Track One

Track Ones: Nine Inch Nails- Head Like A Hole

This one is too easy and since I’m still on a roll from my 19th NIN show, it’s only fitting. There is no denying the power of this song. There is a reason why it’s been a live staple since the beginning and why it pretty much closes the show. “Head Like A Hole” is an absolute triumph of a track one. Interestingly, “Down In It” was the first single from Pretty Hate Machine but, once “Head Like A Hole” was released and the video too, there was nothing that was going to stop Nine Inch Nails. This song is pure awesome. It’s song with 2 choruses and both are equally as punishing as the other! Live, this song goes to a whole other level especially with thousands of people singing along. Head Like A Hole is a perfect example of what a track one should be!

Nine Inch Nails- Head Like A Hole:

Title Tracks: Fear Factory- Demanufacture

The year is 1995 and an album is about to be released that changes the heavy metal game for the future. This landmark album would not only put the band on the map but it would go on to be one of the most influential and inspirational albums of the 90’s metal scene and beyond. I’m talking about Fear Factory and their undeniable masterpiece, Demanufacture. There is one story I love about the making of this album that I have to share. The album was recorded at Bearsville Studios in rural New York. Also in residence at the studio was New Jersey rockers, Bon Jovi who were in the studio recording their album These Days (which is actually a really good album in the Bon Jovi catalog and quite dark too). Anyways the story goes that Fear Factory were in the studio next door and one of Bon Jovi’s engineers asked them to turn the sound down, as it was bleeding into Bon Jovi’s drum mics, during Bon Jovi’s recording sessions. But that’s a whole other story for another time. What I want is to focus on the title track of the album. The concept for the album is about a man’s struggles against a machine-controlled government, with each song a chapter in his life. The first song on the album is the title track “Demanufacture” and as a tone setter, WOW. This song is blistering. The riffs are pummeling and the drums blast like Thor’s hammer. Then when you add Burton C. Bell’s vocals of clean singing to heavier vocals, you just can’t beat it. What a way to start off an album and a classic one at best. This song has gone on to live in infamy as one of the best title tracks but also as a track one!


Fear Factory- Demanufacture:

Track One: Killswitch Engage- Numbered Days

Killswitch Engage’s album Alive Or Just Breathing is more than a game changing album, it’s a metal masterpiece. I had heard the songs “Fixation On The Darkness” and “My Last Serenade” before I heard the whole album but, when I started with track one, I knew a shift was coming in heavy music. “Numbered Days” is one hell of an opening track. Musically it’s heavy and melodic in all the right spots. Lyrically and vocally it’s powerful and gritty along with a generous helping of positivity. It’s one of those perfect album starters. The sing alongs over the years when they play this song live is so much fun to watch and listen to. It’s also interesting to hear Jesse Leach sing this song as well as Howard Jones. Both have such a commanding presence and voice that the message echoes quite loudly!


Killswitch Engage- Numbered Days (with Jesse):

Killswitch Engage- Numbered Days (with Howard):

Track One: Joy Division- Disorder

Joy Division are one of those bands with such a short history but with a legacy and impact that has truly become legendary. Each time I go and listen to this band, I’m always pulled in and find myself becoming more and more intrigued by little nuances and other parts of songs. This captivation has led to countless conversations with others about all sorts of subjects on the band. One of the things I love to discuss with people is the first songs on Unknown Pleasures and Closer and which one is more impactful. To me it has to be “Disorder.” The lyrics of this track are quite introspective and poetic. The music sets a tone for the darkness and yet at moments shines a light in opportune moments throughout.

Joy Division- Disorder:

Track One: Drive Like Jehu- Caress

Drive Like Jehu - Drive Like Jehu - Amazon.com Music

This topic about track one songs is quite fun and interesting. The first song on album more often than not sets the tone for what is to come and on this particular song, it does just that. On the debut album by Drive Like Jehu, they not only kicked open the door with “Caress” but they made damn sure that the impact from the track would sonically blow you away. This is one of those songs that is often copied but can never be truly duplicated. The intensity, subject matter, tonality, production and performances on “Caress” as well as the whole album is astounding. On a side note too, “Caress” was covered by Deftones and released as a b-side on their Diamond Eyes album.

Drive Like Jehu- Caress:


Deftones- Caress:

Track One: At The Drive In- Arcarsenal

At the Drive-In – Arcarsenal Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

There is no denying the magnitude that At The Drive In brought to the table in terms of live shows and albums. Their breakthrough album, Relationship Of Command was a much needed kick in the face when it came out. I still remember the first time I put the CD on and the moment the first song was just starting, I had a feeling this was going to be awesome and then “ARCARSENAL” hits and it was all over from there. What a song to kick off an album and live show. The force and power in this song is undeniable. This song is truly one of the best songs to kick off an album. I had the pleasure many years ago, think it was 2000 or 2001, before they broke up to see At The Drive In and what a show it was. They started their set with “Arcarsenal” and from there IT WAS ON! Everything about this song is perfect.

Arcarsenal (Album Version):

Arcarsenal (Live At The Glass House- I was at this show!):

Track One: The Velvet Underground- White Light/White Heat

The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat | Classic Rock Review

The Velvet Underground is one of my Top 10 all time favorite bands. My mom got me into them when I was still a toddler. There’s something majestic about this band and what they create. Just when you think they are writing a “pop song” they flip the script and out comes something otherworldly. Lou Reed had one hell of a way of telling stories through songs. He was a profound writer and often doesn’t get the credit and respect he deserves. This song “White Light/White Heat” is also the title track of the same name. This song was released in January of 1968. Interestingly the song is about the sensations produced by intravenous injection of methamphetamines. “White Light/White Heat” was also a staple of the Velvet Underground’s live performances from 1967 on. The tune appears on numerous live bootleg albums, and the nearly nine-minute version included on the group’s posthumous 1969 Live double LP is one of the album’s centerpieces. This song holds such a candle with many artists, so much so that David Bowie even recorded a version of it. This track every time I hear it, I have to turn it up super loud and sing along! What a tremendous way to kickstart an album!

The Velvet Underground- White Light/White Heat:

David Bowie- White Light/White Heat:

Track One: Glassjaw- Tip Your Bartender

GLASSJAW - WORSHIP AND TRIBUTE - Music On Vinyl

This morning I woke up feeling really groggy and needed a pick me up. While I was checking the music news, I came across an article about Glassjaw’s performance at Furnace Fest and them playing their album Worship and Tribute in full. The moment I saw that, “Tip Your Bartender” started playing in my head. So, with that in mind let’s put some focus on how terrific “Tip Your Bartender” is as the first song on the album. Not only does it truly kickstart a great album but, it sure does get you pumped. The opening riff is such a force. The sound of this song is the epitome of what the 2000’s post-hardcore genre IS. The many times I’ve seen Glassjaw live, this song is always epic. There is a real power to this track and rightfully so. Interestingly too, all the drums on Worship and Tribute were performed by Shannon Larkin, who you might know from his work in Godsmack, Amen, Snot, Ugly Kid Joe and Wrathchild America. When you play this song, be sure to make sure it’s loud so EVERYONE can hear it!

Glassjaw: Tip Your Bartender:

Track One: Fugazi- Facet Squared

In On the Kill Taker - Album by Fugazi | Spotify

Fugazi’s third album, In On The Kill Taker is my favorite album of theirs. It’s got all the things you could possibly love about this band and then some. This album is more experimental in that there is a wider range of influences and inspiration found throughout these songs. I’ll never forget hearing this album for the first time and having the first song “Facet Squared” hit me like a ton of bricks. This track is beyond awesome. The sense of urgency in this song is astounding. It’s got so much packed into less than 3 minutes but, each little nuance and note is the right one at the right time. Fugazi are legends and rightfully so. In On The Kill Taker is one of their best albums and one of the best albums of the 90’s!

Fugazi- Facet Squared:


Fugazi- In On The Kill Taker:

Track One: Faith No More- Land Of Sunshine

Faith No More - Angel Dust 25 Years Later - Cryptic Rock

Faith No More’s album Angel Dust is an absolute masterpiece. From start to finish, it’s a work of art. The moment, “Land Of Sunshine” begins, you know you are in for a treat. The song itself has a very interesting history too. The song was released as the second single. The lyrics contain, amongst other things, questions from Scientology personality tests, with one of them, the question “Does emotional music have quite an effect on you?” Mike Patton also wrote more lyrics to this song, during a sleep deprivation experiment and included lines taken almost directly from fortune cookies and the Oxford Capacity Analysis personality test offered by the Church of Scientology. He also watched much late-night television to get into the right frame of mind. “Land Of Sunshine” is an absolute banger and live, holy hell is it huge!


Faith No More- Land Of Sunshine:

Land Of Sunshine (Live 1993):