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Albums with the best lead-in songs


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I've always considered album openers and closers to be the two most important songs on any album. But I'll stick with openers here, since it's the subject.

My favourites are:

Standing On The Outside - Cold Chisel (from East)

Baba O'Riley - The Who (from Who's Next)

21st Century Schizoid Man - King Crimson (from In The Court Of The Crimson King)

Close To The Edge - Yes (from Close To The Edge)

Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones (from Tattoo You)

Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones (from Beggars Banquet)

Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones (from Let It Bleed)

White Room - Cream (from Wheels Of Fire)

Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses (from Appetite For Destruction)

Civil War - Guns N' Roses (from Use Your Illusion II)

D'you Know What I Mean - Oasis (from Be Here Now)

Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers (from Stadium Arcadium)

Aqualung - Jethro Tull (from Aqualung)

Minstrel In The Gallery - Jethro Tull (from Minstrel In The Gallery)

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Finding My Way (Rush)

Anthem (Fly by Night)

The Sprit of Radio (Permanent Waves)


Of a Lifetime (Journey)

Majestic (Evolution, and Captured)

Anyway You Want It (Departure)

Don't Stop Believin' (Escape)

Separate Ways (Frontiers)

Red 13 (Red 13)

Van Halen:

Runnin' with the Devil (Van Halen)

1984/Jump (1984)

Good Enough (5150)


Light Up (Equinox)

Put Me On (Crystal Ball)

A.D. 1928/Rockin' the Paradise (Paradise Theater)

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"Watcher Of The Skies" by Genesis, with its unmistakable and unforgettable Mellotron intro, leads off not one, not two, but three different albums.

The original version leads off Foxtrot, and a live performance of the song leads off Genesis Live. But to me, the best version of the song is the one that opens (and is the title track for) the 1996 orchestral Genesis tribute album by the group's ex-guitarist Steve Hackett. In this case the Mellotron is replaced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

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