Because Songs Matter


Hey Rob: Top 5 - Side One, Track One

Ok so this isn’t a rip off of High Fidelity but rather a nod to the movie that gave me the inspiration for this, almost, weekly feature. If you don’t do vinyl then Side One, Track one is the first cut on a CD. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Mine is Side One, Track One out of the collection I have at work which is more limited than I would like for this but some time’s you gotta make do. You can do whatever you like: S1T1 from your current collection on your mp3 player, all time, what’s on your hard drive and so on. I may take the time to post my all time list in the comments at some point. Here’s mine now let’s see yours…

(Has anyone else noticed we tend to post #1 first which is the exact opposite of how most top lists work?)


The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang - American Slang     

William Elliott Whitmore - Ashes To Dust - Midnight     

Lucero - Dreaming In America - Tonight Ain't Gonna Be Good     

Tim Barry - Laurel St. Demos - Idle Idylist     

Two Cow Garage - Speaking In Cursive - Your Humble Narrator     

AUTOPSY IV SAYS: I went with the music that was on my laptop….

The Black Keys - When The Lights Go Out     
(from Rubber Factory): In the opening minute it perfectly captures what that album was gonna sound like and it’s a friggin’ awesome song.

Scott H. Biram - Blood     
(from Dirty Old One-Man Band): One of my favorite opening riffs of all time and again, you could just give this song to a new fan and they’d have a descent idea of what Biram is all about.

Danzig - Long Way Back From Hell     
(from Danzig II: Lucifuge): Following the self-titled, Danzig II opens up where it’s predecessor left off except better.

Drive-By Truckers - Where The Devil Don't Stay     
(from The Dirty South): One of the best Truckers songs ever opens one of their best albums. Everything I love(d) about DBT is present in this track.

and for #5…well, I am gonna hop to the opposite end of the “best” spectrum and post what I think is the worst S1T1 in rock and roll history thus making it the best worst:

The Drive-By Truckers - The Deeper In     
(from Decoration Day): How this song even made the final track listing is beyond me. How it got the opening slot on the album is an even bigger conundrum. Entire careers have been ruined for less. A song about incest, with the lyric, “you all a glow from the love he put in you”.


  1. Martin Luther Presley Martin Luther Presley
    December 15, 2010    

    I love all of the songs mentioned above (and agree about The Deeper In…). Here are five that came to my mind immediately:

    The Brian Jonestown Massacre – All Around You (Intro)
    Chuck Ragan – For Goodness Sake
    Hank III – Satan Is Real/Straight To Hell
    13th Floor Elevators – Slip Inside This House
    Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road

    (Notice how I didn’t pick The Velvets. Or The Beatles…)

  2. Eli Eli
    December 15, 2010    

    The Hold Steady- Constructive Summer- Stay Positive
    Bob Dylan- Like A Rolling Stone- Highway 61 Revisited
    The Jayhawks- Waiting for the Sun- Hollywood Townhall
    Tom Waits- Ol’ 55- Closing Time
    OCMS- Tell It to Me- OCMS

    and a new favorite

    John Hiatt- The Open Road- The Open Road

  3. Brit Brit
    December 15, 2010    

    Quick and dirty off the ipod (thanks for stealing about three I was going to use):

    Glossary – Shaking Like A Flame
    Drag The River – Hang Dog
    Slobberbone – Meltdown
    Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – Prove Me Wrong
    Lucero – What Else Would You Have Me Be

  4. Eli Eli
    December 15, 2010    

    btw, I disagree about “The Deeper In”….I like the song and thought it was a bold move. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion though.

  5. Nick Nick
    December 15, 2010    

    Went through my library real quick and came up with nine, two have already been mentioned (Humble Narrator and Thunder Road).

    1) The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds – “Wouldn’t it Be Nice
    2) The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America – “Stuck Between Stations”
    3) The Replacements – Tim – “Hold My Life”
    4) The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine – “Here’s Your Future”
    5) Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain – “Silence Kit”

    Bonus two:
    Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
    Frank Turner – Love, Ire and Song – “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous”

  6. Brit Brit
    December 15, 2010    

    I think Deeper In is a better album start than I Do Believe…

  7. December 15, 2010    

    I utterly disagree.

