know well -- old, new, or anywhere in between, what essentially *excellent* albums had merely "so-so"  first tracks? 

    In other words, the album took off *after* the first track, not with it.  Not a bad song, necessarily, just not what you'd expect for an otherwise fantastic album.  

    Any thoughts?   Truly welcome some examples of the "so-so" variety, that opened some of your favorite albums.     

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".

    "I've Just Seen A Face" - The Beatles "Rubber Soul" (U.S. Version) (But "Drive My Car" from the UK release isn't a favorite, either.)

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    This is tough, because artists usually like to kick off albums with one of the stronger tracks. 

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    I always thought that "You're no good" off Van Halen II was the weakest song off any of the original Van Halen albums.It's a pretty terrible Linda Ronstat cover.

    There's also"Miss you" from the Rolling Stones album Some Girls.Not an unlistenable song,but as far as I'm concerned,a pretty weak start to an otherwise great album.

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    This is tough, because artists usually like to kick off albums with one of the stronger tracks. 



    Agreed. I can't really even think of a great album that was an average opener.

    Tough question.

     

    Yes, this is definitely asking for the exception to the rule.  Tough is right.  

    I can't help but agree -- there are not many obvious choices.  Tomorrow is another day, and I better come up with something.   :D   

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.



    You can disagree, of course, but it's not possible to "counter" with anything but an opening track.    The statement was in response to the question in the thread, so I don't see your point in taking it out of context, regardless of how definitive the response.    

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

    I always thought that "You're no good" off Van Halen II was the weakest song off any of the original Van Halen albums.It's a pretty terrible Linda Ronstat cover.

    There's also"Miss you" from the Rolling Stones album Some Girls.Not an unlistenable song,but as far as I'm concerned,a pretty weak start to an otherwise great album.



    Real nice.  (and agree re: "You're not Good" as a cover for Ronstadt)   

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    A couple of classics:

    All due respect: "The Lovely Linda" - (all 42 seconds of it, but it is considered a track), McCartney

    "Second Hand News" - Rumors  (I may get pushback on this, for its meaning, but it's a weak opener, esp. in contrast to the entire album)

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.



    Worst song title, certainly.

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.



    You can disagree, of course, but it's not possible to "counter" with anything but an opening track.    The statement was in response to the question in the thread, so I don't see your point in taking it out of context, regardless of how definitive the response.    



    He said his opinion is that, in addition to the theme of the thread, he thought it was the worst song on the album; I noted what I thought was the worst song on the album.

     

     

    I tend to think that In Utero may be the best Nirvana album; louder and grittier, as was originally intended. They never liked Nevermind's polished sound.

    "Serve the Servants" isn't bad, but there's much better on it.

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    A couple of classics:

    All due respect: "The Lovely Linda" - (all 42 seconds of it, but it is considered a track), McCartney

    "Second Hand News" - Rumors  (I may get pushback on this, for its meaning, but it's a weak opener, esp. in contrast to the entire album) 



    Hmmm...yf, with all due respect to Your Museship, neither one of those bowls me over as great examples of what you're looking for.

    I'm still pondering it myself...

     

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    Add:

    "Last Exit" - Pearl Jam - "Vitalogy" (arguable whether it's a great album, but I like it a lot)

    "EXP" - Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Axis:Bold As Love"

    "Out on the Weekend" - Neil Young - "Harvest"

     

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    A couple of classics:

    All due respect: "The Lovely Linda" - (all 42 seconds of it, but it is considered a track), McCartney

    "Second Hand News" - Rumors  (I may get pushback on this, for its meaning, but it's a weak opener, esp. in contrast to the entire album) 



    Hmmm...yf, with all due respect to Your Museship, neither one of those bowls me over as great examples of what you're looking for.

    I'm still pondering it myself...

     



    I'm glad to get the pushback, b/c both were a stretch.   I strive, but not necessarily for perfection, and in this case, I'm not even close.   !

    Honestly, a sub-par opener is a rarity on a great album.     Keep pondering, and take your time.   Zilla will probably poke holes in this, too.   Laughing

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.



    You can disagree, of course, but it's not possible to "counter" with anything but an opening track.    The statement was in response to the question in the thread, so I don't see your point in taking it out of context, regardless of how definitive the response.    



He said his opinion is that, in addition to the theme of the thread, he thought it was the worst song on the album; I noted what I thought was the worst song on the album.

 



Whatever.  I had just watched the Jimi Hendrix documentary, and was awe-inspired (he accomplished lots of "firsts" in his short rock music lifetime).    In any event, you seem to hold your own quite capably in the discussions I've seen you particpate in (here, and elsewhere), so I just thought I'd get in your way for a minute.   :)   I do think of you as having lots of Nirvana knowledge, based on your posts, and familiarity with their albums.   

 
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    Of course, Pink Floyd never worried about being radio friendly. So, I've got to go with The Wall as my pick.

    They also never really opened an album with it's best track. Although some of their opening tracks are good, The Wall and Dark Side certainly have good opening tracks, but not the best known or heavily played tracks...and this goes for just about all their albums....Shine On You Crazy Diamond may be the exception, but it was way too long to ever be radio friendly. It is not until you buy the album , that you get to hear this sensational opus....and truly, it has become one of my alltime favorite songs , not just Pink Floyd songs...of songs by ANYONE.

    Because I must mention Deep Purple every chance I get, is there really ...I mean REALLY!!!....a better opening track on any album ever made than Machine Head's Highway Star?....this was the opening song on many of their live shows also.

     
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  • You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:

    I've always thought 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the worst song on "Nevermind".=



    "Territorial pissings", I counter.



