Side One, Track One: The 25 Greatest Album Openers In Classic Rock History

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-By Frank Donovan

Today we rarely listen to entire albums, track by track, as one cohesive experience painstakingly crafted by musicians and their producers. But it used to be nothing short of crucial, especially for debut albums, to open with a bang. The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was a jubilant yet bold testament to their new progressive, symphonic sound; Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” introduced not only their album Nevermind, but also the Seattle sound to the world. Like they say, first impressions matter!

To honor the art of the opening track, we’ve ranked the 25 best album openers in rock.