The Rockstar Ramblings: Side A Song 1
Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)
There was once a time when music wasn’t downloaded one song at a time, had (in the case of albums and cassettes) two sides (an A side and B side), and song order was not only a conscious decision, but a reason an album would be successful.
Today we look at the glam heavy metal scene (late seventies to early nineties) and review the best first tracks.
“I Wanna Be Somebody” (W.A.S.P): On their self-titled debut (BONUS) 1984 album Blackie Lawless and company kicked off their music with an ode to the genre as well as a statement of who they were going to be. With this song W.A.S.P. would immediately distinguish themselves from other bands (Ratt, Motley Crue), leading to a cult following and limited success. In 1988 the album would be re-released with the song “Fuck Like a Beast” as the first track, pushing “I Wanna…” to track number two.
“Wanted Man” (Ratt): “A lone dealer with snake eyes…” starts off the masterpiece Out of The Cellar.
“Cherry Pie” (Warrant): Here is this week’s shout out to Warrant, Jani Lane, and the song “Cherry Pie”.
“Yankee Rose” (David Lee Roth): In what was labeled as his initial solo album, Roth put his best foot forward with “Rose”, a song that begins by Diamond Dave trading barbs with Steve Vai’s guitar, followed by catchy hooks and karate kicks.
“Bark at The Moon”/”The Ultimate Sin” (Ozzy Osbourne): At the peak of his solo career, Ozzy would put out the albums Bark at The Moon and The Ultimate Sin, each containing the title song as the first track.
“Wild Side”/”Dr.Feelgood”/”Live Wire” (Motley Crue): Maybe no one understood the importance of starting off an album with a bang more than Nikki Sixx.
“Big Guns”/”Monkey Business” (Skid Row): “Guns” represented Skid Row’s entrance into the glam heavy metal territory, “Monkey Business” solidified their standing and also showed they were going to get heavier as time passed.
And now, the TOP 3:
3. “Welcome to The Jungle” (Guns N Roses): This is a song that could easily be number one. Off the debut album, Appetite For Destruction, it is a song that to this day many consider their greatest.
2. “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” (Quiet Riot): Often mistaken to be the first album of Quiet Riot, it is actually their third. “Metal Health” is the first song of the one-two punch followed by “Cum on Feel the Noise”.
1. “Runnin’ With The Devil ( Van Halen): Side A, Side 1, First album and the lyrics “I live my life like there’s no tomorrow…”, the initial lyrics that built a bridge from Aerosmith and KISS to Motley Crue and Poison.
David S. Grant is the author of books Corporate Porn, Bleach|Blackout, Hollywood Ending, Emotionless Souls, and The Last Breakfast. His new novel, Blood-the New Red, will be available this fall. For more information please go to http://www.davidsgrant.com.
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