  8. December 15, 2010    

    love this one, I’m kind of a sequencing geek and think that not only the sequencing of an album/comp/mix is important, but the first track in particular is the most important. so…

    V-Roys – No Regrets (Just Add Ice)
    Ray Wylie Hubbard – Snake Farm (Snake Farm)
    Backsliders – Abe Lincoln (Southern Lines)
    Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Skunk (Now I Got Worry)
    Wu Tang Clan – Bring The Ruckus (36 Chambers)

  9. Martin Luther Presley Martin Luther Presley
    December 15, 2010    

    “The Hold Steady- Constructive Summer- Stay Positive”

    Oh shit YES!

  10. December 15, 2010    

    Turbonegro: “The Age of Pamparius” (Apocalypse Dudes)
    The Replacements: “I Will Dare” (Let It Be)
    Alice Cooper: “Hello Hooray” (Billion Dollar Babies)
    Beach Boys: “Sail on, Sailor” (Holland)
    Little Feat: “Easy to Slip” (Sailin’ Shoes)

  11. Ryan Heape Ryan Heape
    December 15, 2010    

    The Black Keys – “Everlasting Light” (Brothers) Awesome fuzz bass, stomp-clap jam.

    Ryan Bingham – “Southside Of Heaven” (Mescalito) Possibly one of the best country songs ever written. This is the first song of Bingham’s first album and he doesn’t waste any time grabbing hold of your soul.

    Kings of Leon – “Knocked Up” (Because Of The Times) This was the most unlikely way for Kings to open an album–with a Johnny Cash locomotive beat while the rest of the band wander through a 7 minute song. The story in the lyrics is simple but like a lot of KOL songs it evokes the most primitive, instinctual emotions in a way you didn’t see coming.

    The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter” (Let It Bleed) No other album opener from this era of music grabs me quite like this one.

    Wade Bowen – “You Had Me At My Best” (If We Ever Make It Home) That steel at the beginning makes the whole album.

  12. lisa lisa
    December 15, 2010    

    5.Langhorne Slim – Yer Wrong – Be Set Free
    4.Lucero- Little Silver Heart – Lucero
    3.The Most Beautiful Losers – Darlin Again – Just Killer
    2.Tim Barry – Tile Work – Manchester
    1.Against Me – White Crosses – White Crosses

  13. Greg Greg
    December 16, 2010    

    I wholeheartedly agree with Two Cow Garage – My humble narrator. It has to be one of my favorite songs of theirs, if not my favorite. It was an excellent way to start Speaking In Cursive.

    I would have to do some more thinking to actually come up with a list and order it, but one song comes to my mind right away.

    Boilermaker, by The Jesus Lizard. From their album Liar.

  14. Domagoj Domagoj
    December 16, 2010    

    I went from songs in my head… 1.Two Cow Garage:”your humble narrator” 2. Steve Wynn: “wired” 3. Boulders and the Butchers:”golden and green” 4. Darren Hayman:”art and design” 5. Kate Mann:”devils rope”

  15. acedbt acedbt
    December 16, 2010    

    DBT-Sink Hole, would have been a kick ass opening track

    Two Cow Garage- My Concern, The 1st 4 tracks ROCK

    Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit

    Black Crowes- Good Bye Daughters of the Revolution

    Pantera- Cowboys From Hell

  16. December 16, 2010    

    Head Like A Hole by NIN was a pretty fantastic album opener as well.

  17. Summer Summer
    December 16, 2010    

    1. Two Cow Garage – Come back to shelby from “III”. I know everyone loves Your humble narrator but there’s something about that guitar riff at the beginning of this track that really makes me want to listen to the entire album without stopping.

    2. Drive-by Truckers – Days of Graduation (Southern Rock Opera – Disk 1) and Let There be Rock (Southern Rock Opera – Disk 2). I would almost put these separately but let there be rock doesn’t really count.

