The 20 greatest ‘Track One, Side One’ songs – part IV

The final part of our rundown. What´s number one? The answer is but a swift scroll away...

5 - All Your Love
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers - Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton (1966)

This Willie Dixon track set the stall out for English blues and, with no small help from Sir Eric of Clapton, this remains the definitive outing from those who can´t live without the good old pentatonic...

4 - Foxey Lady
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced (1967)

The most influential guitarist of all time? We´ll never be able to agree on that one (it's Van Halen anyway...;-)), but the erstwhile Southpaw got it pretty much perfect first time out with this iconic lady. Full of sex, hoodoo and immaculate guitar, you can forgive the alternative spelling of the title!

3 - Highway To Hell
AC/DC - Highway To Hell (1979)

Although Hell´s Bells from 1980´s Back In Black is arguably more potent, HTH remains the pinnacle of Bon Scott´s tenure with the band and demonstrates as starkly as any other entry here just what the band were - and could have been - capable of. That incandescent riff and perfect tempo all lead up to one of the most rousing choruses ever recorded before Angus Young rips out one of his best solos. Sheer genius.

2 - Brown Sugar
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (1971)

As an aside, this is the definitive example of so-called ‘Keef´ guitar tuning (try it: D - G - D - D - B - D, low to high - low E string optional!) but proves yet again that genuinely epoch-defining music doesn´t have to be complex, merely (merely!) wired directly into your soul. Rarely more cool, the contribution by guitarist Mick Taylor (no, not that one) shouldn´t be underestimated.

1 - Welcome to the Jungle
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987)

Who knew what they were letting themselves in for as Slash´s delay-driven intro first assaulted the senses. As it turned out, the riff that was mere seconds away whipped blues, rock and all out metal into such a potent cocktail that anyone who heard it was hooked for life. As a side-effect, it quashed any wish to visit LA for a while, but it´s a testament to the album that Jungle isn´t even the best track it includes...

Read part one here...
Read part two here...
Read part three here...

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.