Top Ten R.E.M. Opening Tracks

Gg2000
I've been listening to a lot of REM in the past couple months, and so I figured that I wanted to compare opening tracks from some of their albums. I wanted to see which song not only stands the best on its own, but also does the best job of introducing the listener to the album. There are few albums that I haven't touched base on, so feel free to add the opening tracks from those if you see fit.

The Top Ten

1 Radio Free Europe

Punk like energy with jangly guitars and cryptic lyrics; this is what made REM stand out from the mainstream bands of the time. - Gg2000

2 Drive

This is my favorite opening track because of its use of dynamics. There's a lot of push and pull between the quiet and loud sections. - Gg2000

3 What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

With its loud distorted guitar, this song showed people that this album was not going to be another Automatic For the People. I enjoyed this song so much when I heard it the first time that I listened to it again and again. - Gg2000

4 Finest Worksong

Like Begin the Begin, Finest Worksong is also very loud and politically charged. This song, however, feels more sludgy. - Gg2000

5 Begin the Begin

This song is louder and distorted then previous REM songs, and it also goes at a faster pace. It's a really good taste of the politically angry side of Michael Stipe. - Gg2000

6 Feeling Gravitys Pull

Unlike previous songs of theirs, this song is much slower and spookier, almost psychedelic. It's also the first REM song featuring outside musicians, featuring string players. - Gg2000

7 Harborcoat

This song has a lot of energy behind it. - Gg2000

8 Pop Song 89

I've always heard that this song is a send-up of Hello, I Love You by The Doors, except it's not quite as masculine. - Gg2000

9 Radio Song

The song starts off like a normal jangly REM track, but then it takes a sharp left turn into funk territory. It sticks out not only for its intentionally silly lyrics, but also because it features a rapper, KRS-One. - Gg2000

10 How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us

The song starts off with a slow drum loop, and is mainly driven by clean guitar and piano. It's not as aggressive as Monster, and it's not as melancholy as Automatic For the People either. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Discoverer

I might as well go ahead and add the last two while we're ahead. - Gg2000

12 Airportman
13 The Lifting
14 Living Well is the Best Revenge
15 Leaving New York
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