There has never been as uncharacteristic an opening track to any band’s album career as ‘Feel’. It pulls every seventies rock cliche in the book, short of opening with the sound of the band sniffing coke. I mean…lame honky (read: wannabe Stones) horns?! Crazy keyboards?! Some kind of ‘badass’ hard rock soloing?! This is Big Star?! Ew.
So why do I want to listen to it again immediately?
It may sound uncharacteristic, but there’s no other track as well suited to kick off#1 Record. Predominately penned by Chris Bell (with Chilton responsible for the bleak counterpoint lyrics in the chorus, obviously), it may start with a soothing cascade of carefully-strummed, but the rest of the song is brash, loud and posturing - meticulously designed to leave a mark as soon as the needle hits the groove. And that, for better or worse, it does. It’s not the ideal way into Big Star, but#1 Record wouldn’t be the same without it.