    3. Glossary – Only Time Will Tell (Better Angels of our Nature). Once again, the guitar lick at the beginning of this song just draws you in. I love this vinyl and every time I put in on and hear that opening lick it makes me smile.

    4. Tim Barry – Thing of the past (28th and Stonewall) and Idle Idlyst (Laurel Street Demos). What great fucking songs. Every word is so true. I wish I could make every stupid consumer american listen to these songs over and over until there was really some change in this world.

    ICLASOB – Twerp (Put here to bleed). I mean who wouldn’t want to spend the apocalypse drunk and passed out on the floor?

    I also would like to see a last track list because I think the last track on the album is as important as the first. Here’s a few:

    1. Centro-matic – Take a Rake (Fort Recovery)
    2. The Gaslight Anthem – The Backseat (The ’59 Sound)
    3. Two Cow Garage – Brothers in Arms (Sweet Saint Me)

  18. CMS CMS
    December 16, 2010    

    (1) “What Else Would You Have Me Be” – Lucero/Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers.

    (2) “Hornets Hornets” – The Hold Steady/Separation Sunday. “She said always remember never to trust me …”

    (3) “Can’t Stop the Hustle – Jay Z/Reasonable Doubt.

    (4) “Debaser” – Pixies/Doolittle

    (5) “The Genesis/New York State of Mind” – Nas/Illmatic (this is a bit of a cheat, but I love how the intro rolls into the first track and introduces us to Nas and his jaw-dropping skills).

  19. brz brz
    December 16, 2010    

    Ace of Spades – Ace of Spades

  20. Eric Eric
    December 16, 2010    

    “Bad News” – Whitey Morgan
    Always get’s me ready for a good night on the whiskey train.

    “Cold, Cold, Heart” – Hank Williams
    It’s a Greatest hits CD, still counts right? Still changed my life for the best.

    “Miss Ferguson” – Cory Branan

    “Last Pale Light In The West” – Ben Nichols

    “Harlem River Blues” – Justin Townes Earle

    BONUS; “At My Window”- Townes Van Zandt
    There’s a clip of him talkin on track one so I didn’t know if this counted, But it sets the mood for drinkin alone and should be mentioned.

  21. December 16, 2010    

    1. Begin the Begin – REM/Life’s Rich Pageant. Probably one of the hardest rockers they had recorded at the time. Blew me away first time I heard it, and still does.

    2. Sunspots – Bob Mould/Workbook. Bob set the tone right off the top that if you were expecting a Husker Du record, you were going to be disappointed.

    3. Golden Ball & Chain – Jason & the Scorchers/Still Standing. As a young punk a friend played this cassette for me and it was with those opening chords that I learned not to fear twang.

  22. The Chairman The Chairman
    December 16, 2010    

    5. Petersville- The Whipsaws:Ten Day Bender (Your thinking these guys don’t mess around)
    4. Stuck Between Stations- The Hold Steady: Boys & Girls in America (your thinking its good to be here)
    3. Faraway You- Marah: Kids in Philly (your thinking this is gonna be a party)
    2. Bells & Whistles- WNM: The Wicks Have Met (your thinking wait… what… oh OK!)
    1. My Concern- TCG: The Wall Against our Backs (you thinking I am willing to get in some trouble but not end up in jail)

  23. lisa lisa
    December 18, 2010    

    totally have to agree w/ Summer on the Two Cow III track, Come Back to Shelby, that song as stupid as it may sound makes me wanna turn all stripper and take my clothes off.

  24. DtotheAtotheVtotheE DtotheAtotheVtotheE
    December 22, 2010    

    I started learning Blood, Sweat & Murder at my guitar lesson last night. I love that song!

  25. DtotheAtotheVtotheE DtotheAtotheVtotheE
    December 22, 2010    

    Sweet…good to see the Whipsaws on here. Jared Woods lived a couple houses down from me when I lived in Anchorage. That whole 10 day Bender albums is awesome…if you haven’t heard it grab it off iTunes and have a listen!

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