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The Most Epic Opening Rock Tracks

If we’re talking epic, and we’re talking opening rock tracks, Sound & Vision nails it with their list of the Most Epic Opening Rock Tracks. I would’ve thrown in Boredom’s “Vision Creation Newsun”, but that’s just me I guess.

Sure, you can make a ballad with a sexy sax solo the first thing people hear on your new record…but why?

Here are 25 bands that know how to make a first impression–with thunderous guitar riffs, plane crashes and cathedral bells that signal sonic apocalypse.

25) “Cherub Rock,” Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream
Billy Corgan, annoyed with the indie rock community at the time, constructed the sonic equivalent of an approaching army and was nominated for a 1994 Grammy for it. Epic in every art-metal sense of the word, this is a song that was built to open a record.

24) “Waiting Room,” Fugazi, 13 Songs
This 1989 post-hardcore anthem outlined lead singer Ian MacKaye’s new reggae-infused sound in the wake of the dissolution of hardcore punk band Minor Threat.

23) “Message in a Bottle,” Police, Regatta de Blanc
An Andy Summers guitar figure opens this 1979 song about a castaway, and the themes of loss and loneliness have a universality that have given the song epic status among the band’s fanbase. The band reformed in 2007 to play it at the Live Earth festival.

22) “Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2, Joshua Tree
Inspired by the thought that, in Belfast, Ireland, one could tell a person’s religion by the street they lived on, the band sketched a template for one of their most influential albums ever.

21) “Jailbreak,” Thin Lizzy, Jailbreak
The Irish hard rock band fronted by bassist Phil Lynott broke through in 1976 with this urgent tale of dudes tougher than you. The song remains a classic rock—and Guitar Hero—staple.

The Top 20 Most Epic Opening Rock Tracks at Sound & Vision.