This Week’s Theme: Album Openers
This is the first of several Faux Shows that are going to have a lot less content due to constraints on my time. The themes of the shows are going to be less complex for a while and require a lot less research. The shows are also going to be bi-weekly for a while, so the next show will drop on May 8. This week’s show is a collection of track ones from a variety of albums, and includes the normal variety of mini-themes, birthday wishes, and an In Memoriam to a hard rock legend.
Welcome to Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 17.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
There are a lot of ways to start an album, and most of them are fine choices. There is the “Introduction” method, especially in concept albums and a lot of rap albums, where the first track is a short interlude or musical theme used to get things started. There is the tried and true put the best song at the beginning so that people will want to listen method. There is the put the hit at the beginning so that people will buy the album method. And, of course, there is the why in the world did they start it off with that song method. I don’t know if any of these are more successful from a sales perspective, and I assume it often just depends on the artist, song list, and goal of the album. The most universal truth is that, no matter what method is used, you know a good album opener when you hear it. That is obviously a subjective measure (although most Zeppelin fans would agree that “Black Dog” was a really good way to start Led Zeppelin IV). This list is in no way meant to represent the greatest album openers of all time. Instead, it is just a list of 33 track ones from a variety of albums, old and new.
Creedence Clearwater Revival “Down On The Corner” (#3 11/8/69)
The Fixx “One Thing Leads To Another” (#4 9/10/83)
Hues Corporation “Rockin’ Soul” (#18 10/26/74)
Billy Joel “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” (#17 4/15/78)
Elton John “Daniel” (#2 4/21/73)
Journey “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” (#8 2/5/83)
2 for “Two”day
It’s a Trio of Eno (a TrEno) with Brian Eno “Sky Saw” off of Another Green World, Bauhaus “Third Uncle,” which was originally on Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), and Cluster and Brian Eno “Ho Renomo” from the 1977 collaboration Cluster & Eno.
For a producer double shot I included a pair of songs produced by Tony Visconti with Sparks “Hospitality on Parade” and David Bowie “Speed of Life.”
Plus, there’s a pair of Carole King songs, “Come Down Easy” by King and “Beautiful” by Barbra Streisand.
Mitski “Valentine, Texas” (from one of my two favorites of the year so far, Laurel Hell)
The Mysterines “Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)”
Sasami “Skin a Rat”
Weezer “Opening Night” from part one (Spring) of their 4-part album SZNZ.
Wet Leg “Being In Love” (from the other of my two favorites of the year so far, Wet Leg)
Taylor Hawkins was the drummer of Foo Fighters from their second album through to his death. More importantly, he was the heart of the band. He allowed Dave Grohl to move over to full-time front man duties and brought a new sound to the band that propelled them out of the post-Nirvana grunge/lo-fi noodling of the first album and into the rock superstars that more or less saved Rock and Roll in the late ’90s when overproduced pop music threatened to destroy it forever. In addition, Hawkins was the greatest Queen fan in the world, or at least the most famous.
Song Selections: Queen “Keep Yourself Alive” and Foo Fighters “All My Life” and “Stacked Actors”
Happy Birthday (April 24)
Doug Clifford was the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival. His nickname is Cosmo. There is a history there if you want to research it. CCR were a fantastic band who did more in three years than almost any other band has ever done in that amount of time.
St. Clair Lee and Ann Kelly were two of the three founding members of The Hues Corporation, the band that gave the world “Rock the Boat” in 1974. They were both born on April 24, but in different years, so there is your amazing coincidence for the day. “Rockin’ Soul” is the title track to a record released in 1974 to capitalize on the success of “Rock the Boat,” which was originally released on their 1973 debut album and then included on their follow-up album as well.
Nigel Harrison was the bassist for Blondie during their heyday.
David J is the bassist for Bauhaus and Love & Rockets.
Barbra Streisand is a legend. Happy Birthay Babs.
Tony Visconti is one of the most important producers of rock and pop in the ’70s and ’80s. He was the theme of the first Radio Faux Show and has never been recognized at the level he deserves. The music you listen to now would not sound the same if not for Visconti’s work in the ’70s.
Get The Led Out
Because sometimes you’ve just got to get the Led out.
Led Zeppelin “Song Remains The Same” from their fifth album, Houses Of The Holy. How do you follow up a classic like Led Zeppelin IV? Like this, with an album that I now listen too far more than the previous.
A Little Jazz/Records From The Stacks
This week’s jazz selections come from two albums I pulled out of my collection.
Errol Garner “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To”: Garner’s 1957 album Soliloquy is a masterclass in jazz piano. One man sounding like an orchestra.
Ray Charles “The Genius After Hours”: In addition to inventing soul music in the ’50s, Charles was always a jazz musician. His earliest work was leading a jazz trio based on the Nat King Cole trio, and there are jazz recordings spread throughout his discography from his Atlantic years to his later ABC/Tangerine albums. The Genius After Hours was released in 1961 as a final contractual obligation before he moved over to ABC. It is a collection of tunes recorded for the 1957 album The Great Ray Charles, and as such it is a collection of some of his first jazz recordings.
Here are some piano playing pop artists who we all know and love, hate, and/or ignore.
Carole King “Come Down Easy”: King took the piano away from testosterone driven ’50s artists like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and turned into an introspective songwriting weapon. After years of songwriting reclusiveness, she released Tapestry and invented soft rock. This song is from her extremely under-rated album Rhymes and Reasons.
Billy Joel “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”: This is the opener to the original Piano Man’s best album, The Stranger.
Elton John “Daniel”: After Joel, you’ve got to include John to complete the duo of greatest piano playing pop artists of the ’70s and ’80s. This is from his 1973 classic Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player.
Ben Folds Five “Jackson Cannery”: Take Billy Joel and Elton John, throw in a little Joe Jackson, mix it up in a Jerry Lee Lewis stage show, and what do you get? Ben Folds. This is the opener to his self-titled debut.
The Get Down
Beastie Boys “Sure Shot”: The opener to Ill Communication is one of their best.
Public Enemy “You’re Gonna Get Yours”: This is about as great an introduction to new a new form of music as has ever been provided. Militant rap starts here.
Stetsasonic “In Full Gear”: They don’t get the respect of pioneers like Erik B & Rakim and they didn’t last past the first few years of new school rap like A Tribe Called Quest, but Stetsasonic were a great band for a few years in the late ’80s/early ’90s.
Hoo Goo Foo Spoo
This is a ridiculous mini-theme of music by Hoodoo Gurus, Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters, and Spoon.
Hoodoo Gurus “Out That Door”: This is from their third album Blow Your Cool. It isn’t as highly rated as their fantastic debut Stoneage Romeos or their fan-favorite Mars Needs Guitars, but it is my personal favorite.
Goo Goo Dolls “Dizzy”: This is from Dizzy Up The Girl, the album that made them superstars with their massive hit “Iris.”
Foo Foo Fighters “Stacked Actors” and “All My Life”
Spoon “Small Stakes”: This band never fails to produce a great track one, and this one is my favorite of all of them. Pure indie-pop genius.
I Want My MTV
The early days of MTV would not have been the same without these three album openers.
Duran Duran “Girls on Film”: Sumu wrestlers were important in the early days of MTV
The Fixx “One Thing Leads To Another”: He’s walking through a tube shaped hallway and pointing at his ear so you know you should take him seriously.
Journey “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”: This is without a doubt the greatest production value of any video ever made!
Thanks for listening (and reading)!
|1||Queen||Keep Yourself Alive|
|2||Foo Fighters||All My Life|
|3||Foo Fighters||Stacked Actors|
|4||Goo Goo Dolls||Dizzy|
|5||Hoodoo Gurus||Out That Door|
|7||Wet Leg||Being In Love|
|8||Duran Duran||Girls On Film|
|9||The Fixx||One Thing Leads To Another|
|10||Journey||Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)|
|12||Creedence Clearwater Revival||Down On The Corner|
|13||Blondie||Hanging On The Telephone|
|14||Ben Folds Five||Jackson Cannery|
|15||Billy Joel||Movin’ Out|
|17||Carole King||Come Down Easy|
|19||Ray Charles||The Genius After Hours|
|20||Errol Garner||You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To|
|21||Hues Corporation||Rockin’ Soul|
|22||Stetsasonic||In Full Gear|
|23||Beastie Boys||Sure Shot|
|24||Public Enemy||You’re Gonna Get Yours|
|25||Mysterines||Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)|
|26||Sasami||Skin A Rat|
|27||Led Zeppelin||The Song Remains The Same|
|28||Sparks||Hospitality On Parade|
|29||David Bowie||Speed Of Life|
|31||Brian Eno||Sky Saw|
|32||Cluster & Brian Eno||Ho Renomo|
2 thoughts on “Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 17 (April 24, 2022): Album Openers”
This looks GREAT!!! Am equally surprised and impressed that there aren’t eight R.E.M. songs listed! Love how Sasami made the cut–which also gives me hope that Ratt might make a future runners-up list. And that Journey selection…deserving of both Best Album Opener AND Worst Video Ever mentions, for sure!
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Thanks FFW for the Sasami recommendation.
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