Somewhere around my punk rock days, I realised the first track on several albums were really awesome, and of course should be good to gain, and keep the listener’s attention!
With that in mind, a good short playlist of some rock track one’s from album one between the years of 1974 and 1983.
Rush – “Finding My Way” from Rush, March 1974. Rush were slowly finding their way before Neil Peart replaced John Rutsey as the permanent drummer. Still, some cool rock songs before they ventured to their progressive ways! Lyrics.
Elvis Costello – “Welcome to the Working Week” from My Aim Is True, July 1977. Elvis was also just getting started, and The Attractions were not his band yet (instead, members of the band Clover), but still a solid debut effort! Lyrics.
The Police – “Next to You”, from Outlandos d’Amour, November 1978. The Police did not waste any time! With their very punk non-album single, “Fall Out”, and its b-side, “Nothing Achieving”, and then the very quick “Next to You” to get a great album going! And it features a slide guitar solo from Andy Summers!
U2 – “I Will Follow” from Boy, October 1980. I have not listened to this album too extensively, but if my memory serves me, it is a nice introduction to a rock band that would go on to do fairly well. Lyrics.
R.E.M. – “Radio Free Europe” from Murmur, April 1983. Very influential song on the future of alternative rock, college radio, indie rock, and so on! Lyrics.
The only song of the bunch that was actually the band’s first single was R.E.M., although the album version is different from the single. All the rest, save for Elvis Costello had non-album debut singles.
The Original Hib-Tone Single of R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe”: