The 20 greatest 'Track One, Side One' songs – part III

Into the Top Ten of our rundown...getting close now.

10 - Whole Lotta Love
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II (1969)

It seems incredible that this wonderful track is from way back in 1969, such is its relevance even today, but 'tis true. From the riff that almost defies description due to its sheer heaviness, to the spiralling vocals and spaced out middle eight, this is Zep in a nutshell and proved to be a platform from which the band would take over the world.

9 - Blue Suede Shoes
Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley (1956)

The King's rocking version of this Carl Perkins ditty was unlike any music previously aired in the public domain and subsequently defined a schism between the values of parents and their children, the key to becoming successful even in 2009. As an aside, The Clash used the album's sleeve as an inspiration to their own classic offering, 1979's London Calling.

8 - Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (1970)

Who knew just what Sabbath in general and Tony Iommi in particular would mean for modern rock and metal. The whole damn world, as it turned out, and this wonderful track proved just how good the band could be. It would get better too...!

7 - The Times They Are a-Changin'
Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin' (1964)

It's impossible to detail the sheer impact of this song, irrespective of it's unintentional timing against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, the Cuban Missile crisis and, ultimately, JFK's assassination. Described as the ultimate protest song, Dylan's characteristic drone summed up the feeling of North American society perfectly, and a legend was born.

6 - Where The Streets Have No Name
U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987)

Imagine attempting to explain the music of the seminal four-piece to an alien. Would you take them to the bloated enormity that is The Claw and the 360° tour, or would you tell them that Edge's tech Dallas Schoo sometimes takes his master's 1964 Vox AC30 into first class with him? Neither; you'd simply put on this track, dripping with a beautiful delay-laden guitar, emotive yet elegantly restrained vocals and including a pretty serious message to boot. Just marvellous.

The final part tomorrow...

Read part one
Read part twohere...

Simon Bradley is a guitar and especially rock guitar expert who worked for Guitarist magazine and has in the past contributed to world-leading music and guitar titles like MusicRadar (obviously), Guitarist, Guitar World and Louder. What he doesn't know about Brian May's playing and, especially, the Red Special, isn't worth knowing.