Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Your Track Twos

Last week, I kicked off The Album Wall's second year with a list of my favourite track twos. Iron Maiden were there, as were Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, ought to read it, it was really quite the blog post.

Anyway, after publishing that list, I then opened the floor to you lot, hoping to be reminded of some other smashing second songs. You didn't disappoint me, and so here are five of your favourite track twos:

The Modern Age by The Strokes (from Is This It)
Suggested by Hertford Soul
The opening track of Is This It sounds kind of subdued, and so The Modern Age is the moment when things really kick into gear. It's the first glimpse of what has become The Strokes' signature sound: spiky guitars, near-spoken vocals, and plenty of opportunities for jerky, awkward dancing.

Breakthrough by Modest Mouse (from This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About)
Suggested by Joey Baltimore
A cracking call from Joey, this one. Breakthrough is one-third of a truly terrific opening trio, and the shouty-screamy silliness of this track is the perfect antidote to Dramamine's widescreen brooding and the bruised weariness of Custom Concern.

In Bloom by Nirvana (from Nevermind)
Suggested by Groanin' Jock
Here's one that we all know. Whether Smells Like Teen Spirit is a good opening track or just a good attention-grabbing single is up for debate, but as soon as In Bloom blusters into earshot, you know that Nevermind is more than just a one-trick record.

A Design for Life by Manic Street Preachers (from Everything Must Go)
Suggested by Super Dudey
As with the Strokes track, A Design for Life is that particular sort of Track 2 that switches everything up a gear and opens the album properly. Both Is This It and Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier are kind of gentle, setting all the pieces up so that tracks like this can knock them down.

Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen (from Nebraska)
Suggested by Dyfrig Williams
This one, on the other hand, chooses not to knock the pieces over; instead, it stoically tells us that it isn't interested in board games before wandering away to sit somewhere quiet. Nebraska opens with another subdued title track, but where Springsteen would usually bring the bombast, he uses track #2 to tell us that, yes, the whole album is going to be a quiet, reined-in affair, and yes, it's going to be amazing.

Thanks to everyone who made a suggestion - feel free to keep sharing your own favourite second songs in the comments.


  1. AM 180 from 'Under the Western Freeway' by Grandaddy

    Epic from 'The Real Thing' by Faith No More

    Teethgrinder from 'Nurse' by Therapy?

  2. Couple of new ones

    Hot Dreams by Timber Timbre & Red Eyes by The War On Drugs,

  3. Unstraightforwardtune from 'Fixation With Long Journeys' by Derrero

    Angela Surf City from 'Lisbon' by The Walkmen

    Poodle Rockin' from 'Spanish Dance Troupe' by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci