10 Best Opening Tracks On Debut Rock Albums

Talk about making a great first impression.

Van Halen Van Halen
Warner Bros.

Rock music's history is littered with terrific instances of bands and artists getting it right on their very first try.

The Blue Album by Weezer, Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Black Sabbath's debut album that was also called Black Sabbath. All of these are great examples of first releases that would go on to define the genre.

Incidentally, the opening track on the album Black Sabbath by the band Black Sabbath is called... Black Sabbath.

Talk about narcissistic.

We didn't just bring that up to shame Ozzy and the boys, but also to segue nicely into talking about the very first track on band's very first albums.

They say you only get one shot at a first impression, so deciding what should go on first on a debut album is a really important decision. It needs to be catchy, memorable, and should summarise what the act is all about within the space of three to five minutes.

Picking the right song to introduce yourself with is not an easy task, but thankfully these ten groups all managed to pull it off with aplomb.

10. Papercut - Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park)

In the year 2000, Linkin Park set out their stall with the absolute thumper that was Hybrid Theory.

Inspired by lead singer Chester Bennington's tumultuous youth, the album was a mega-hit and catapulted the band into the public eye. The singles were Crawling, One Step Closer, the phenomenal In The End, and the album's very first track Papercut.

Kicking in with an incredibly catchy riff mixed in with DJ scratching, Papercut explodes into life with heavy rock chords as the guitars and drums bounce off each other effortlessly. Then, in comes rapper Mike Shinoda to leather you with lyrics about feeling stressed and anxious.

Basically the perfect way to start off a nu-metal record.

Papercut remains popular amongst the Linkin Park faithful to this day. Its video has almost a quarter of a million views on YouTube and it's been played live by the band more than any other song bar two according to setlist.fm.

Plenty of bands have tried the rock-rap mixture, but few have ever been as successful as Linkin Park. The combination of Shinoda's flows and Bennington's hoarse vocals make for perfect listening, all of which is plain to see from the very start.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.