With any encounter, new or old, there is a moment, a beat, before anything happens. A pause for formality, or gathering of thought, dictated by history and chemistry and circumstance.
That moment in time, acknowledged so briefly and pushed out of the way or wrapped around you as protective shield to keep safely within, as you edge slowly forward to interaction.
But it is always there and it has a purpose. It exists as a bridge of time, from one place to another, real or entirely within the imagination.
And so it is with ‘Track One’. That first song that greets the listener before taking them somewhere else. Arguably the most important track on any mix, the first step on any new musical journey. Some would say it is simply the opening act to masterpieces coming later, and the old adage tells us never to judge the book by its cover, but we do. It’s a fundamental characteristic of being human. Any interview panel will make their mind up about a person long before the first official question has been asked. The smile, the clothes, a limp or firm handshake, the cut of a suit, the flash of the eye. Whether it’s the confidence of gait or the ‘on trend’ shoes there are but a few seconds to have positive influence on those who regard what they encounter as a prospect.
I believe in the statement of intent that an opening track must make. I don’t think it needs to shave and wear a suit, beauty comes in all forms. It simply has to be honest and confident. Like a keen suitor waiting at the door to take your first born child out on their first date, trust must be earned quickly.
So allow me then to fix my hair, wipe the sweat from my hands, steady myself and attempt to impress with a selection of favourite ‘Track One’s past and present.
By ‘Track One’, I don’t mean all these tracks are the opening tracks to albums, that would just be a little too easy. And more importantly, the best Track One options are often not found there. But as with Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’, Connie Francis’ ‘Siboney’ and ‘The Atuwaba’ by Tony Allen, they possibly belong there. Some are Track Ones and deserve to remain so. The near forgotten wonder of ‘Silent Passage’ by Bob Carpenter. Lindi Ortega's beautifully sinister 'Murder of Crows'. Mostly though, these little gems, these Playlister Treats, are tracks that have that special something intrinsic in their essence that says, ‘This is where it starts, come with me’.
How to do a playlist made up entirely of Track Ones? It’s surely contrary to the point? Well, Playlisting is what Tracksuite does and you, dear listener, deserve the best of both worlds. Hell, the music’s just too good.