Epic Tunes

groove is in the heartThis will be an ongoing list, infinite edit mode…any suggestions of important songs to add to the list would be greatly…appreciated!

Au Claire De Lune (1860) first sound ever recorded, by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville

The Lost Chord (1888) first wax recording (Edison)

Luigi Russolo – Risveglio di una Città (originally performed in 1913) proto-avante-garde

Ciro’s Club Coon Orchestra – St Louis Blues (1917)

Mamie Smith – Crazy blues (1920) first African-American artist to make a vocal blues recording

Fiddlin John Carson – The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane (1922) “March 23, 1922, Fiddlin’ John Carson becomes the First “hillbilly” artist to play on the radio, performing on Atlanta’s WSB”

Ed Andrews – Barrel House Blues (1924)

Papa Charlie Jackson – I’m Alabama Bound (1925)

Blind Lemon Jefferson – That Black Snake Moan (1926)

ernest_rogersErnest Rodgers – Willie the Chimney Sweeper (1927) first doper song

Charley Patton – Prayer Of Death Part 1 & 2 (1929)

Eddie Durham – Hittin The Bottle (1935) first recording of electric guitar

Arthur Crudup – That’s All Right Mama (1946) proto-rock

Elvis did it in 1954, his first release…

Pierre Schaeffer – Concertino-Diapason (1948) Musique concrète!

Wynonie Harris – Good Rockin’ Tonight (1948) proto-rock

Jimmy Preston – Rock This Joint (1949) proto-rock

Louis Jordan & Tympany Five – Saturday Night Fish Fry (1949) proto-rock

Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats – Rocket 88 (1951) first (accidental) distorted guitar (with wife beater Ike Turner on guitar), perhaps the 1st Rock n Roll song…

Elvis Presley – Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954) country becomes rock and roll

Else Marie Pade – Syv Cirkler (1958) first Danish composer of electronic and concrete music

The Beatles – Love Me Do (1962) 1st single, although this is the 1st recording, 4 months before the single they actually released, with Pete Best on drums…

Richard Berry – Louie Louie (1957), written in 1955, but in turn based on an early tune, Rosendo Ruiz Jr.’s “Amarren Al Loco” (“Tie up the crazy guy”). 


The Kingsmen’s version (1963) made them famous, as has happened often in music, because of negative publicity… Wikipedia

The Larks – The Jerk (1964)

The Sonics – The Witch (1964) proto-punk

Los Saicos – Demolicion (1964)

The Seeds – Pushin’ Too Hard (1965) proto-punk

The Troggs – Wild Thing (1966) (written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor and originally recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965)…

The Leaves – Hey Joe (1966) (check this once great POST)

Monks (1966)

Love – 7 And 7 Is (1966)

The Velvet Underground – Heroin (1966)

MC5 – I Can Only Give You Everything (1967) MC5 first single

The Zodiac – Cosmic Sounds (Mort Garson) (1967) First synthesizer used on record???

The Outsiders – The Man On The Dune (1968) proto-punk

Son House – Death Letter Blues (1969) Seattle

The Beatles – I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (1969) Proto Doom Metal

Legendary Stardust Cowboy – Paralyzed (1969) Proto-punk

Up – Just Like An Aborigine (1969)

The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog (1969) first Stooges single…

MC5 – Kick Out The Jams (1970) Detroit

The Pink Fairies – The Snake (1971)

The Modern Lovers – Pablo Picasso (1972)

Mississippi Fred McDowell – Shake ‘Em On Down (1972?)

The Punks – Drop Dead (1973)

Ramones – CBGB, NYC (September 15th, 1974)

Death – Politicians In My Eyes (1974) proto-punk

BLAST – Damned Flame (1974) proto-punk

Laurie Spiegel – Drums (1975) proto-electronic (GROOVE System Bell Labs)

Mike Rep & The Quotas – Rocket To Nowhere (1975) proto-punk

Electric Eels – Agitated (1975)

The Damned – New Rose (1976) 1st UK punk single…

Désirée – Listen To The Radio (1976) proto-speed metal

The Carpettes – Help I’m Trapped (1977) proto-hardcore

Alberto y Los Trios Paranoias – Kill (1977) proto-hardcore

Suicide – Frankie Teardrop (1977) proto-industrial

Buzzcocks – You Tear Me Up (1977) first d-beat

Plasmatics – Butcher Baby (1978) You can’t have an epic list of songs without including the Plasmatics first single…

Middle Class – Out Of Vogue (1978) first hardcore

SPK – No More (1979) No list of this kind would be complete without the almighty SPK in my opinion (I have more of their records than any other “band”). This track was very sought after for a period of time as it was only on their very limited 2nd 7″

SPK – Slogun (1979) A self respecting list like this must have two SPK songs. These guys were the fully formed beast that was early Industrial…

Fatback Band – KingTim111 (1979) 1st recorded Rap record

The Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight (1979) 1st charting Rap record

Tanya “Sweet Tee” Winley – Vicious Rap (1980) 1st female Rap record

Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star (1981) First video played on MTV…

Men Without Hats – Safety Dance (1982) There is no such thing as epic except this…

Heart Attack – From What I See (1983) first blast beat

Public Enemy – Public Enemy No. 1 (1987)

N.W.A. – Fuck Tha Police (1988) Gangsta Rap!

