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The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

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The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

Music Articles

The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127246022/127247021" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Collage of artists on the show. i

Cover art for Nefertiti by Miles Davis (top left), Dusty in Memphis by Dusty Springfield (right) and More Songs About Buildings and Food by Talking Heads (bottom left). courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artists
Collage of artists on the show.

Cover art for Nefertiti by Miles Davis (top left), Dusty in Memphis by Dusty Springfield (right) and More Songs About Buildings and Food by Talking Heads (bottom left).

courtesy of the artists

What's the best opening track ever? We asked and listeners responded with roughly 800 picks, posted on our blog and via Twitter.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, we gathered a crew to play the best songs that kick off albums. These are often game-changers, from Frank Sinatra to Gang of Four. Join host Bob Boilen as he chats with Tom Moon, author of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, and Monitor Mix blogger Carrie Brownstein as they look at what an opening track can mean.

The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

Entertainment

Gang of Four

  • Song: Ether
  • from Entertainment! [Rhino Expanded]

Hear "Ether" on YouTube.

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Song
Entertainment! [Rhino Expanded]
Album
Entertainment! [Rhino Expanded]
Artist
Gang of Four
Label
Rhino
Released
1979

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Cover for Shake Some Action

The Flamin' Groovies

  • Song: Shake Some Action
  • from Shake Some Action

Hear "Shake Some Action" on YouTube.

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Song
Shake Some Action
Album
Shake Some Action
Artist
The Flamin' Groovies
Label
DBK Works
Released
1976

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Stained Class

Judas Priest

  • Song: Exciter
  • from Stained Class

Hear "Exciter" on YouTube.

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Song
Stained Class [Bonus Tracks]
Album
Stained Class [Bonus Tracks]
Artist
Judas Priest
Label
Sony/Epic
Released
1978

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Cover for Saturation

Urge Overkill

  • Song: Sister Havana
  • from Saturation

Hear "Sister Havana" on YouTube.

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Song
Saturation
Album
Saturation
Artist
Urge Overkill
Label
DGC (David Geffen Company)
Released
1993

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Cover for Nefertiti

Miles Davis

  • Song: Nefertiti
  • from Nefertiti

Hear "Nefertiti" on YouTube.

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Song
Nefertiti
Album
Nefertiti
Artist
Miles Davis
Label
Columbia/Legacy
Released
2007

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Cover for Let It Bleed

The Rolling Stones

  • Song: Gimme Shelter
  • from Let It Bleed

Hear "Gimme Shelter" on YouTube.

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Song
Let It Bleed
Album
Let It Bleed
Artist
The Rolling Stones
Label
ABKCO

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Cover for Purple Rain

Prince & the Revolution

  • Song: Let's Go Crazy
  • from Purple Rain
  • by Prince & The Revolution

Hear "Let's Go Crazy" on YouTube.

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Song
Purple Rain
Album
Purple Rain
Artist
Prince & the Revolution
Label
Warner Bros.
Released
2009

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More Songs About Buildings and Food

Talking Heads

  • Song: Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
  • from More Songs About Buildings And Food

Hear "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" on YouTube.

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Song
More Songs About Buildings and Food
Album
More Songs About Buildings and Food
Artist
Talking Heads
Label
Warner Bros.
Released
1978

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Cover for Led Zeppelin III

Led Zeppelin

  • Song: Immigrant Song
  • from Led Zeppelin III

Hear "Immigrant Song" on YouTube.

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Song
Led Zeppelin III
Album
Led Zeppelin III
Artist
Led Zeppelin
Label
Atlantic
Released
1970

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In the Court of the Crimson King

King Crimson

  • Song: 21st Century Schizoid Man
  • from In The Court Of The Crimson King

Hear "21st Century Schizoid Man" on YouTube.

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Song
In the Court of the Crimson King [2 CD]
Album
In the Court of the Crimson King [2 CD]
Artist
King Crimson
Label
Discipline Global Mobile
Released
1969

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Cover for Highway 61 Revisited [Remastered]

Bob Dylan

  • Song: Like a Rolling Stone
  • from Highway 61 Revisited [Remastered]

Hear "Like a Rolling Stone" on ilike.com.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Highway 61 Revisited [Remastered]
Album
Highway 61 Revisited [Remastered]
Artist
Bob Dylan
Label
Columbia
Released
1965

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