They say record companies would give a track six seconds before deciding it’s fate. Thousands of careers were either started or completely extinguished in the matter of seconds.
When you put a CD into your CD player or when you drop that needle on your vinyl that first note, that first track has the ability to completely suck you in, or completely turn you off. So isn’t it logical to think that the first track to a record is just as important as the first six seconds of a song. After all it’s setting the tone, it’s setting up your expectations and it’s taking you on a journey. Let’s take a look at some of the best intro tracks in the history of rock.
When you hear the bell toll at the beginning of the track it sends chills up your spine. This song is still a staple at every major sporting event and it has lead the way for 40 Million copies of sold. That’s enough to fill every stadium in the NFL 19x. Full Album Review
The black album was very experimental for Metallica taking them away from their signature sound in favor of slower tempos and a mainstream tone. It cost over a million dollars to make. Enter Sandman was the perfect track to invite new fans into Metallica’s sound and it paid huge dividends as the record sold 30 Million copies world wide. Full Album Review
Not much to be said here, four drum hits changed the landscape of music an introduced people to one of the most popular records of all-time. Full Album Review
The Foo Fighters wanted One By One to be a representation of the bands live performances. The record ended up taking 18 months to finish and nearly caused the band to break-up. The album ended up winning a Grammy as did All My Life. But more importantly Dave Grohl says to this day it’s his favorite song to play live. Full Review
Billy Corgan can be a polarizing figure. Taking on a 28 track monster of Mellon Collies size is ambitious for any artist, but the record holds up well. It’s the title/intro track that really exposes Corgan as a unique talent. The composition of Mellon Collie is special and it’s amazing that it shares a record with tracks like Jellybelly and XYU. Full Album Review
Every kid who played guitar in the US in 1976 had their minds blown by Rocks. Bands like Guns N’ Roses and Metallica credit their existence to that record. It might be the best American rock album in history, and it starts with Back in the Saddle… although Back in the Saddle and Last Child are forever a pair. Full Album Review
Who’s Next is stacked with hits it’s as complete as an album could be. It’s rumored that a Gretsch guitar gifted by Joe Walsh to Pete Townshend helped shape the record. Baba O’Riley is one of rock music’s finest gems, there’s nothing else like it. Full Album Review
Sgt. Pepper’s wasn’t a commercially successful single (comparatively) for the Beatles. But how many times has a song appeared twice on the same album? The Beatles transformed into Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearst Club band an experiment that too the world by storm. It’s also the first rock album to ever win Album of the Year (Grammy). Full Album Review
I wanted to include many more in this list but frankly I didn’t think anyone would keep reading. There is an art to composing a track order for an album; it truly does set the stage for the next 45 minutes. The convenience of iTunes and having music at your fingertips at all times is terrific – it’s a game changer. But don’t limit yourself, buy albums, have something tangible. Enjoy the experience from beginning to end. Thanks for reading.
Here are a few more that are worthy of a mention at the very least.
Sex Pistols – Holidays in the Sun : Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA : Born in the USA
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle : Appetite For Destruction