The opening lyrics to these famous bands' careers

20 July 2019, 11:00 | Updated: 20 July 2019, 11:01

Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys. Picture: Andy Willsher/Redferns/Getty Images

Everyone knows about the legendary famous last words, but what about the first? Here’s a selection of lyrics that opened your favourite band’s account at the Bank Of Rock ’N’ Roll.

Do you remember the first time you heard your favourite band? Radio X looks at the songs and the lyrics that were the world’s first experience of some of the greatest groups on our playlist.

  1. Blur

    She’s So High was the band formerly known as Seymour’s first single in October 1990. They began their contribution to music with: “I see her face / Everyday / I see her face / It doesn't help me / She's so high / I want to crawl all over her.”

  2. The Smiths

    “The Most Important Record In The World” was Hand In Glove, released in May 1983: “Hand in glove / The sun shines out of our behinds / No it's NOT like any other love / This one is different because it's us.”

  3. The Charlatans

    Tim Burgess’s first appearance on vinyl was with the single Indian Rope in January 1990. It’s opening lines are: “When we were wrong we had no right / Who am I to fade away.”

  4. Radiohead

    The Drill EP was the first platter from the Oxford superstars, back in May 1992 and Prove Yourself was the opening song: “I can't afford to breathe in this time / Nowhere to sit without a gun in my hand / Hooked back up to the cathode ray / I'm better off dead.”

  5. R.E.M.

    Michael Stipe’s first recorded (an often incomprehensible) vocal was for the Radio Free Europe single in 1981: “Decide yourself if radio's gonna stay / Reason: it could polish up the grey.”

  6. Sex Pistols

    One of the greatest opening lines of all time, from J. Rotten in November 1976: “I am an antichrist / I am an anarchist.”

  7. The Stone Roses

    A great opening couplet from the band’s debut single, So Young from way back in September 1985: “In the misery dictionary / Page after page after page…”

  8. Elbow

    The Manchester band’s Noisebox EP in January 1998 featured Powder Blue as the lead track: “Your eyes are just like black spiders / Your hair and dress in ribbons / Babycakes.”

  9. Bloc Party

    Kele and co’s first single was She’s Hearing Voices in February 2004 - their career kicked off with: “She's hearing voices call her / She's hearing voices warn her / She just can't sleep in her bed / She just can't sleep.”

  10. The Killers

    In September 2003, a white label 7” appeared in the UK featuring the classic Mr Brightside - Brandon’s first words were: “Coming out of my cage / And I've been doing just fine / Gotta gotta be down / Because I want it all.”

  11. Arctic Monkeys

    The band released a stack of demos on a CD that was given out at gigs and became known as Beneath The Boardwalk. For many people, the first they heard of the Monkeys was the opening lines of A Certain Romance: “Well oh they might wear classic Reeboks / Or knackered Converse / Or tracky bottoms tucked in socks / But all of that's what the point is not / The point is that there ain't no romance around there.”

  12. Biffy Clyro

    Iname was the trio’s first single from June 1999 and opened with the notable line: “I'd like to be in a bucket of pee until everything else is just fine / You would believe what I cannot deceive until everything else is just mine / I am over you.” Nice!

  13. Muse

    The first the world heard of Matt Bellamy’s power rock trio was the Muse EP in May 1998, led by by Overdue: “You needed it when I was away / And no matter what I say / You'll never forget when I wasn't there so / Why should I care?”

  14. U2

    "Monday morning / Eighteen years of dawning / I say how long / You say how long" The words that opened U2's THREE EP in September 1979.

  15. The Cure

    "Standing on a beach with a gun in my hand / Staring at the sea / Staring at the sand." The first the world heard of Robert Smith was on this single which references the classic French book The Outsider by Albert Camus. The opening line also became the title of The Cure's first singles collection in 1986: Standing On A Beach - The Singles.

  16. Mumford And Sons

    Marcus and his friends released their first EP on the Chess Club label in July 2008, with this as the first track: “Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine / Together we can see what we will find.”