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Clonehunter

Your True Opinion On Music: Is Your First their Best?

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Oh look, this shit again.


So I was thinking. It seems that some of my favorite songs from a band happen to all be the first songs I was ever exposed to from that band. For example, the first Iron Maiden song I ever heard was Powerslave. A great song, and to this day I still refer to it as my favorite Maiden song, although whenever anyone brings up that specific album, songs like Aces High, 2 Minutes to Midnight, and/or Rime of the Ancient Mariner hit the conversation first.

The first Placebo song I ever heard was Blind, from the album Meds. As it turns out, Meds isn't the most popular album from the band, but I still prefer it over their other, arguably better work as it was simply the first I was exposed too.

Of course, there some exceptions.


Is this some kind of common phenomenon? Is this just random deliberating or I am not the only one who experiences these feelings? Both bands I've used as example have much more, better praised work, but I've for whatever reason stuck my firsts. Music opinions are already very subjective in most cases, but is this a matter of whatever we were exposed to first? Or is it taste? Or is it something else?

Impse? No. Fuck you. H-Doom is gay. Or is it steaight because it doesn't show gay acts? Hold on, this last bit isn't relevant...



Opinions, thoughts? What were you first exposed too in terms of music, and do you still hold that music/song in high regard? Or have you found something better?

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This sort of feeling makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't seem to be the case for me.
Most prominent example for me would be Dragonforce: I'd say the vast majority of their stuff is better than Through the Fire and Flames, despite that being the first song I heard.
EDIT: It's also just occurred to me that my favourite df song also happens to be the most recent one I heard

Same could be said for Rainbow. Dio >>> Bonnet (although in fairness, the songwriting on Down to Earth was pretty poor compared to something like Rising.)

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Nostolgia is powerful as someone mentioned BUT it could also be the fact of writing demos and perfecting songs 5 years turns their first commercial album into a best of with songs they've worked 5 years on. In other cases edgie bands that smooth out and get more mainstream just sound better in general and that's why they become mainstream such as Deftones, Five Finger Death Punch and that bimbo who sings metal with Marilyn Manson videos. Her name is escaping me Maria something.

Its also how much you hear a song or see a movie to know and love it. Things will grow on you.

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I think there is a valid point here. A band is going to have to change and improve considerably for me to get a new favourite song by them if I've been listening to them for any length of time. Likewise, their newer stuff does seem to feel less interesting if I already have plenty of music I like by them. Five Finger Death Punch may be the main example for this. Their first album felt like a bit of a landmark, but now I've got a good five or six by them I am a lot more critical of what they've done. I mean, they were never really writing Shakespeare, but nowadays I'd suggest their lyrics are simple, dumb choruses and meaningless shouted verses along a vague theme, but presented with an enjoyable power and ferocity still.

Then again, some bands have clearly moved away from what got them their initial audience. In Flames aren't recognisable now as the band they were back when they started out. Slayer went through a weird phase around God Hates Us All (my first Slayer album, therefore a favourite) that contrasts with the decidedly dull thrash albums they released afterward and their classic 80s and early 90s work. Iron Maiden seem to have disappeared off to some sort of progressive space where meandering 10 minute songs on whatever they fancy are the way to go, with the odd nod to their catchy past to ensure there's always one song to get the album for. Then there's Metallica...

So all told I do think there's a lot in the idea that bands have been better at a given time than they may be now, but I will happily concede that the first album you hear is odds on to be your favourite by a given band. Makes sense too, as if you got into a band hearing that album, then you were seeking out more music like that album when you got into the band. Of course, some bands like Silent Descent simply surpass their previous efforts with the follow up, so it's not guaranteed.

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The first Judas Priest song I listened to was



But my favourite song is


I guess I'm an isolated example though, especially considering these two songs are different genres of metal. I tend to lean towards more thrashy and heavy metal as opposed to the good ol' vanilla heavy metal.

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The first song from "the offspring" I ever heard was "Why don't you get a job" but after listening to their other songs I've decided that "forever and a day" is my favorite jam from them.

