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Songs that "stopped you dead in your tracks"


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...and these don't necessarily have to be the first time you heard the band/player/singer/whatever (in other words, not necessarily "the first cut is the deepest", if you will).

Truth be told, the inspiration for this notion is an old friend of mine who admits he was, er, more into the mushrooms back in the '60s and '70s than I was. He'd never heard "Tubular Bells" but caught a "live" performance of it on "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" in '74, where the musicians were sitting in a semi-circle, and would get up and walk over to different instruments at different times during the performance (anybody else remember that?). Well, he was blown away, as might have been expected.

I can think of at least two songs that had a similar effect on me, admittedly later on. In '85, there was a Phil Collins concert on HBO (it later came out on video), and there was a tremendous extended work therein called "Hand in Hand" which started off with an almost African vibe---rainstorm effect, Collins singing something that sounded like an African dialect, response vocals from the Phoenix Horns, kalimba-like noodling by Chester Thompson on some instrument that was sort of like a mini-xylophone (from what I could tell)...following by a great horn arrangement kick-in and double drumming. It almost came off like a John Barry soundtrack number, and I was so entranced I was catatonic during the entire song. Bassist Leland Sklar said that the band used to open the show with "Hand in Hand" and he was pissed that it showed up later in the concert video, on accounta opening with it really started things rolling in the right manner, he said.

In '94 I first heard the 28-minute version of "Rattlesnake Shake" from Fleetwood Mac's Boston Tea Party recordings. I'd heard other material from those live sessions (they were beginning to appear on cut-out type cassettes) but someone in Washington state sent me some bootlegs that included the effort which segues into the "Madge" jams and "Underway". Peter Green's Les Paul was absolutely screaming. It was about 30 degrees outside, I was in my car, and I didn't have the heater running, but I stopped after about 3 minutes of the song, stayed still 'till it was over, and I was sweating like a mofo at the end. It was (and is) the most ungodly extended jam track I've ever heard.

Any other songs have such an immediate first-time effect on anyone else? I may think of others later on...

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Guest Mark123

I was living in St. Louis around '90 or so walking around downtown when I heard what I thought was the best dam guitarist I've ever heard warming up to play a gig. Had no choice but to buy a ticket to see who it was that was making the guitar sound like I've never heard before...

'twas non other than Steve Morse Band promoting the High Tension Wires album. Been hooked ever since.

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Tommy Bolin ... "Poat Toastee" ... made me want to be a better guitarist...

Steve Morse ... "Cruise Missile" ... made me want to quit playing..

Norah Jones ... "Don't know why"... Her voice floored me the first time I heard it....

Just off the top of my head

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The first time I heard "Creep" by Radiohead. It got to that palm muted "chuck-ah...chuck-ah" part right before the chorus and literally made me stop the car. That is so badass...those guys ended up doing pretty well for themselves.

Chris

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These songs are the ones that impacted me the most over the last 10 to 20 years :lol:

SRV - Little Wing

Dramagods - Broken

Yngwie Malmsteen - Marching Out

Led Zeppelin - The Battle of Evermore, Immigrant Song

Beck - Sunday Sun

Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil

Iron Maiden - Murders in the Rue Morgue, Infinite Dreams

Metallica - Call of Ktulu, Orion, Master of Puppets

Nine Inch Nails - A Warm Place

Vangelis - Memories of Green

Prince - Fury perfomance on SNL

K.D. Lang - Anything...her voice is awesome!

Alice in Chains - Whale and Wasp, Angry Chair

Jason Becker - Higher (one of most beautiful vocal pieces I have ever heard)

Marty Friedman - Bittersweet

Hendrix - Gypsy Eyes

Steve Vai - Call it sleep, Warm Regards

David Lee Roth - Ladies Nite in Buffalo

Garbage - Drive you Home

Michael Jackson - 2 bad, Stranger in Moscow, Money (he sounds good pissed off)

Joe Satriani - Satch Boogie, All Alone, Flying in a Blue Dream

Michael Lee Firkins - Cactus Cruz

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I wish I'd seen that performance of Tubular Bells! I always thought it was a phenominal album. As much as the term visionary gets thrown around, I think it fit that piece of music.

I saw Collins' band doing Hand in Hand on HBO in the 80's too. It had the same effect on me. Real pretty melody, and how the band builds from pp to forte through the course of the song is mesmerizing.

I still remember hearing And You And I by Yes when I was a kid. I was at a tropical fish store and they had the local rock station on in the store. That vocal melody just got me!

I remember the first time I heard Us & Them by Floyd, and Afterglow by Genesis on the radio when I was a kid. For being a guitarist, I'm sure a sucker for that blissed out keyboard-heavy stuff.

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A handful that come to mind are...

