This Thanksgiving, we here at JACK FM are thankful for many a thing, but we gotta say, we are extremely thankful for this bunch of songs in a row.
You see, without these songs, many of our favorite bands might have taken a very different path, one that possibly wouldn’t have involved music. We say that, because these are the songs that introduced the band to the public. This is their first hit, the song that guaranteed that they were here to stay. In short, these are the songs that made the band.
Here’s a short list, in no particular order, of some of those songs:
12. Imagine Dragons “It’s Time”: The song that started it all for Imagine Dragons and set them on the path to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world today.
11. The Killers “Somebody Told Me”: The Killers ruled the 2000’s after the release of their debut album, Hot Fuss, which had songs like “Mr. Brightside,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done.” But it was “Somebody Told Me” that launched them into super stardom.
10. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: The early 90’s were defined by grunge, and grunge was defined by Nirvana. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the song that launched a movement that embodied a generation.
9. Pearl Jam “Even Flow”: Pearl Jam was also a founding father of the grunge movement, but they’ve outlasted virtually all of their peers. Ten was chock full of hits, but “Even Flow” was the song that initially put them on the map.
8. No Doubt “Just a Girl”: It’s hard to fathom that No Doubt released their self-titled debut album over 20 years ago, and that Gwen Stefani turned 46 this year. But it wasn’t until 1995’s Tragic Kingdom, spearheaded by “Just A Girl,” that No Doubt rose to international fame.
7. U2 “I Will Follow”: One of the biggest bands of all time began their musical journey over 25 years ago with an album entitled Boy. The number of songs U2 have produced over the years is incredible by any standard. “I Will Follow,” though technically not their first song, is the lead single off their first album, signaling the beginning of a long and illustrious career.
6. Guns ‘n’Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”: The decadence of the 80’s was embodied by the excesses of the Sunset Strip right here in LA, and no band (besides maybe Mötley Crüe) embodied that hedonistic spirit better than Guns ‘n’ Roses. And the song that launched their career? “Welcome to the Jungle.”
5. Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”: “Hold It Now, Hit It” technically introduced the world to three guys from Brooklyn, but it was “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) that guaranteed we were going to be hearing a lot from the trio for a long time. In fact, The Beasties never broke up. It was Adam Yauch AKA MCA’s death in 2012 that brought an end to the Beastie Boys.
4. Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run”: One of the true great legends of rock, Bruce Springsteen has been making music since the early 70’s. It wasn’t until 1975’s Born to Run, however, that The Boss finally achieved mainstream success. And the song to lead the way? Why the title track of the album, of course.
3. Aerosmith “Sweet Emotion”: Aerosmith is another one of those bands that has seemingly just always existed. The do have a beginning, though; 1970 to be exact. But it was “Sweet Emotion” off of 1975’s Toys in the Attic that marked the beginning of a string of hits for Aerosmith.
2. The Eagles “Take it Easy”: The Eagles are one of the top 20 selling musical acts of all time, a feat matched by only two other bands on this list, U2 and Aerosmith (depending on which numbers you look at). With relentless recording and touring, The Eagles did not “Take It Easy.”
1. Kanye West”Through the Wire”: No list would be complete without Kanye West. It’s hard to imagine that before all the Kardashian drama, all the Taylor Swift drama, heck, all the drama in general that Kanye seems to generate, that he was once an unknown artist who had just suffered a major car accident before penning “Through the Wire.” In fact, Kanye broke his jaw during the accident and had to have it wired to hold the broken bones together. It’s that very wire that he’s referring to–and singing through–in the song.