Killer Opening Song: Composition at the beginning of an album whose aim is to make a strong and vivid impression on the listener, thus encouraging him/her to continue to listen to the record until the end.
As many fellow bloggers know by now I am passionate about music and it was this devotion that led me to analyse the whole rationale behind the first track of an album. Whichever song gets delegated this task will know that upon its tiny musical shoulders lies the weight of the whole record.
Unfair, you might say. After all, aren't the second, third and subsequent pieces equally responsible? Hmmm... not in the world of pop and rock. And by the way I must make a quick note here. There will not be 'world music' sections on this blog, to me music is music, pop is pop and rock is rock, no matter which part of the world it comes from. End of the note.
Where were we? Ah yes, responsibility. Without having any facts or figures to back my argument up, I dare say that more often than not the first single that gets released from an album is also the first song of the record and usually (but not always) the most successful. Famous singles attest to that fact. Queen released 'We Will Rock You' in 1977 and it immediately became a worldwide hit, even making it to the sports arena. 'Tom's Diner' by Suzanne Vega was one of my favourite top tunes in my second year in Uni in 1990 (I know, the album came out in 1987, but this was Cuba in the late 80s and early 90s, we used to get music a few years behind already) and alongside 'Luka' turned the demure singer-songwriter into a well-known brand. 'El Amor Después del Amor' by Fito Paez was a massive hit in Latin America. The list is endless.
I would like to kick this new column off with a song that I loved when I first heard it and that I still adore years later. And as I was playing it today on my CD player on my way to work I could not help thinking about the strange and surreal scenario I found myself in. You see, after five years working for a local arts organisation, today was my last day. And yet, today I chose to start my day with a song whose lyrics read 'Oh Sugar when you're close to me/You love me right down to my knees/And whenever you let me hit it/Sweet like the honey when it comes to me/Skin is caramel with those cocoa eyes/Even got a big sister by the name of Chocolate Thai'. But that's Killer Opening Songs for you. They finish you off and leave you lying down on the pavement.
D'Angelo: 'Brown Sugar'