Joe Satriani - Not of This Earth

Steve Vai - Bad Horsie

Living Color - Cult of Personality (specifically the solo)

XTC - Mayor of Simpleton

Alan Holldsworth - Joshua

Sugar - Tilted

Polytown (David Torn Mick Karn Terry Bozzio) - This is the Abduction Scene

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Jason Becker - Higher (one of most beautiful vocal pieces I have ever heard)

Ok....here is a link to Jason Beckers "Higher" cause you guys gotta hear this....don't fall asleep!

Jason Becker - Higher

He composed this on guitar (while he could still play) and then had Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra record it for his Perspective album after he got sick.

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As a kid growing up in saratoga county, there were very few opportunities to hear live music... on the weekends there was in concert and rock concert... It was there I saw Mahavishnu Orchestra perform "Inner Mounting Flame". I was devastated!

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I fell asleep on the couch with MTV on and woke up to hearing Self Esteem Offspring by for the first time. I said DAMNNNNN and bought Smash the next day.

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Guest pirateflynn
Birthday by the Sugarcubes.

-Jonathan

Good choice.

For me it was the 1st time I heard I WANT YOU (She's so heavy) by the Beatles when I was about 12yrs old. It was blairing full blast on the stereo in my room and when it came to the sudden stop........I nearly had a heart attack.

I had a real spooky feeling after that.

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U2: The Unforgettable Fire, the song. It's hard to explain. It effects me like no other song ever has.

-Bobby

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Van Halen - Eruption, EVH was making sounds on a guitar that i had never imagined possible.

Stevie Ray Vaughn - Texas Flood - emotional guitar work on that song from his debut album

noonan

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The opening A chord to Drop Dead Legs (Van Halen 1984 for those of you who don't know it) to this day inspires me to play and play with my wife at the same time. The sound of that, even after hearing it a bazillion times still gives me chills. Every time I hear it I feel 13 again.

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He'd never heard "Tubular Bells" but caught a "live" performance of it on "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" in '74, where the musicians were sitting in a semi-circle, and would get up and walk over to different instruments at different times during the performance (anybody else remember that?).

I DO remember that live performance of "Tubular Bells" on Rock Concert - it was GREAT STUFF! (showing my age here, but we used to live for DK's RC!!)

As far as songs that stopped me in my tracks...

"Whole Lotta Love", Zep - (1969) I remember watching American Bandstand when Dick Clark introduces it to the U.S. and I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. Adios Beatles and Motown, hello heavy metal

"Black Sabbath", Sabbath - (1970) I'm at a party and here this song that starts out with rain and bells tolling... after the first verse I was HOOKED! I bought the album the next day and played it constantly till "Paranoid" came out. "Black Sabbath" was the reason my parents got me my own stereo.

"Satisfaction", DEVO - (October 1978) DEVO on Saturday Night Live (also played "Joco Homo" as their second song) just blew me away

"Surfing with the Alien", Satriani - (1987) heard it on KROQ in L.A. and almost crashed my car

"Down in it", NIN - (1989) Wow

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I still remember the first time I heard each one of the following songs as a kid/teen and they hit me like a ton of bricks:

"Hot Razors" - Crack The Sky

"Since You've Been Gone" -Rainbow

"Barracuda" Heart

"Unchained" - Van Halen

"Oh Candy" - Cheap Trick

"Getting Closer" - Wings

"The Song Remains The Same"/"Fool In the Rain" - Zep

"Sultans of Swing" - Dire Straits

"And Your Bird Can Sing" - Beatles

"Brass In Pocket" - Pretenders (although - "Kid" knocked me out more, I just don't remember hearing it the first time as well!)

"Baba O'Reilly" - the WHO

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Devil In A Sleeping Bag - Willie Nelson

The Hunt - Tommy Emmanuel

Invisible Guests - King D

City Hall - Tenacious D

Mean Streets - VH

Wheels of Confusion - Back Stabbath

Goodbye To Romance - Oz

Yer Time Is Gonna Cum - Zep

The Drunk - A Freaks

Groove or Die/Turn Away - Timmons

Sultans of Swing - Monte Montgomery version

Throes of Rejection - Pantera

Revolution is My Name - Pantera

Cowboys From Hell - Pantera

Baby Got Back

Practice Whatcha Preach

I Made Linda Lovelace Gag

Fuggit...too damn many too list once again. Every time a 'greatness' list is mentioned there ain't no way to fit'em all in.....SHOT-30!!!!!!!!

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As a kid growing up in saratoga county, there were very few opportunities to hear live music... on the weekends there was in concert and rock concert... It was there I saw Mahavishnu Orchestra perform "Inner Mounting Flame". I was devastated!

Holy crap. That must have been unreal!! I am jealous!!

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highway star - DP - made in japan version

made me changing from pianoplaying to guitarlearning (till now)

paul gilbert - friday night - burning organ

didnt know that gilbert is a good songwriter too

icecream man - older EVH recording not the newer DLR version. asked my guitartecher for learning this song including solo - it was my second year on guitar - he laughed...

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