Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top 5 Side One, Track Ones

A friend of mine, Ryan, and I quite often have the discussion of Vinyl Vs. CDs. He's got an impressive vinyl collection, but I'm always the advocate for CDs. It's not that I don't love vinyl, because I do - there's nothing quite like the sound that an original LP makes - but I guess I'm just cheap. Can't afford to buy records, also I don't have a record player. Something that Ryan pointed out to me, though, was that the best thing about listening to records is that you have to listen to them start to finish, the way they were meant to be played. Personally, I hate listening to things on 'shuffle'. Unless it's a greatest hits or a compilation, you should never disrupt the original order of an album. It's just not done. That was a very off-topic ramble.

So uh, my favourite book is High Fidelity, and anyone who has read the book or seen the movie would probably have figured this out already. Anyway, as an homage, here (would be) my Top 5 Side One, Track Ones (if I listened to vinyl). As it is, it's just Top 5 Track Ones.

5. "Them Bones" - ALICE IN CHAINS (from the album Dirt)

The first song of an album is all about making a good first impression. Start off strong, make the listener want to keep listening. "Them Bones" opens with Layne Staley's harsh vocals, a chromatic guitar riff (played in 7/4 meter sig, except in the chorus, very ballsy). The song perfectly prepares the listener for what the whole album is gonna be: emotionally heavy, drug addled, hard rock and awesomeness.

4. "From Out of Nowhere" - FAITH NO MORE (from the album The Real Thing)

This was the first song that FNM released with Mike Patton on vocals, and it is a perfect sneak attack on the fans, just to let them know what they can expect from this dude. From the start, this song is all rise. Starts off high, the middle is high, it ends high, and then it eases right on in to "Epic", which is another fantastic song that again gives the listener a whole new taste of Patton's talents. Good God, I love Mike Patton.

3. "Burnout" - GREEN DAY (from the album Dookie)

Say what you want about Green Day, but for 1994 Bay Area punk, Dookie was a great album. Starting with Tré Cool's sharp hits on a snare and followed up by Billie Joe's pop-punk voice, revelling in his declaration that he doesn't care anymore, "Burnout" is a fine anthem for deadbeats everywhere, and sets the tone for the rest of the album - their highest selling record to date. A sweet revenge against all their fans who had been hitting back at them for 'selling out' by moving to a major label (after releasing 3 EPs and 1 studio album with their independent label, Lookout!). Of course, now they'd have to do a hell of a lot more to convince us that they haven't sold out.

2. "My Own Summer (Shove It) - DEFTONES (from the album Around the Fur)

Some bands pop up more than others in my Top 5 lists, and it's simply for this reason: I LOVE Deftones. I LOVE Alice in Chains. I LOVE Jeff Buckley. I could probably put one of each of their songs in every single one of my Top 5 lists, but sometimes I choose not to, just to shake things up. But there is no avoiding this song. "My Own Summer" is just ... awesome. Perfection. It's total badass. Around the Fur is one of my favourite albums of all time, and the hard, melancholic, melodic way that the album begins is one of the many reasons it makes it onto that list.

1. "The Grudge" - TOOL (from the album Lateralus)

8:37 minutes of unbelievable musical genius. Now, Lateralus was not my favourite Tool album (if you're asking, it was Ænima), but "The Grudge" was their best opening song. It's strong, it's powerful, it's got Maynard (first name basis) using every element that his voice has to offer, and it's got those perfectly patented Tool lyrics that you know are some of the most profound things you've ever heard, but you've got no fucking clue what they mean. This is the perfect, PERFECT introduction that this album could possibly have.

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