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Opening/Closing Songs?


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People always ask about favourite bands, favourite artists, favourite songs etc etc. I asked this question on another forum I go to, and it went down pretty well, so what are your favourite opening/closing songs on albums/EP's?

The opener has to set the tone for the rest of the album, come out of the blocks and hit the ground running, sucking the audience into the album straight away, whilst the closer has to do just that, offer a sense of closure to the album, the end of the line of that album, usually summising the whole attitude of the album.

For opening songs, it's hard to beat Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as an opener, as its just raw and aggressive, sucking you in instantly. However, I also think that At The Drive In "Arcarsenal (from the Relationship Of Command album) and earthtone 9 "Withered" (from the Lo Definition Dischord album) are pretty close to being as good at opening the album.

For closers, nothing comes as good as NIN "Hurt", but thats probably due to the concept nature of the album. Otherwise, I'd probably have to go with "Something In The Way" by Nirvana, or possibly Live "What Are We Fighting For?" as good closing songs.

So, what do people think?

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Fallen (Sarah McLachlan)

Probably the best song on the entire album, both musically and lyrically. Just a great song, and I couldn't imagine another song replacing it.

Son et Lumiere/Inertiatic ESP (The Mars Volta)

I listed both the first and second tracks since they're basically the same track. Besides, both serve as an intro into the story/downfall of "Cerpin Taxt".


Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt (The Mars Volta)

It's the logical conclusion to TMV's story of Cerpin Taxt - he "takes the veil", or he's in purgatory after committing suicide.

Non-Zero Possiblity (At The Drive-In)

Probably the closest you'll get to a "ballad" from ATD-I. Beautiful song too.

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Although I'm not a huge GnR fan, Welcome to the Jungle really sets the tone well for the rest of the album. No Strings by Roots Manuva is a really brilliant way to open Run Come Save Me - it's like a string overture to the album. I think Cherub Rock by Smashing Pumpkins on Siamese Dream is also a nice way to start the album. The Revolution by Talib Kweli also starts off The Beautiful Struggle quite well, and sets the tone for the album later on.

As for ending tracks, I really like how Promises ends 13 Songs by Fugazi, When Will The Forest Speak…? by Sikth is one of the most mindblowing endings to an album I can remember and Fickle by Dizzee Rascal on Showtime is another great closing song that ends abruptly and leaves you wanting more.

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Hell's Bells (AC/DC, Back In Black)

The bells were really there to signify Bon Scott's death, as a small tribute to him.


Night Crawler (AC/DC, Highway To Hell)

Not really because the song is great, but ironically because you have the last recorded track that Bon did, and the final words are erriely 'Shazbot, Nanoo-Nanoo', which was Mork's sign off from the 'Mork and Mindy Show', kind of foreshadowing Bon Scott signing off from AC/DC and life in general.

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Garbage - "Temptation Waits"

I waited three years to get my hands on Version 2.0, Garbage's sophomore effort. And when I did, and this song came out of my speakers... ho-ly shit. Hands down, my favorite opening track on any album I've ever bought and it was the first song they played when I saw them in concert in November of 1998. Great song that sets the tone for a perfect album.

Metallica - "Ain't My Bitch"

Wanna talk about a tone setter? After a long absence, Metallica hits the ground running with a different sound, but still a raw, rocking sound. Sets the tone for a new sound, but it's still Metallica.

KoRn - "Blind"

Speaking of different. When these guys first hit the scene, music changed for me. At the time, my music tastes were kind of in limbo because music was kind of in limbo. Grunge was dead and rock radio wasn't exactly sure what the hell was going on. That's why in the mid 90s, you could throw anything at the wall and see what would stick, which is why we got the Spice Girls played on Alternative Radio, that "Your Woman" song, and it even looked like Seven Mary Three was gonna take us back to a more classic rock sound. However, while all this was going on, I was just about to enter middle school and the summer prior to that, my half brother was visiting from Alabama and he happened to have this CD from a band called KoRn. I threw it in and I knew immediately from this song that these guys were doing something no one had ever done before. Sure enough, about three years later, they're the biggest rock band in America. This song will always be the one that sticks in my head because it IS KoRn to me, it's what they're all about.


Nine Inch Nails - "Hurt"

How can you possibly go wrong here? This is hands down the best closing song ever put on an album. It wraps up the Downward Spiral perfectly; it's different, but not, hard to explain really.

Garbage - "Milk"

This whole album always gives me a feeling of need, wanting, emptiness and this song closes it out perfectly. Very few bands today craft albums rather than tossing singles together, but Garbage has always had a knack for telling a story through their releases. Probably the number one reason they're my favorite band of all time.

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As the blind Strung Out fan that I am I must say Strung Out will be at least on my list for both.

IMO, the opening song must be one of the best on the album. Something that really sets the scene for what's left to come. And for the closing song, it must either round up the CD with one last message, or just be an amazing way to wrap it up and wind down.

