30 Massive Artists Remember The First Song They Fell In Love With


1George Harrison, ‘Got My Mind Set on You’

George Harrison, ‘Got My Mind Set on You’
Tom Martin/NME
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian on George Harrison, ‘Got My Mind Set on You’. “It’s still one of my favourite tunes to put on if you’re having a bit of a thing when people get the speakers out and you’re going toe-to-toe with the iPod at a party.”

2Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’

Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’
Tom Oxley/NME
Jack Barnett, These New Puritans: Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’. “It’s quite tough to remember, but my first record was probably ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. I used to like Nirvana when I was really, really young – I was sort of a grunger at an early age. I don’t know whether I’d choose to listen to it all the time now, but when I do listen to it, it’s still bliss, it’s just the best power drive ever.”

3The Offspring, ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’

Andy Willsher/NME
Marina Diamandis, Marina and the Diamonds: The Offspring, ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’. “I remember it coming out and running into Woolworths, like my life depended on it. It was actually quite different, sonically, to other stuff around at the time and it was pretty fresh. I loved its attitude but the love faded pretty quickly. I can’t remember anything else they’ve done since.”

4Joy Electric, ‘Melody’

Rachel Wright/NME
Jonathan Peirce, The Drums: Joy Electric, ‘Melody’. “That album made me fall in love with pop music; beautiful melodies and things that are melancholy. I fell in love with sadness and hopelessness. I was raised by two devout Christian parents; I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything that wasn’t Christian and this was, technically, but the music didn’t talk about that.”

5Run DMC, ‘It’s Like That’

Tom Oxley/NME
Romy Madley Croft, The xx: Run DMC, ‘It’s Like That’.“The first physical thing I bought was Run-DMC vs Jason Nevins’ song on tape. I was susceptible to that sort of thing. I remember watching it with Oliver [Sim, fellow xx member] on 'Top Of The Pops' and thinking it was the best thing in the world. Mainly it was all about the size of the beat, those suction-cup house drums.”

6Madonna, ‘Into The Groove’

Madonna, ‘Into The Groove’
Andy Willsher/NME
Gaz Coombes, Supergrass: Madonna, ‘Into The Groove’. “I remember buying this when I was about 9 from the music section in the supermarket. I was in love with her at the time so when I heard it on the radio I had to buy it. I can still see the appeal of this track. There is something so commercially accessible about it right from her appearance down to the production.”

7Kate Bush, ‘The Wedding List’

Kate Bush, ‘The Wedding List’
Big Boi: Kate Bush, ‘The Wedding List’. “It was my uncle who introduced me to Kate Bush. She’s my all time favourite artist, tied for first place with Bob Marley. There’s no one else like her out there. I was hoping to try and track her down while I’m here in the UK.”

8Michael Jackson, ‘HIStory’

Dan Dennison/NME
Harry McVeigh, White Lies: Michael Jackson, ‘HIStory’. “I was about 11 when I got this. I was in a CD shop with my mum and she said, ‘Do you want anything?’ Michael Jackson was the only music person that I’d heard, so I got ‘HIStory’. I loved it, it was the only album I had so I listened to it over and over again.”

9The Lightning Seeds, ‘Like You Do…Best of the Lightning Seeds’

Andy Willsher/NME
Gareth Campesinos, Los Campesinos!: The Lightning Seeds, ‘Like You Do…Best of the Lightning Seeds’. “There’s plenty of hits. I’d heard a few of their singles but ‘Three Lions’ was the song that inspired me to buy it. I used to listen to it before every football match I played to get me pumped up. It set the bar so high for football songs and nobody has ever been able to match up to it.”

10Jeff Buckley, ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’

Andy Willsher/NME
Jack Penate: Jeff Buckley, ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’. “Some people wonder why I like him, because he’s pretty sentimental, but Jeff’s one of those people I fell in love with when I was a teenager. It’s hard to shake them off once they have that part of your life. The lyrics are really Bob Dylan, they’re straightforward but in the most difficult way! It’s kind of the perfect song!”

