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Opening Lines, Part II: Electric boogaloo.

Last year around this time, I challenged my pop-geek readership to identify 20 pop and rock albums based on their opening lines — a task that enthralled a couple of people for a few minutes, at least.

I’ve decided to do it again.

There’s a different wrinkle this time. I think I went a little too obscure on my first quiz — Captain Beefheart, John Cale, stuff like that.

So this time, I’ve chosen 20 albums that hit the U.S. Top Ten. Some of them went all the way to Number One.

That ought to make it easier. If an album attained that level of success, it can’t be too obscure. Lots of people ought to know it. Right?

Well, we’ll soon find out. Same rules as last year: See if you can name not just the album and performer, but also the song title, based on the album’s first line (or, in some cases, the first full phrase or couplet).

No prizes except bragging rights. And no fair Googling.

1. “Hey, pretty baby / Let’s go for a ride.”

2. “Who’s that coming ’round that corner / Who’s that coming ’round that bend?”

3. “It’s coming from so far away / It’s hard to say for sure.”

4. “I just received your letter / You’re down and out, you say.”

5. “Over and over / Just as plain as can be.”

6. “Get the idea cross around the track / Underneath the flank of a thoroughbred racing chaser.”

7. “I remember the day that we met / I needed someone, you needed someone too.”

8. “Spendin’ my day / Thinkin’ ’bout you, girl.”

9. “Wake up, my love, beneath the midday sun.”

10. “Sit yourself down / Bang out a tune on that grand piano.”

11. “Got to get down / Down on my knees.”

12. “Hello Western Union / Won’t you listen to me, man?”

13. “We’re so young and pretty, we’re so young and clean.”

14. “Dry your eyes, my little friend / Let me take you by the hand.”

15. “I’ll take you down to that bright city mile.”

16. “Hear my baby coming down the track / Betcha my baby’s coming back.”

17. “Down in the graveyard where we have our tryst / The air smells sweet, the air smells sick.”

18. “Here I lie, in a lost and lonely part of town.”

19. “I’ve been all over the world / and I’ve seen all kinds of girls.”

20. “Desolation / Creation / Communication.”

Answers to come in a couple of days.


2 responses »

  1. I am appalled that, after 5 minutes of thinking hard, I can only get three:

    8. Al Green, “Still in Love With You” from “Still in Love With You”
    14. Warren Zevon, “When Johnny Strikes Up The Band” from “Excitable Boy”
    17. Rolling Stones, “Dancing with Mister D” from “Goats Head Soup,” and I only know that because it was a fave of my college roommate and I heard it all freshman year.

    I just can’t **hear** the tunes.

    • All three are correct, not that you needed confirmation. It does not shock me that you knew probably the two best albums on the list.
      I’ll post the full list soon.


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