All Songs Rewind: The Best Opening Tracks : All Songs Considered All Songs intern Julian Ring picks his all-time favorite episode of the show, one that asks: Can you judge an album by its first song? For a handful of classic records, absolutely.

All Songs Rewind: The Best Opening Tracks

All Songs Rewind: The Best Opening Tracks

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Clockwise from upper left: Miles Davis, Dusty Springfield, Talking Heads. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

Clockwise from upper left: Miles Davis, Dusty Springfield, Talking Heads.

Courtesy of the artists

Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are still out of the office, so contributor Katie Presley and intern Julian Ring are ending their week-long All Songs Considered takeover by revisiting Julian's favorite episode of all time.

Can you judge an album by its first song? For a handful of classic records, absolutely.

In 2010, Bob Boilen asked listeners to submit their picks for the best opening tracks of all time. A week later, he invited Monitor Mix blogger Carrie Brownstein and Tom Moon, author of 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, for a roundtable discussion about the best side-one-track-ones ever.

I vividly recall listening to this podcast while on a road trip with my father. We cranked these game-changing picks — songs by Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and Gang Of Four — through our minivan's sound system, making the desert of northern Nevada seem to cruise by.

As with every All Songs show, the commentary was my favorite part. Moon is right when he says songs like "Let's Go Crazy" set the tone of the entire album to come — in Prince's case, a manic, glam frenzy of sexual bravado. The group looked at what kind of statement an opening song can make and celebrated the myriad ways artists have surprised and delighted us from the get-go.

Rewind: The Best Opening Tracks Ever?

Gang Of Four

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"Ether"

From 'Entertainment!'

YouTube

Dusty Springfield

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"Just A Little Lovin'"

From 'Dusty In Memphis'

YouTube

The Flamin' Groovies

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"Shake Some Action"

From 'Shake Some Action'

YouTube

Judas Priest

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"Exciter"

From 'Stained Class'

YouTube

Urge Overkill

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"Sister Havana"

From 'Saturation'

YouTube

Miles Davis

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"Nefertiti"

From 'Nefertiti'

YouTube

Frank Sinatra

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"In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning"

From 'In the Wee Small Hours'

YouTube

The Rolling Stones

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"Gimme Shelter"

From 'Let It Bleed'

YouTube

Prince & The Revolution

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"Let's Go Crazy"

From 'Purple Rain'

Note: This song is not available on YouTube.

Talking Heads

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"Thank You For Sending Me An Angel"

From 'More Songs About Buildings And Food'

YouTube

Roxy Music

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"Thrill Of It All"

From 'Country Life'

YouTube

Lou Reed

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"I Can't Stand It"

From 'Lou Reed'

YouTube

Led Zeppelin

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"Immigrant Song"

From 'Led Zeppelin III'

YouTube

King Crimson

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"21st Century Schizoid Man"

From 'In The Court Of The Crimson King'

YouTube

Bob Dylan

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"Like A Rolling Stone"

From 'Highway 61 Revisited'

YouTube