11 best opening songs from debut albums

Some bands and artists get it right on the first track of their first album.
Manic Street Preachers London 1991
Manic Street Preachers London 1991 / Martyn Goodacre/GettyImages
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“Holding Someone’s Hair Back” – Circa Survive – Juturna (2005)

The most striking element of emo/metal/prog group Circa Survive’s songs are surely the ultra-high-pitched vocals of frontman Anthony Green, but there’s more to the group than that. Green’s obtuse lyrics and the spirited rhythm section make sure that the band’s songs remain thrilling throughout. The group’s opening track from its debut album showcases all of those notable elements perfectly – all tucked into a tricky time signature alongside some beefy guitar riffing. An exciting start for a supremely underrated band.

“I Want You Now” – The Feeling – Twelve Stops and Home (2006)

The Feeling’s debut album Twelve Stops and Home was marred by heavy-handed record label meddling, which features an entirely different track list depending on if you have the original U.K. or U.S. release – likely because the band’s label believed U.S. listeners wouldn’t “get” the group.

Of course, that is asinine, and, as such, the original English version of this album is the far superior choice, as this was the way the group originally intended for listeners to hear the album. That album’s terrific pacing is littered with standout tracks, but opener “I Want You Now” delivers terrific hook-laden power pop right out of the gate. A supremely underrated album let down by record label meddling.

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“Boys” – Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time (2013)

Sky Ferreira is among the most intriguing talents to debut in the 2010s. The opening track from her debut album, which sounds like an industrial version of a 1950s girl group song or a woman-fronted Jesus and Mary Chain, is unlike anything else released before or since. Somehow, her long-gestating second album, Masochism, has still not been released despite her debut album being over 10 years old – due to (primarily) record label meddling. A standout track that introduced a deeply underrated and somewhat forgotten singer from the 2010s.

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