I couldn't narrow them down, especially best opener. So I have just given my favourite 9, in no order. (As you can see, it features some bands more than once. As some people are perfect at writing songs to kick in a CD)

Best Opener

"Velvet Alley" by Strung Out - "An American Paradox" (Catchy. Beautiful. Shame most of the rest of the album is pretty 'meh' for the most part.)

"No Shirt, No Shoes, No Salvation" by Death by Stereo - "Day of Death" (Really sets the scene for the rest of the album. Best song on there IMO. It's so tough to catagorise this band)

"Mission to Mars" by Strung Out - "The Element of Sonic Defiance" (It's the start of one of my most cherished CD's. The CD itself may only be 26 minutes, but it's great from start to finish. Good drumming, good guitar work, excellent vocals. The song itself is fast and frantic. Strung Out at their best.)

"The Glass Prison" by Dream Theater - "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" (My joint favourite band. Though I admit, they shit on Strung Out. But I like them for different reasons. They can do no wrong. Amazing track, really sets the scene for a truly amazing album.)

"Change of Seasons" by Dream Theater - "A Change of Seasons" (This could be seen as cheating. As this song is pretty much the CD, and is the sole focus of the CD to be honest. 24 minutes of bliss. I love it)

"Black Masks and Gasoline" by Rise Against - "Revolutions Per Minute" (If Rise Against can do 1 thing. It's make an inspiring first track)

"State of the Union" by Rise Against - "Siren Song of the Counter Culture"

"Around the World" by RHCP - "Californication"

"Fight Till You Die" by Pennywise - "Full Circle"

Best Closing Song

"Finally Free" by Dream Theater - "Scenes from a Memory"

"Rise Inside" by Killswitch Engage - "Alive or Just Breathing"

"Wrong Side of the Tracks" by Strung Out - "Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues"

Erm. I've ran out.

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Best openers:

'Third Eye' - Tool - 'Salival'

Just fucking wow. Epic. Thought-provoking. A real punch to the face.

'Brain Of JFK' - Pearl Jam - Yield

Hits you hard and fast. It's great :D

Best closers:

'Take The Veil, Cerpin Taxt' - The Mars Volta - De-loused In The Comatorium

Perfect. Another epic, yet one that makes perfect sense, storyline-wise.

'All Those Yesterdays' - Pearl Jam - Yield

Soft, yet hard. Emotional. Makes you think. I love it :D

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"Slave Labour" - Fear Factory - Archetype

"Blind" - Korn - Korn

"You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire" - QOTSA - Songs for the Deaf

"Violent Mood Swings" - Spineshank - Self Destructive Pattern

"Get Inside" - Stone Sour - Stone Sour

"Prison Song" - System of a Down - Toxicity


"Daddy" - Korn - Korn

"Kill You" - Korn - Life Is Peachy

"No One's There" - Korn - Untouchables

"When Will This End?" - Korn - Take a Look in the Mirror

"I Think I Lost My Headache" - QOTSA - Rated R

"My Goodbyes" - Saliva - Every Six Seconds

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"Enter Sandman" by Metallica

"King Of The Rotten" by Corrosion Of Conformity

"Wolf" by Iced Earth

"Battery" by Metallica


"High Water Mark" by Iced Earth from the Gettysburg Trilogy CD

"The Phantom Opera Ghost" by Iced Earth

"Dyers Eve" by Metallica

"The Struggle Within" by Metallica

"The Outlaw Torn" by Metallica

"Fixxxer" by Metallica

Edited by SkinMySenses
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I got couple of enders...

Meshuggah - Elastic

Elastic is a pretty good song, but after that... Wow. Atleast five or six songs off of the album start playing at the same time and rupture your eardrums the first time around. The chaos is just mindboggling.

Dropkick Murphys - Skinhead On The MBTA

Just hilarious and excellent, a great and a uplifting way to end the excellent Do Or Die-album.

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Black Shuck really sets the pace for The Darkness' "Permission To Land" album.

I was goiing to say that. I was also going to say that Holding My Own is a great ending too.

Disturbed's Darkness is a cool ending to Believe, also. Both nice quiet songs to end on after the rawk of the rest of the album.

My Spirit Will Go On is the perfect opener for Dragonforce's Sonic Firestorm.

Imperium is just badass as an opener for Through The Ashes of Empires (Machinehead).

Yeah, Holding My Own is a great ending song, can't believe I forgot about that, as with Machine Head "Imperium". Also, "Davidian" is a great opener for Machine Head's first album.

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  • 5 months later...

Bombtrack on Rage against the machine's self titled album is the best opening...Killing in the name only furthers the start of that album...i'd put them as a combo myself

Arials/tribal thingey at the end of Toxicity is the best ender that i can think of right now.

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