great opening songs on debut albums

I appreciate a great opening song by a new band to make a statement. Some of my favorites:

Pain Lies on the Riverside by Live - while Throwing Copper was their best known album, Mental Jewelry was their debut, and this opening song is incredible… they were only 17 at the time…

Once by Pearl Jam - the opening ambient sound complements the closing song on the album, but the initial riff kicks off a great album…

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine by The Killers - maybe I am a sucker for a good opening base line, but this song just grabs me…

Elephant Talk - by King Crimson… ok, Crimson loyalists will point out that this is not their first album, but it is the first offering from the Fripp/Belew/Levin/Bruford foursome… the opening riff(s) let you know what you are in for, and Belew and Fripp’s guitar work is extraordinary…

Crack in the Sidewalk - by House of Freaks… an obscure band, but one of my favorite discs… the opening guitar riff and melody/song have great vibe…

those are a few of my favs… whatcha got?

“Break On Through (To the Other Side)” - The Doors

You know you are off to a great start when the first song on your first album is censored. :smiley:

"Gloria: In Excelsis Deo/Gloria off Horses by Patti Smith is not only a great opening song on a debut album, it has the best opening line of an opening song of a debut album EVER: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine!”

I’ve always thought that Radio Free Europe on R.E.M.'s Murmur was a great opening song for a debut album.

21st Century Schizoid Man was a pretty astonishing opening in its own right (1st cut on ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’)

You mention this with all sorts of caveats when you have one of the greatest opening songs in any album, let alone a first album: 21st Century Schizoid Man

Other choices:
** Purple Haze** by Jimi Hendrix
Tears of Rage by the Band
Paper Sun by Traffic (US album), though the British Heaven is in Your Mind is also up there.

Guns and Roses - Welcome to the Jungle

of course. And I’m not even a big fan.

Welcome to the Jungle is a great one.

My thought was Good Times Bad Times by Led Zep. It is a great example of their loud, rollicking, tight but loose sound.

Damn, just got beaten to “Good Times, Bad Times.” That was pretty much a statement of who they were right there.
Liz Phair’s 6’1" was also a mission statement type of song, at least for early career Phair.
Stone Roses I Wanna Be Adored
Gang of Four Ether
The Clash Safe European Home
Public Enemy Your Gonna Get Yours

More Than a Feeling by Boston.

A great track but not on their debut album.

Are You Experienced? had different opening tracks, depending where you lived. In the UK, the first track was “Foxy lady.” In the US, it was “Purple Haze.”

Either way, that had to have been a pretty phenomenal opening, back in 1967.

I’ll second the nomination of “21st Century Schizoid Man.”

Other nominees:

“I Will Follow” from U2’s Boy.

The title track of Black Sabbath.

“Can’t Get Enough” from Bad Company.

“Transmaniacon MC” from Blue Oyster Cult.

I never had much use for the Sex Pistols, but “Holiday In the Sun” was a great song to lead off Never Mind the Bollocks.

“Blitzkrieg Bop” was a great debut track for The Ramones.

Crap. For some reason I can never remember that the eponymous album is the first one. Should be pretty easy to remember, but no. “Janie Jones” is a good first album, first track, too, though.

Astronomy Domine by Pink Floyd. A great way to start an illustrious recording career.

Suzanne by Leonard Cohen.

Oh, and while Big Country didn’t have a long career, their debut album (called “The Crossing,” in America) was brilliant, and that drum solo was a perfect opening to “In a Big Country.”

Oh, forgot one:

Smashing Pumkins I Am One

“She Blinded Me With Science” - Golden Age of Wireless by Thomas Dolby

Do they have to be well-known songs? If not I’ll throw in
“I Must Be High” - A.M. by Wilco
“Comanche” - Motorcade of Generosity by CAKE
“Hungry Freaks Daddy” - Freak Out by the Mothers of Invention

Rock The Nation from Montrose
I Just Want To Make Love To You from Foghat

“Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf
“Hit The Lights” off Kill 'Em All by Metallica

“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour, off Vivid. One of the most underrated bands of the last 20 years, if you ask me.