    You can disagree, of course, but it's not possible to "counter" with anything but an opening track.    The statement was in response to the question in the thread, so I don't see your point in taking it out of context, regardless of how definitive the response.    



    He said his opinion is that, in addition to the theme of the thread, he thought it was the worst song on the album; I noted what I thought was the worst song on the album.

     



  • Whatever.  I had just watched the Jimi Hendrix documentary, and was awe-inspired (he accomplished lots of "firsts" in his short rock music lifetime).    In any event, you seem to hold your own quite capably in the discussions I've seen you particpate in (here, and elsewhere), so I just thought I'd get in your way for a minute.   :)   I do think of you as having lots of Nirvana knowledge, based on your posts, and familiarity with their albums.   




    Heh; well you asked :P

     

    Anyway I did edit in a response re: In Utero and "serve the servants".

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to SlimPickensIII's comment:

    It's barely a real song,  but that first track on Quadrophenia is easily the weakest thing on the album.



    The overture...I love it myself, I think it sets the stage.

     

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    OK I think I have one.

    The opening track of Santana's Abraxas album is called Singing Winds, Crying Beasts.  IMO it's one of the lesser songs on the album, a somewhat monotonous instrumental.  I can clearly remember how happy I always was to hear this piece fading out and the much more enticing sound of Black Magic Woman coming in.

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Of course, Pink Floyd never worried about being radio friendly. So, I've got to go with The Wall as my pick.

    They also never really opened an album with it's best track. Although some of their opening tracks are good, The Wall and Dark Side certainly have good opening tracks, but not the best known or heavily played tracks...and this goes for just about all their albums....Shine On You Crazy Diamond may be the exception, but it was way too long to ever be radio friendly. It is not until you buy the album , that you get to hear this sensational opus....and truly, it has become one of my alltime favorite songs , not just Pink Floyd songs...of songs by ANYONE.

    Because I must mention Deep Purple every chance I get, is there really ...I mean REALLY!!!....a better opening track on any album ever made than Machine Head's Highway Star?....this was the opening song on many of their live shows also.



    Nice writeup, and great choice.   

    Zilla, I just saw your post in the "bang" thread re: "favorite songs" and then saw what you wrote here ...   Laughing   (you're right, you do have many, many favorites, and there's nothing wrong with that -- in fact,  the more favorites, the better).    I'm listening to SOYCD right now, in fact.  :)

     

     
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    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    A couple of classics:

    All due respect: "The Lovely Linda" - (all 42 seconds of it, but it is considered a track), McCartney

    "Second Hand News" - Rumors  (I may get pushback on this, for its meaning, but it's a weak opener, esp. in contrast to the entire album)

     



    You think Second Hand News is an average track?  Interesting. That's as catchy a rock/pop single as you're gonna find to kick off an album like that.



    Well, I said I knew I'd get pushback; I see where you're coming from, honestly.

    This was a tough question, too, because taste plays a role, and I never liked Second Hand News, even though I can acknowledge it's not a bad song.    

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Add:

    "Last Exit" - Pearl Jam - "Vitalogy" (arguable whether it's a great album, but I like it a lot)

    "EXP" - Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Axis:Bold As Love"

    "Out on the Weekend" - Neil Young - "Harvest"

     



    Not a fan of Out on the Weekend?  One of my favorite Neil tunes on that album for sure. INteresting.

     

    Good choice on Last Exit.



    Compared to the rest of Harvest - which isn't even in my top 5 Neil albums - it leaves me somewhat wanting.

    Even more so when compared to songs from the same sessions which were left out: "Bad Fog Of Loneliness" and "Journey Through The Past".

    I could think of worse opening songs from other albums, but not from especially "great" albums, either.

     

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from bombah. Show bombah's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Add:

    "Last Exit" - Pearl Jam - "Vitalogy" (arguable whether it's a great album, but I like it a lot)

    "EXP" - Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Axis:Bold As Love"

    "Out on the Weekend" - Neil Young - "Harvest"

     



    Not a fan of Out on the Weekend?  One of my favorite Neil tunes on that album for sure. INteresting.

     

    Good choice on Last Exit.



    Compared to the rest of Harvest - which isn't even in my top 5 Neil albums - it leaves me somewhat wanting.

    Even more so when compared to songs from the same sessions which were left out: "Bad Fog Of Loneliness" and "Journey Through The Past".

    I could think of worse opening songs from other albums, but not from especially "great" albums, either.

     




    I am a huge Neil Young fan.But the acoustic version of Hey Hey My My is such a downer I will reach for the remote as fast as I can whether iPod or the radio.

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: From good to great: great albums with a

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:

     



    Not a fan of Out on the Weekend?  One of my favorite Neil tunes on that album for sure. INteresting.


    Compared to the rest of Harvest - which isn't even in my top 5 Neil albums - it leaves me somewhat wanting.

    Even more so when compared to songs from the same sessions which were left out: "Bad Fog Of Loneliness" and "Journey Through The Past".

    I could think of worse opening songs from other albums, but not from especially "great" albums, either.

     



    I am still struggling thinking of a great album with a meh opener. I am not sure if it really exists.

    The hallmark of a great album is usually a great opener. I've racked my brain with all of my favorite bands.  

    I'm not sure we'll find one where there is clear consensus, that's for sure.   We're stretching to even find a few, and they're somewhat flimsy examples (I know mine were, and admitted it).    Zilla's were pretty good, though.  

    I love "Out on the Weekend", too, but that doesn't mean it's a great opener.

    Seems this is more about taste and opinion, than an overwhelming sentiment where everyone agrees the opener (on a great album) was a dog.  {#emotions_dlg.laughing}

     



     
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