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Bad choices for lead-off singles

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by R79, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. R79

    R79 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Was reading an old interview with Dee Snider where he laments having the cover of "Leader of the Pack" be the lead single off of Come Out and Play. What are some other bad choices for lead-off singles (even if the album itself became a success)?
  2. Exitmusic

    Exitmusic Forum Resident

    Leicester U.K
    Two from the same time period

    Who You Are by Pearl Jam from No Code
    Ebow The Letter by R.E.M. from New Adventures In Hi-Fi
    Rob C, ARK, Dodoz and 20 others like this.
  3. gitters

    gitters Forum Resident

    Women from Def Leppard's "Hysteria".
  4. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
  5. entropyfan

    entropyfan Forum Resident

    Let us not forget that The Girl Is Mine was the lead-off single from Thriller...
  6. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Los Angeles
    I did not think U2's Get on Your Boots was a great way to introduce No Line on the Horizon.
    McCartney's Press from Press to Play did not do that album any favors.

    And though possibly destined to be remembered as a one album band anyway, Cleopatra's Cat was a particularly dreadful choice to lead off Spin Doctors follow up album.
  7. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    That was my thought, as well. It certainly didn't hurt album sales, but in retrospect it seems like a "low confidence" kind of selection.
    goodiesguy, ARK, Jarleboy and 2 others like this.
  8. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Agree with that one. It’s not like the album didn’t have at least a handful of obvious singles!
    ARK, pwhytey, Rufus rag and 2 others like this.
  9. tenohtwo

    tenohtwo 1002

    Denver, CO
    "The Girl Is Mine" reached #2 on the Billboard 100, I wouldn't call that a bad choice!

    Is it a bit cheesy for a lead-off single? Well, yes. :p
  10. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    It’s certainly not a great song, but McCartney was a popular singles act then. He’d been at #1 a few months earlier with Ebony & Ivory. Perhaps the record company thought Jackson needed a leg-up.:D
  11. DPK

    DPK Forum Resident

    Lexington, SC
    A couple more from those two wonderful bands:

    Pearl Jam- "Nothing as it Seems" (Binaural) (I would've picked "Grievance")
    REM- "Drive" (Automatic for the People) (I would've picked "Man on the Moon")
  12. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Shine a Little Love
    ELO - Discovery
    zebop, PhoffiFozz, Jrr and 2 others like this.
  13. R79

    R79 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The album was a disapointment anyway (at least IMO), but Swallowed off of Bush's sophmore album Razorblade Suitcase also comes to mind.
  14. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA

    It seemed to be a common thing for a long time that when an album had a few obvious singles on it, they would save the big blockbuster hit for the second or third single, as a way of letting the album sink in. These all seem to be good examples.
  15. rswitzer

    rswitzer Forum Resident

    Golden, CO USA
    I'm In You - Peter Frampton

    They chose this to follow "Frampton Comes Alive"?
    fr in sc, D Grady, pscreed and 5 others like this.
  16. All 5 Moby Grape released at the same time. It confused DJ's and buyers alike. Step 1 in the failure of this great band.
  17. johnny q

    johnny q Forum Resident

    Bergen County, NJ
    At the time and to this day, I think "Why Can't This Be Love" was not the greatest way to introduce "Van Hagar" to the masses. But....they did quite alright for themselves, so what the hell do I know.
    zebop and Duke Fame like this.
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Break On Through -Doors. It’s a friggin’ samba.
    zebop, longdist01, JDeanB and 8 others like this.
  19. JackOfAllTrades

    JackOfAllTrades Forum Resident

    Here in the UK, Animal was the lead-off single. I always thought Women was far more representative.
  20. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    My Best Friend was the lead single on Surrealistic Pillow.
  21. Greg Carrier

    Greg Carrier Forum Resident

    Iowa City
    Show Biz Kids from Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy. Great song, but hardly top 40 material.
    jas621, JDeanB, fr in sc and 11 others like this.
  22. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Definitely. However, I feel Shine a Little Love tarnished ELO’s image. The song did okay but they got labeled disco-ish from it. Had Don’t Let Me Down got released first, I think their image would have looked better.
    Lonesurf, Jrr and pwhytey like this.
  23. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    Exactly. I think The Girl is Mine was a shrewd pick for a first single. Michael wanted and deserved a wide, mainstream pop audience for his music, not to be stuck on niche charts.

    Radio programmers tend to be sheep, in my experience in the business. Pop programmers were sure to promote a single with Paul’s name on it. So when The Girl Is Mine performed well, they were more likely to give Michael’s next solo single a chance. Although though it’s not the strongest or most representative song on the album, the label was re-establishing Michael’s credentials through his association with Paul McCartney. ‘Michael’s here to play the game,’ it signaled to the industry. ‘Paul McCartney believes in him, so should you.’

    The gamble was, if The Girl is Mine tanked, it would have jeopardized the plan.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  24. x2zero

    x2zero Forum Resident

    Brooklyn USA
    Having trouble thinking of any top 40 material on that album
    limoges, ibanez_ax, Wordnat2 and 2 others like this.
  25. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    marc with a c, aravel and Man at C&A like this.

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