11George Michael, ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1’

George Michael, ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1’
Danny North/NME
Paul Smith, Maximo Park: George Michael, ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1’. “I loved the melodies and I loved his voice – I still do. I instructed my mam to go out and buy me it when I was about 11 or 12. It’s got a lot of different moods like acoustic soft pop, but it also has more gospel-y stuff.”

12George Michael, ‘Faith’

George Michael, ‘Faith’
Julian Casablancas, The Strokes: George Michael, ‘Faith’.“My memory isn’t great, but I’m pretty sure it was this. I remember thinking how manly he looked on the sleeve. I also remember not knowing anything at all about music and just being one of the sheep and buying whatever was popular with my friends. You have to admit that it’s a catchy little number though.”

13The Buggles, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’

The Buggles, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’
Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
Victoria Legrand, Beach House: The Buggles, ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’. “I was three or four the first time I heard it, and I used to jump up and down on my bed listening to it. Even to this day, whenever I hear it I still get a strange feeling that I can’t quite place.”

14Prince, ‘Parade: OST- Under The Cherry Moon’

Ray Kilpatrick/NME
Kyp Malone, TV On The Radio Prince, ‘Parade: OST- Under The Cherry Moon’. “I ended up in Maine one summer doing ministry work, saved up my lunch money and bought a copy on cassette. I had to fake being sick to listen to it in private. My mother, her zealot friend and Jesus Christ in absentia lectured me on the dangers of music by sexual deviants.”

15The Beatles, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’

Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
James Murphy: The Beatles, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. “It just sounded crazy. I liked psychedelic stuff when I was a kid, and the energy of the song is really intense. It also happens to be the first song I did ecstasy to, by accident. It was playing when I peaked on my first E.”

16T.Rex, ‘Ride A White Swan’

T.Rex, ‘Ride A White Swan’
Bernard Sumner, Bad Lieutenant: T.Rex, ‘Ride A White Swan’. “On my 16th birthday my mum bought me a record player. I’d heard this on the radio and liked the guitar lick. So I bought it and played it on my record player. It’s always puzzled me what the lyrics are about. I’ve been scratching my head since I bought it.”

17Michael Jackson, ‘Bad’

Ed Miles/ NME
Steven Ansell, Blood Red Shoes; Michael Jackson, ‘Bad’. “I fucking loved it when I was about 9. I remember saving up pocket money and birthday money. I used to like ‘Smooth Criminal’ – that was the one I used to sing along to the most when I was little. I still like it now because it’s amazingly written pop music – it’s really hard to dislike it – it’s just fucking good.”

18Melba Moore, ‘Underlove’

Melba Moore, ‘Underlove’
Danny North/NME
De La Soul: Melba Moore, ‘Underlove’. “Past our high school in Amityville, if you kept going east down Route 110 there was this place you could buy records, a big store called TSS. I must have been like, 13. It was funky soul – that’s my first record I bought myself, with my own money. Melba was popular, she had hits, she was down with that whole camp like Freddie Jackson and all them.”

19Marvin Gaye, ‘If This World Were Mine’

Marvin Gaye, ‘If This World Were Mine’
Timothy Cochrane/NME
Gwilym Gold, Golden Silvers: Marvin Gaye, ‘If This World Were Mine’. “It's so much of an idealised romantic song – I just love it. He sang it with Tammi Terrell – he wrote it, but it’s slightly less well-known than some of the hits they did. The lyric I like the most is, ‘The sky would be blue/As long as your lovin’ me’ – it sounds cheesy, but in that song it just sounds perfect.”

20Oasis, ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’

Emilie Bailey/NME
Felix White, The Maccabees: Oasis, ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’. “I would never have played guitar without it. It was the first band you really believe in, a thing to wake up for. I bought it on cassette. Actually, I’m trying to be credible, the first thing I actually bought was ‘Power Of A Woman’ by Eternal – I don’t know why. I was young and it was on 'Top of The Pops'.”

