I heard a 2006 Jon Brion interview today in which the composer recalls his first impression of Nirvana’s “Lithium”:
I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard “Lithium”: back of a friend’s car, it came on, and…I just freaked out. I mean, I was nearly in tears. […] It’s absolutely as good as Gershwin or Thelonious Monk.
That got me thinking about songs that left a memorable impression on me the first time I heard them.