Archive for June 20th, 2008

The Captain Gets It Started

As I’m sure most of you already know I am a huge fan of the mix tape.  I made numerous mix tapes back in my college days, eventually making the switch to discs1 back in ’02.

In my mind, the most important two songs on any mix tape are the first one and the last one.  The last song is usually the most memorable, but the first song has the difficult task of setting the mood.   The first song has to make the listener want to listen to the next twenty songs, which is a tall order.  First songs are usually full of hooks or clever bits, and the best really draw in the listener for the ride.  They are a tricky bunch; here are my favorites.

Top 5 Songs To Start A Mix Tape

1.  Blue Nun – The Beastie Boys

This little gem is smack in the middle of Check Your Head, but is the quintessential first song.  It’s quick, quirky, and quotable.  The track actually feels like a party about to happen.

2.  You Spin Me ‘Round – Dead Or Alive

Eighties songs are always a great way to start a mix tape, and this one is probably the best.  Originally released on Youthquake in an edited version, it was eventually released unedited in a far superior version.  This song is not only a great way to start a mix tape, but also a great way to start a movie too.

3.  She Cries Your Name – Beth Orton

The mellow and moody little beauty is off of 1997’s Trailer Park, and is unfortunately the best song on the album by far.  The first time I heard that irresistible and oft repeated intro I was hooked.

4.  ABC – Jackson 5

Instantly recognizable, this song is guaranteed to make any group of people start dancing within thirty seconds.  Why the producers decided to put ABC as the third song on the album of the same name is beyond me.  Should have been as easy as 123.

5.  Playground Love – Air

This sublime song is the first song on the vastly underrated soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides.  It feels familiar yet somehow sounds brand new.  There has never been an easier way to start chilling out.


The Captain

1  I’m as guilty as anyone for referring to burnt cds as mixtapes.  Something about mixdisc just doesn’t sound right.

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