At a company I worked at about 7 years ago, Baker Street was the first song on our audio conference “on hold” playlist. It was always the same songs in the same order starting with Baker Street while waiting for a conference to begin.
My first job, Building a Mystery by Sarah Mclachlan and Sunny Came Home by Shawn Colvin held a similar status, but it would play randomly. In fact, sometimes we would just set up a conference call to play some random music.
That was the first one I heard. Also “Stop” by JA. That and the other songs I mentioned were all a refreshing change from the mostly “hair metal” bands that were popular while I was in high school. Although alternative bands like U2, REM, The Cure, etc were also popular at the time.
Absolutely agree with “Vincent Black Lightning 1952” jaw-dropping, this is my favourite version, how does so much music come from one guitar?
Also, a song I heard for the first time the same week as the one above (for obvious reasons), “who knows where the time goes?” by Fairport Convention. How the hell had I not heard that before? almost reduced me to tears and that never happens for anything.
Two others that slapped me in the face and were simply unignorable were “Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups and “Go with the flow” by Queens of the Stone Age.
Both of those gain brownie points for having great videos.
I still consider that one of the greatest guitar solos of all time.
The song that did it for me was Rush’s “Freewill”, in 1980. I was 14 years old, and a friend from school played it for me. At the time, I’m pretty sure I had never heard any music that wasn’t in 4/4 or 3/4 time, so the odd time signatures immediately caught my ear as something new and interesting. But what sealed it for me was Geddy Lee’s bass playing during the instrumental solo section. I had already been a musician for several years at that point, and had just recently added guitar to the list of instruments I could play, but somehow I had never heard of a “bass guitar”. That bass line was the coolest thing I had ever heard, and when I was told it was a bass guitar, I knew on the spot that I was going to be a bass player. That song completely changed my musical outlook.
As a teenager, either Life on Mars or Ashes to Ashes, don’t remember which I heard first, the second came shortly after and they got blurred in my mind. Anarchy in the UK and Love will tear us apart have already been mentioned, I concurr. And Avalanche, by Leonard Cohen made me swallow hard.
And then, as a twen, Jockey full of Bourbon, by Tom Waits, in the intro to Jim Jarmush’ movie Down by Law. I bought the album, Rain Dogs, and on the first side there were three songs in a row, one after the other, that still blow me away: Cementery Polka, Jockey Full Of bourbon and Tango Till They’re Sore. And then the A-side ends with Time, and I rest speechless. Tom Waits in the 80s was quite something.
Resilience by The Town Pants - composed by the fiddle player, Johanna So. We saw them play at the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania last year. She said that she wrote it for a friend that was fighting cancer. I think the eyes of everyone in the audience were watering by the end. The video from a different festival gives you some idea but seeing/hearing it live was amazing. Such talent!
Phish - “Rift”. I heard this song on the radio on my way home from work one day and sat in the driveway listening until it was over, then had to sit and listen to the next two or three songs until the DJ came on and rattled off the song IDs. Because I had to know what it was.
My sister and I listened to American Top 40 a lot as little kids. I 'member and still like a lot of those late 70’s early 80’s songs. My Sharona, Another One Bites the Dust, Let’s Go etc. Also liked some of the early New Wave songs like Cars by Randy Newman, Pop Music by M, Call Me by Blondie.
Another Brick in the Wall pt.2 was my first 45 record as child. Man I loved that song!
But the first song that completely blew me out of the water 100% and made me want to learn guitar (which I eventually did) was Whole Lot of Rosie by AC/DC, the live version from If You Want Blood You’ve Got It.
The energy of that song…just wow! And I never really considered myself a huge AC/DC fan, but I remember that song coming out when I was in high school and was just amped the first week or two it was on the radio.
Reminds me of my reaction to Motley Crue “Kickstart my Heart”