This logic doesn't apply to "green day" since "brain stew" is my favourite song since I first heard it.

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Uhm, If you are only talking about bands, for me I'd say no. The first Iron Maiden song I listened was The trooper, but my favourite is Hallowed be thy name.
My first metallica song was Master of puppets, but my favourite is One.
My first DragonForce song was Valley of the damned, but my favourite is Soldiers of the wasteland.

The first song will always stay in your heart and mean something, though the favourite one is something different.

On the other hand, if you also include games, then I'd say yes.
The first DooM I played was doom shareware and doom1, so I prefer doom1 music to doom2.
Same thing goes for final fantasy, I started with 6, and the music I like most is the sixth (though they are all great). Same thing I could say for other games.

In conclusion, I'd say it depends only on us.

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Clonehunter said:

The first Placebo song I ever heard was Blind, from the album Meds. As it turns out, Meds isn't the most popular album from the band, but I still prefer it over their other, arguably better work as it was simply the first I was exposed too.

Of course, there some exceptions.


Back in the day as a teenager when I 'discovered' Pantera it was when I randomly bought some cds and picked up great southern trendkill on a lark. I was still trying to figure out what kinda of music I enjoyed. I hated that fucking album, I really did except for 2 songs, suicide note pt 1 and floods, both of which deviate from the bands normal thrashy sound. Since that time I've acquired a taste for heavier music, but when I go and listen to some of the bands earlier and far more popular work like vulgar display or cowboys from hell, I can't stand it.

I would say in general yeah your point is spot on, but the first electric wizard I was exposed to was some of their newer albums, which aren't amazing at all tbh. I really love their older stuff though.

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Green Day is one of the bands that managed to have a second success. They were mainstream with their first commercial success then sagged down, then even bigger mainstream. Offspring was like that in the span of a decade. I remember people complaining whatever album came after Americana that it was too much like Americana, which was a stellar album.

Its weird going to Green Day and Nine Inch Nails concerts now, all the 30 - 40 year olds in their polo shirts. Those are two bands with genres where the sound is a lifestyle look. The majority of attendees no longer has has mohawks, chains or spikes, but their shows are bigger than ever. I'm sure Kiss fans felt the same thing 20 years ago.

I hate to say it but Nirvana, Sublime and Alice in Chains went out on top before they got stale.

As for Pantera, I started listening with Vulgar Display of Power and just can't get into anything else other than maybe Cemetery Gates.

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Yes. No. Ahhh, I've got conflicting experiences about this. I know the effect you're talking about and I do believe it's influencing me all the time, but I also believe I'm able to defy it when I truly like a band's new shit.

And then there are bands like Ulver or Boris. Bands whose every album will be a drastically different experience. They're not even applicable to your theory, heh.

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Can't say I've really experienced this, at least not as a prevailingly trend. The closest thing that I've noticed is in relation to classical music: the recording through which I first become acquainted with a particular piece will often go on to be my favourite recording of that piece, I guess because it colours my understanding of the way the piece "should" be played.

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I don't think I agree with the OP's premise. Often the first thing I hear is newer material from an artist and then going back and listening to earlier works I find I enjoy it more. Not always the case, mind you, but enough that I'd dismiss the idea.

dew said:

And then there are bands like Ulver or Boris. Bands whose every album will be a drastically different experience. They're not even applicable to your theory, heh.


This too! Actually, I really like it when a group or artist goes in different directions per album. Ulver was a good example. Sometimes i want more of the same, but in some cases I welcome new ideas.

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It varies from band to band for me. With some bands my favourite song will end up being some obscure B-side that wasn't even included in one of their main albums and I didn't hear until much later. But with others, the first song(s) I heard sometimes remain the favourite(s).

Pretty sure my favourite Iron Maiden songs (using the example in the OP) will always be the ones included in the Carmageddon II soundtrack. So it holds true for them, at least.

