The First Track is the Single
The first track on an album is usually also released as a single.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-10-14 17:52:15 sponsor: Crane (last reply: 2013-01-07 14:06:03)

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The first track on an album is usually also the single (not necessarily the first single, but it often is). This is often done for commercial reasons (turning on an album and hearing a song the listener already likes and is familiar is a good way to keep them listening), but it's just as often done simply because the song fit there or because it sets the tone of the album.


Examples:

  • Aloe Blacc - Good Things: "I Need a Dollar".
  • Arcade Fire has included a single as the first track on all of their albums so far, though it's more that they were released as singles because they set the tone of the album so well rather than that they were included as the first track because they were singles.
  • The Beatles:
    • A Hard Day's Night: eponymous track
    • Help!: eponymous track
    • The Beatles (aka the White Album): "Back in the USSR"
    • Yellow Submarine: eponymous track (though it should be noted that it was originally featured on Revolver as track 6)
    • Abbey Road: "Come Together"
  • Black Sabbath:
    • Black Sabbath: eponymous track
    • Paranoid: "War Pigs"
    • Master of Reality: "Sweet Leaf"
    • Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: eponymous track
    • Sabotage: "Hole in the Sky"
    • Heaven and Hell: "Neon Knights"
    • Mob Rules: "Turn Up the Night"
  • Dire Straits:
    • Making Movies: "Tunnel of Love"
    • Brothers In Arms: "So Far Away"
    • On Every Street: "Calling Elvis"
  • The Doors:
    • The Doors: "Break On Thru"
    • Waiting For the Sun: "Hello I Love You"
    • Morrison Hotel: "Roadhouse Blues"
  • The Eagles:
    • Eagles: "Take it Easy"
    • On the Border: "Already Gone"
    • One of These Nights: eponymous track
    • Hotel California: eponymous track
    • The Long Run: eponymous track
  • Florence + the Machine: "Dog Days are Over" from Lungs.
  • Jessie J: "Price Tag" from Who You Are.
  • Jimi Hendrix:
    • Are You Experienced: US version: "Purple Haze", UK version: "Foxy Lady" (both singles)
  • Kerli: The title track of Love is Dead.
  • Lady Gaga, like a lot of pop artists, has done this on all of her albums ("Bad Romance" being the first track on The Fame Monster, "Just Dance" being the first track on The Fame, and "Marry the Night" being the first track on Born This Way). She inverts this on Born This Way as well: "Edge of Glory" is the last song.
  • Lana Del Rey: The title track of Born To Die.
  • Led Zeppelin:
    • Led Zeppelin I: "Good Times Bad Times"
    • Led Zeppelin II: "Whole Lotta Love"
    • Led Zeppelin III: "Immigrant Song"
    • Led Zeppelin IV: "Black Dog"
    • Averted on all their subsequent albums.
  • Mark Knopfler (solo):
    • Sailing to Philadelphia: "What It Is"
    • The Ragpicker's Dream: "Why Aye Man"
  • Radiohead did this on Hail to the Thief with "2+2=5" as the first track. Though they later said they were unhappy with the official tracklisting, the revised one featured a single as the first track as well ("There There").
    • The Bends both plays this straight and inverts it. The first and last tracks ("Planet Telex" and "Street Spirit (Fade Out)," respectively) were released as singles.
    • Thom Yorke expressed regret about not issuing "Everything in its Right Place" (the opening song on Kid A) as a single. Unusually, this song is actually one of the less-accessible songs on the album, a haunting keyboard ballad consisting of only a single stanza of lyrics that are distorted and reversed throughout the rest of the song. It sets the tone of the album excellently, but probably wouldn't fit on greatest-hits rock radio.
  • The Rolling Stones:
    • Beggar's Banquet: "Sympathy for the Devil"
    • Let It Bleed: "Gimme Shelter"
    • Sticky Fingers: "Brown Sugar"
    • Some Girls: "Miss You"
    • Tattoo You: "Start Me Up"
    • Undercover: "Undercover of the Night"
    • Dirty Work: "One Hit to the Body"
    • Voodoo Lounge: "Love is Strong"
  • Smashing Pumpkins did this on their first few albums. Gish had "I Am One" as the first track, Siamese Dream had "Cherub Rock," Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness had "Tonight Tonight" as the first full song after a short piano intro, and Adore had "To Shiela" (which was a promo single, though never released as a full one due to Adore performing poorly and not having been Vindicated by History at the time).
  • Steely Dan:
    • Can't Buy A Thrill: "Do It Again"
    • Pretzel Logic: "Rikki Don't Lose That Number"
    • Katy Lied: "Black Friday"
    • The Royal Scam: "Kid Charlemagne"
  • "Mine," "Sparks Fly," and "Back to December," the first three tracks of Taylor Swift's Speak Now, were all released as singles from Taylor Swift's album. "Mine" was also the lead single.
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