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Best way to start an album

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Poll Question: Which of these is the best way to start an album?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
6 [27.27%]
1 [4.55%]
1 [4.55%]
1 [4.55%]
2 [9.09%]
2 [9.09%]
9 [40.91%]
You can not vote in this poll

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Lewian View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:42
Some time ago somebody had two "side 1 track 1" polls. Here's my own. This is a topic of special interest to me. Often I like the first song of an album most, but not every song will work in the beginning. Here's a collection of some of my favourite starts. Please vote for the best way to start an album, which may or may not the song you like best.
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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:45


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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:47




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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 18:55
Sh...!
I forgot to add Talk Talk - Myrrhman. Apparently I can't add an option to a poll without replacing one?
Coincidentally, for mysterious reasons I also don't seem to be able to post more videos. So this poll will go ahead without Talk Talk (although that song's another pretty unique way to start an album).
Maybe I do another one, chances are I find a few more that are remarkable.


Edited by Lewian - June 28 2018 at 18:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 20:06
From your list I don't know but for me Gentle Giant wins the award for best ever openers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 21:13
Moody Blues' Departure/Ride My See-Saw will never be beat. Maybe imitated, but never duplicated.




Edited by Tapfret - June 28 2018 at 21:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2018 at 21:24
1. Find the album.
2. Play it.
3. Listen to it in great detail.
4. Hopefully enjoy it.  

Does this help!!    Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 03:37
I really like Deadwing and King of the Mountain, but my vote goes to The Cardiacs.

Three years ago, I hated the band. Now - I like them more and more and that track is both brilliant and a great way to kick off an album.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 07:03
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

From your list I don't know but for me Gentle Giant wins the award for best ever openers.
There's something in this. I like when an album gets straight down to what it's going to be all about, just grabbing you and pulling you into its world. GG were good at this, as were Steely Dan, eg Caves of Altamira opening The Royal Scam with that killer horn riff and rolling groove...

Edited by Mascodagama - June 29 2018 at 07:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 07:12
Amon Düül II for me, but it's hard to define the "Best Way" to start an album, since the criteria is not really defined.

Edited by Manuel - June 29 2018 at 07:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 07:49
I don't know. I think Tarkus is one of the most epic ways to start any album. Hemispheres too
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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 07:53
Well, as always the major criterion is how you like it most.
However, it could also be interesting to discuss ways of starting an album more generally, fine by me.
Quote
I like when an album gets straight down to what it's going to be all about, just grabbing you and pulling you into its world.
Not sure but maybe a) this and b) gentle introduction and build up are some major approaches that can work well. Are there more that can be described easily?

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Lewian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 08:10
The Cardiacs one is quite special; this approach is probably not used a lot. Let's start the album with a special fanfare piece that makes a mark and celebrates the start of the album - even if it's completely different from the music that comes later. (Frith's Sparrow Song is a bit like this, although more in the vein of the rest of the album.)

Kate Bush's one is a very effective execution of the principle to lead the listener slowly into it, with stronger instrumentation coming in later; the singer has her more intimate moment with the listener before more is kicking in, but the main theme of the song is brought up very early on.

Camberwell Now give only a few seconds time to adapt to the major adrenalin injection; not sure whether this fits the description of "striaght down - pulling you into its world", I think it does.
Porcupine Tree gives some more introductory time but it's not a slow build up, rather it goes all in after some very minimal preparation; I love the moment in which this happens.

I love the dark build-up of Surrounded by the Stars, like illuminating a dark room with some glimpses of light, not really showing but hinting at what will be in it.

Art Zoyd's one rather puts up a massive wall of mystery, acoustic equivalent perhaps to dry ice fog at the beginning of the concert behind which the band finally appears, expect here doom will appear and you know it from the start.


Edited by Lewian - June 29 2018 at 08:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I prophesy disaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 08:18
Originally posted by Mascodagama Mascodagama wrote:

I like when an album gets straight down to what it's going to be all about, just grabbing you and pulling you into its world.
 
Wobbler - From Silence To Somewhere doesn't waste any time getting to the ear-candy.
 
 
 
 
 
I was thinking about thinking but it really didn't get me very far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 11:12
I love that Zoyd track!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boojieboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 12:25
LOL. I haven't heard any of those albums in the original list.

Regardless, the great thing about prog is that there are no rules. I leave the album intro to each band, and what they see fit. With that, they all start out appropriate and well.

Having said that, the early Moody Blues albums stand out as being especially memorable.


Edited by Boojieboy - June 29 2018 at 12:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 12:56
Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:

Well, as always the major criterion is how you like it most.
However, it could also be interesting to discuss ways of starting an album more generally, fine by me.
Quote
I like when an album gets straight down to what it's going to be all about, just grabbing you and pulling you into its world.
Not sure but maybe a) this and b) gentle introduction and build up are some major approaches that can work well. Are there more that can be described easily?

I think you've identified a third approach in your subsequent post with reference to Cardiacs - the opener that is essentially unrelated to what comes after it. Not so often employed but it can certainly work. An example that comes to mind is Zappa's Burnt Weeny Sandwich, where the body of the album / weeny in the sandwich is wonderful instrumental music combining rock, jazz and 20th century classical elements almost seamlessly, but the album opens and closes with very straight-up covers of two fifties doo-wop tunes. There's no obvious logic to this and the juxtaposition should be jarring, but I don't find it so - and even though I'm not otherwise a doo-wop listener at all I never skip these bookending tracks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progmatic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 13:54
From this list: Porcupine Tree.  Best song ever to start an album: 21st Century Schizoid Man. As time goes on my appreciation for every facet of this song grows and grows, and it is the perfect introduction to what the world soon came to know as King Crimson.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 15:35
Zoyd 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2018 at 16:58
You start out with a line "Really don't mind if you sit this one out", and then build from there.
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