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Based on it being the first song you've heard by the band, chances are that you subconsciously view the bands later songs through the ears of being based on the first song you heard from them. Just like later experiences in life is colored by the childhood you received growing up. Try listening to song you thought were killer ages ago but you havn't listened to in many years. Chances are it'll sound different but have several of the qualities you appreciate in a song today, and this time around you'll be able to identify what they are. :)

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I'm half and half with this kind of thing.

For example, the first song I heard by The Offspring was "Come Out and Play" and other stuff like that. I listened to most of their 90's stuff religiously as a kid, but never liked the first album. 2 years ago or so I gave it a play and now it's by far my favorite - has the most meaning, has a really raw sound, the rest feels like "canned music" by comparison.

I find this same thing true about several bands I've always enjoyed. It is often true that the further back you go in their discography, the more passion and meaning you find. Obviously there are exceptions, NIN is an example where I've just loved like 98% of what Trent has released for the last 30ish years..

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I think it depends on the band or person making the music. Some bands imediatly get ignored by me directly after i heard one song, and then there are bands which have a slightly interesting sound. Eventually the following songs i listen to decide whether i like them or not.

Mainly the dance, electro, and any pop in a similar genre fall under the "first song is the best" category, while names or bands like (by example) Nine Inch Nails keep sounding relatively good.

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eyeah I say it varies too, based on artist and such.

I guess a good example for me was when I listened to Born of Osiris the first time. I had the first chance to listen to them by The Discovery and thought it was fantastic, but then I listened to the stuff on the album after that and thought it was complete shit. As a result I was rather skeptical to listen to the brand new album that just came out (Soul Sphere) but then found it wasn't nearly as bad as Tomorrow We Die Alive.

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In a lot of cases, I can't really say for sure. I'm the type that tends to find the artist/band's latest work their finest, not the one I was initially introduced to.

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So in a way, it may almost be incidental. Like the Carmegeddon II soundtrack, I'm assuming that those songs are then always affiliated with whatever fun times were had playing the game, and as such they pack a nostalgic whallop.

On a tangent, what about covers? Say you hear one song first, and then you find out it was a cover. There's a plethora of songs like this, such as I Love Rock & Roll, A Little Help From My Friends, Cum On Feel the Noize, All Along the Watchtower, Big Yellow Taxi, other songs that have been covered more times than you want to think about, etc...

If you hear the cover first, and you like it, do you think you'd be more inclined to enjoy that song more than the original on a basis of loving it first? Of course, this is comparing it to the idea of hearing the original first, and calling any cover version trash.

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To me it follows the same concept as my previous post. A good sounding cover is a good sounding cover. The original could be bad, the cover could be bad.

Original                         Cover
Marylin Manson  - Tourniquet     bile        - tourniquet
Nine Inch Nails - Hurt           Johnny Cash - Hurt

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But what about the prospect of enjoying a cover more, or liking or favoring it more, on the basis it was heard first, thus creating a sort of bias? I think that's the thought I'm trying to put into motion.

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As a comparison
My first Metallica song was Master of Puppets.

But my current favorite is "The Outlaw torn."

But nostaligia can have an effect on this.

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Nope! The first song of Nine Inch Nails that I heard, for example, was "The Hand That Feeds", a extremely weak single for the NIN discography. I liked at first, but after I learned more about the band, I forgot that song entirely. Actually, I think the better songs are the ones that take time to appreciate.

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I can't really say since the first Marilyn Manson and NIN songs I heard I still like. But I like them just as much as I like any other song of theirs. Same with most other bands I listen to. So maybe? I probably just got lucky and listened to what's considered some of their best (i.e Beautiful People, Closer).

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First song from a band was NIN's Last, but I love Heresy. Metallica's Enter Sandman, AC/DC's Highway to Hell.

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The first ELO album I heard was Time, and although I like it, it isn't my favourite album by the band.

The first Slayer album I heard was Reign in Blood, but I now prefer South of Heaven.

The first Justin Bieber album I listened to was.. Nah, my musical tastes aren't that diverse.

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