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15 thoughts on “Epic Tunes”

  1. Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop –
    The Damned – New Rose/Help -First UK Punk Single
    Video Killed The Radio Star – First song on Mtv

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    1. Thanx Nazz, great suggestions! I almost feel like I was watching MTV that first day, such a good channel those early years…

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  2. Good Lord, narrowing the scope much! 🙂 Dunno, but people include Fight the Power as the top hip hop. There was a bit on NPR about the Kingsmen and Louie Louie being influential. Stooges, etc… I took history of rock n roll at Humboldt, forgot it all….

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      1. I’m starting to get mixed up in what is influential in general, or epic. and what I like or influenced me, like Joy Division. Suicidal Tendencies got me into that whole Venice/Nardcore stuff, and punk in general. How bout DRI and Corrosion of Conformity. Neurosis. Of course David Bowie and Deep Purple, Pink Floyd. How about bands like Pansy Division that would put something other than heterosexuality in our faces! Everyone from Urghh a music war!

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  3. I keep spamming your site, but how about Oingo Boingo – Only a Lad, and Fishbone Party at Ground Zero. Michael Frenti’s band before Disposable Heros, cant remember off the top of my head what it was

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    1. Just stoked that someone is stopping by and commenting big guy, no spam. So what are you thinking with these bands, what are they remarkable for?

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  4. Damn humbling to see this exhaustive list of historical modern music. Good to see Suicide and Death on the list. This is an awesome list

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  5. Thanks for including a page like this which is both highly entertaioning as well as very informative. I can imagine many would say that, for example, including Suicide as first proto-“industrial” instead of, say, Throbbing Gristle, is a faux-pas, but let us not forget that Alan and Martin (Suicide) performed their mania long before their debut album in 1977. Including The Sonics on this list was indeed a must for I think they may have been part of that “departure” sound from what was to become “heavy” (later on) and the soon-to-be psychedelia-flavored pop-rock of the mid-late 60s. In any case that first album (and the way it was, ahem, “recorded”!) is legendary! Also interesting is how “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats is generally remembered by most for it’s 12″ re-recorded “remix” and not for it’s 2 & 1/2 minute “video” version which was in fact the official single release. Glad to see P.E. #1 also getting some props on this list. This is what rap should have become and not the post-1996 Virgin Records-buying-out-all-small-rap-labels-and-forcing-artists-to-be-more-gangsta-instead-of-politically-socially-conscious. I am also thankful for being introduced to many other artists, such as The Plasmatics which I never heard before (shame on me!). Anyway, it’s a great list, and I am sure there’s more fun in digging about from where these references are coming from! Cheers!

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    1. I know what you’re saying about Throbbing Gristle…

      Remember this is list is in “infinite edit mode” and I had thought to include TG, but that early stuff was all “untitled”.

      Can you find a link on YT that you would recommend as proto-industrial???
      Looking at the list again and thinking about Industrial music, I can’t believe that I didn’t include SPK (corrected that)
      That Safety Dance video brings back a lot of memories for me…I prefer the original vs. the 12″ which I got way back then…
      PE was part of a scene in New York that I liked at the time, extremely intelligent. I blame crack cocaine for gansta rap, but that very early stuff was pivotal, changing culture all over the world and I do dig some senseless violence in my rap every once in a while…

      Thanx so much Alex for your input, do you have any specific recommendations that you would add to the list? 🙂

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      1. Hello again!

        Well I don’t claim to know much history about where some type of music originated from, but I can suggest, if you will, the first “noise” project came out of the Futurist movement, specifically when Luigi Russolo built a few of his now long-destroyed (none original survived but many were re-created) intonarumoris devices and started to perform what he would claim would be the music of the 20th century.

        By any standards these were in effect “noise” compositions, more akin to performance art than actual musicianship (although many would claim otherwise). These are in fact the origins of what would become modern noise (anti)music and japanoise. So sorry if I can not donate more info or cohesion, as I am at work, writing this “drive-by” style (Luigi Russolo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcHJySm7ZO0)

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