21The Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

The Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
Ira Wolf Tuton, Yeasayer: The Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. “It's the greatest kids’ music ever. A lot of Beatles stuff is very lullaby-y. From song to song it’s very easy to latch on to melodies. As a kid, you don’t know what an octopus’s garden is, but it’s cool imagery in the same way that it’s cool imagery for someone who’s feeding their head with tonnes of drugs.”

22Bad Brains, ‘ Pay To Cum’

Tom Oxley/NME
Dave Sitek: Bad Brains, ‘ Pay To Cum’. “I heard it and I was just like, ‘FUUUUUUUUUUCK!’ In a big country, this was the first time I realised I could participate. At that time my dad was unemployed; he worked in the environmental sector and this was the Reagan years, there was no environment. This was the first time I actually thought about punching the government in the face.”

23Jimi Hendrix, ‘Purple Haze’

Jimi Hendrix, ‘Purple Haze’
Timothy Cochrane/NME
James Ford, Simian Mobile Disco: Jimi Hendrix, ‘Purple Haze’. “The first record I really connected with was ‘Purple Haze’. I remember being blown away by its wild and unhinged energy. It was also the first thing I ever tried to work out on a guitar. I think I found it among my dad’s records.”

24Pulp, ‘Different Class’

Pulp, ‘Different Class’
Richard Johnson/NME
Hayden Thorpe, Wild Beasts: Pulp, ‘Different Class’. “I was definitely a Britpop kid. I was too young to grasp the wit and irony behind it, but as I grew older, I grew into it. I think a lesson from ‘Different Class’ that stuck with me was that you have to have the hearts before you can win the minds- you need the pop hooks and then you can feed people the meanings behind that.”

25The Cure, ‘Pictures Of You’

Jeanne Rice/NME
Angus Andrew, Liars: The Cure, ‘Pictures Of You’. “This came out when I was going out with my first ever girlfriend and it was the be-all-and-end-all of pulling at the heart strings and throwing them around the room.”

26Aztec Camera, ‘Somewhere In My Heart’

Tox Oxley/NME
Gary Jarman, The Cribs: Aztec Camera, ‘Somewhere In My Heart’. “When we signed to Wichita, the guy who signed us asked me what the first record I bought was. I said Aztec camera and he thought I was trying to be cool. It was 1988, I was eight- I had no idea about cool! My mum took me to Boots and I had to sing it to the woman behind the counter. I still listen to it.”

27Boney M, ‘Daddy Cool’

Boney M, ‘Daddy Cool’
Erol Alkan: Boney M, ‘Daddy Cool’. “I might have been about 5 when I got this from Woolworths in Archway. I asked my dad if I could buy a record and that was probably the one of the tracks that I already knew, or if I didn’t know it already it was because it had ‘Daddy’ in the title. It’s got incredible energy to it and an immediacy which registered with people straight off. It’s genius.”

28T’Pau, ‘China In Your Hand’

T’Pau, ‘China In Your Hand’
Timothy Cochrane/NME
Andy Falkous, Future Of The Left: T’Pau, ‘China In Your Hand’. “I was probably attracted to Carol Decker’s shiny red hair, which seemed to scream at me like a beacon of hope. I was about 11 at the time.”

29The Stranglers, ‘No More Heroes’

The Stranglers, ‘No More Heroes’
Neale Smith/NME
Jimi Goodwin, Doves: The Stranglers, ‘No More Heroes’. “I was about 8 when I got it. There used to be a record shop near my nana’s house. I just loved punk, I loved She Stranglers; I loved loads of punk stuff when I was a kid. My dad used to take me to loads of punk gigs from an early age; The Clash, the Ramones, Ian Dury, and The Stranglers when they had a stripper.”

30The Beatles, ‘A Day In The Life’

The Beatles, ‘A Day In The Life’
Tom Oxley/NME
Jonathan Higgs, Everything Everything: The Beatles, ‘A Day In The Life’. “It’s quite a scary song and it’s quite weird. But there’s something in it that moved me in a way no music had up to that point”

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