Track One, Side One

It's a term as old as the album itself: Track One, Side One. This week Jim and Greg release their inner music geek to tackle the question of what are the best Lead-Off Tracks in rock history. Tune in to hear their picks, as well as some of yours.

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Rock’s Best Lead-Off Tracks

This week's show is dedicated to the true rock geeks out there. Continuing in the tradition of "Track 1, Side 1" Jim and Greg take the discussion into the post-vinyl age. What songs best kick-off an album? Here are their picks for the best Lead-Off Tracks of all time:


  • Aretha Franklin - "Think," Aretha Now
  • John Lennon - "Mother," John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
  • The Orb - "Little Fluffy Clouds," The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
  • Patti Smith - "Gloria," Horses
  • Neil Young - "Cinnamon Girl," Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere


  • Beach Boys - "Wouldn’t It Be Nice," Pet Sounds
  • King Crimson - "21st Century Schizoid Man," In the Court of the Crimson King
  • The Ramones - "Blitzkrieg Bop," The Ramones
  • N.W.A. - "Straight Outta Compton," Straight Outta Compton
  • Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nevermind

Listeners’ Picks

  • Van Morrison - "Wild Night," Tupelo Honey
  • Bjork - "Army of Me," Post
  • David Bowie - "Five Years," The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  • The Flaming Lips - "Fight Test," Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!