On April 24, we begin our week-long search on Twitter to establish what you, the followers of @fliptherec, think is the greatest opening album track of all time.
We have narrowed down the search to 32 songs and you will be asked to pick your favourite within a World Cup style competition.
Starting off with eight groups of four with the top two qualifying for the last 16, the songs will then enter a straight knockout format, taking us through the quarterfinals, semifinals and then, if successful, the final itself.
Here is our Spotify playlist of all the 32 songs.
Here we take a look at those competing.
The Beatles – Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album was released 50 years ago and spent 27 weeks on top of the UK chart. This bold opening track gave the listeners an indication of what was to follow on the band’s eighth and most expiremental studio album.
The Rolling Stone – Sympathy for the Devil. Taken from the 1968 album Beggars Banquet, this is as fresh today as it was on its release. Jagger’s ironic homage to the devil peaked at No10 in the UK which begs the question, what were they doing in the 60s not to make this a No1? (I think we all know the answer to that one).
The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice. The perfect song for the summer. Describing the struggle of love-struck youngsters desperate to run away and tie the knot, the track has stood up to the test of time. Pet Sounds remains one of the best albums of all time.
The Who – Baba O’Riley. Taken from the band’s Who’s Next album, the song is about the absolute desolation of teenagers at Woodstock. With one of the most instantly recognisable intros ever, Baba O’Riley is one hell of an album opener.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit. Now that is what you call a guitar riff. Kurt Cobain wrote a timeless and unmistakable anthem for the youth with this grunge classic back in 1991. Teen Spirit turned Nirvana into stars overnight and helped change the musical landscape.
Rage Against the Machine – Bombtrack. Angry with an unfair and unjust political system, RATM threw a grenade on the fire when they opened their self-titled album with Bombtrack. “Burn, burn, yes you’re gonna burn,” roars Zack de la Rocha. Bombtrack was a huge statement of intent.
Green Day – American Idiot. Coming in at just under three minutes, American Idiot had the balls to rip into the Bush administration and the media for whipping up paranoia and dumbing down the news. The song reached number three in the UK and the album was turned into a Broadway musical.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock. The song peaked at 31 on the UK singles chart on its release in 1993, but readers of Rolling Stone voted Cherub Rock as the 25th best greatest guitar track of all time in 2008. It was the last track recorded for Siamese Dream, but Billy Corgan insisted on it being the first single release from the album.
Oasis – Rock ‘n’ Roll Star. “In my mind my dreams are real, Now we’re concerned about the way I feel, Tonight, I’m a rock ‘n’ roll star.” Not only that, but Oasis were on the way to being one of the biggest bands in the world. Rock ‘n’ Roll star is one for the dreamers. It’s full of hope and makes you believe anything is possible.
Shed Seven – Getting Better. Taken from the band’s second album, A Maximum High, Getting Better gave the indie kids of the mid-90s belief that a change for the better was coming. Unfortunately what we didn’t know at the time was that this was as good as it was going to get. I defy anyone to sit still and not sing along with Rick Witter here.
Paul Weller – The Changingman. “And the more I see, the more I know, The more I know, the less I understand, I’m The Changingman.” The Modfather opened up his third solo album, Stanley Road, with this tale of growing up. The song peaked at number seven in 1995, becoming Weller’s first solo top 10 hit.
Suede – Trash. There is nothing rubbish about this absolute classic from Brett Anderson and co. Trash, the first single from the band’s third studio album Coming Up, went on to be the band’s biggest selling single in the UK. Yet another sing-along classic from the halycon days of Britpop.
The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony. One of the defining tracks of the Britpop era, Bitter Sweet Symphony is arguably The Verve’s signature song – even though it failed to top the UK singles chart. Taken from the band’s third album, Urban Hymns, the stars finally aligned for Richard Ashcroft and co. Although they had an infamous legal battle with The Rolling Stones, they had produced a great song, an iconic video and released an album that went on to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored. The song was never going to win any awards for its lyrics, but The Stone Roses created more than four minutes of sheer music heaven with the opening track from their self-title debut album. Ian Brown’s plea for adulation certainly worked as The Stone Roses are regarded as one of the best bands Britain has ever produced.
Manic Street Preachers – Yes. Taken from the critically acclaimed album The Holy Bible, Yes takes us on a tawdry tale of prostitution. Containing more swear words than a Roy Chubby Brown set, Yes remains one of the band’s most popular tracks.
Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up. Screamadelica is arguably one of the greatest albums of the 90s and Movin’ On Up is a fantastic opener, drawing on influences from all over the shop. Bobby Gillespie fused The Stones, gospel and acid to create this timeless classic.
Blur – Girls and Boys. It’s true, all you need are Girls, Boys and Loooovvvve. Blur bounced back from disappointing sales of Modern Life is Rubbish with Parklife, and the stage was set with this absolute banger! “Love in the nineties, is paranoid, on sunny beaches, take your chances.” Oh take me back to the mid-90s now!
Ian Brown – FEAR. The Stone Roses legend is the only man to feature in this list twice, and no wonder when he has I Wanna Be Adored and FEAR on his CV. FEAR, taken from Music of the Spheres, is undoubtedly Brown’s finest solo effort. From the opening string arrangement, FEAR grabs you by the balls and doesn’t loosen its grip.
U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name. Taken from the critically acclaimed album The Joshua Tree, this song is now 30 years old but still sounds as fresh as ever. Whatever you think of Bono today, put it to the back of your mind and just listen to the track again. He sings this with such passion that you can’t help but belting it out with him. It’s a quality tune from one of the biggest selling albums of all time.
Placebo – Pure Morning. The first track on the band’s most successful album, Without You I’m Nothing, Pure Morning has only been performed live a handful of times since 2005, with singer Brian Molko stating that the lyrics nauseate him. He may have a point. “A friend in need’s a friend indeed, a friend with weed is better, A friend with breasts and all the rest, a friend who’s dressed in leather.” Brian’s voice may not be to everyone’s liking, but this is a stirring opening to a fantastic album.
The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up. Taken from the band’s third and most commercially successful album, if Smack My Bitch Up doesn’t get you up on your feet then I’d check for a pulse as there must be something seriously wrong with you. The controversial song – not to mention the video – had The Beastie Boys fizzing ahead of their show at Reading 98, with the rappers wanting the song axed from the Prodigy’s set. Liam point-blank refused and told the rappers where to get off. It’s 20 years old but it still gets this old man throwing some legendary shapes!
The Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats. Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons scored their second No1 UK chart-topper with Block Rockin’ Beats in 1997. With electronica music making huge dents in the landscape, the Chemical Brothers were leading the charge with the Prodigy – and became one of the most sought after DJs in the world. The video also features a young Billy Mitchell from EastEnders!
The Pixies – Cecila Ann. The only instrumental track to feature in the list, The Pixies nailed this pulsating opener to their third album Bossanova. Like something you’d hear in a fight scene from a modern western, Cecila Ann delivers sheer delight to the eardrums.
The Clash – London Calling. The punk pioneers took their sound to new levels with the release of their self-titled album. From its chugging guitars, to its evocative lyrics, London Calling still sounds as important now as when it was released. Will it get your vote though as we search for the best opening album track.
Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady. Released 50 years ago, the sexual Foxy Lady reels you in straight from the off and doesn’t let you off the hook. The song is the lead track on the Are You Experienced album and showcases Hendrix’s killer guitar skills. Hendrix is quoted as saying this is the only happy song he has ever recorded. What a track.
Michael Jackson – Bad. Five years after the release of the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller, Michael Jackson needed a big song to open his comeback record in 1987, and Bad lived up to the billing. Despite topping the charts around the world, Bad only managed No3 in the UK.
David Bowie – Changes. Written when his wife was pregnant with their first son, Changes remains one of Bowie’s most popular tracks. The song initially started out as a parody of a nightclub track, but the song struck a chord with his young followers who could relate to the lyrics and made it a hit.
Kaiser Chiefs – Everyday I Love You Less and Less. Proving that you can fall out of love as easily as you can fall in it, Kaiser Chiefs laid down a marker with this storming opener on their debut album. Ricky Wilson was full of bravado as he spat out the lyrics “I can’t believe once you and me did sex, It makes me sick to think of you undressed, Since everyday I love you less and less.” The song reached the top 10 and spent 34 weeks on the UK singles chart.
Guns n Roses – Welcome to the Jungle. With Axl Rose’s explosive delivery and Slash’s sensational guitar skills, Guns n Roses came out of the blocks like a runaway train with Welcome to the Jungle. It has it all. Great vocals, great riffs, great beat and a great video. Best opening track ever? It could easily be the best track ever! Astonishingly, it only reached number 24 in the UK singles charts but the album, Appetite for Destruction, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army. Stomping out of your speakers, Seven Nation Army is undoubtedly the White Stripes signature song. The unmistakeable riff, defiant lyrics and pounding drums, have made this track bigger than Jack and Meg White themselves. Seven Nation Army is now a terrace anthem with football fans across Europe adopting the chorus to their own needs and darts legend Michael Van Gerwen even uses it as his walk-on song.
Metallica – Enter Sandman. Tip for any parents out there. Don’t play this around your offspring. Oh no, it won’t give them nightares. It’ll turn them into wannabe rock stars! Enter Sandman, off the band’s self-titled fifth album, launches a pulsating all-out assault on your ear drums. If you can keep your air guitar and air drums away during this monster track then ask yourself, are you even human?!
“Exit, light, enter, night, Take my hand, we’re off to never-never land.”
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Around The World. Taken from the band’s 1999 album, Californication, Anthony Kiedis shares with us his tales and experiences of travelling the globe. Released as a single it only reached 35 in the UK but has established itself as one of the most popular songs on the band’s set list.
So there you have it. Our list of the best opening tracks from some of the best bands in the world. But which song gets your vote?