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What was the first single you ever bought?

Members of Biffy Clyro, Crossfaith, Cradle Of Filth and more reveal their first single purchases...

What was the first single you ever bought? Does it sit proudly on your shelf or was it carted off to the charity shop a long time ago?

Either way, every record collection has to start somewhere, as these 10 musicians reveal...


Koie Kenta, Crossfaith

“The first single I bought would’ve been N.E.R.D.'s Rockstar. I love that band. Before I bought the single I watched them play at Summer Sonic, which is a big Japanese festival, and they played a great gig. So after the festival I went to the record store and found Rockstar, which also had a bunch of remixes on it – I think one of them was a commercially successful song for the iPod campaign. Pharrell Williams is a genius. He’s also really famous in Japan because of his fashion brand.”

Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society

“I think it was 25 Or 6 To 4_by Chicago. I also remember buying Tom Petty's _Don’t Do Me Like That. This was back in the day of 45s. I was always more into buying records though, or LPs as we used to call them back then.”

Frank Bello, Anthrax

"It had to be TotoHold The Line because it had great guitar in it. This was back when I was really young. I just loved the heavy guitar in the opening riff. It wasn't metal, of course, but it was the rock guitar that I think was my beginning of loving heaviness. It's not a heavy song at all but the guitar riff is fuckin' dunnn-dun-dun-dundun, and it introduced me to rock. It was cool."

Denis Stoff, Asking Alexandria

“Honestly, maybe I’m too young, but buying singles has never really been a thing for me. But the first song that I downloaded on iTunes or whatever was probably something by Slipknot. They were definitely another band that really influenced me as both a human being and a musician. I’d say the first song that I heard by them was probably My Plague. I was like 13 and at first I was kind of scared by what I was listening to, but I kept jamming it along with the rest of the Iowa record, which is awesome from the very beginning to the very end.”

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Mat McNerney, Grave Pleasures

“I remember it vividly. My mum was out shopping and I had some pocket money, so I went to Woolworth’s and bought Beastie Boys' She’s On It. I came back and put it on and it was all about chicks and Spanish Fly, and that was a big problem for my parents. To them, Beastie Boys were like the worst thing that I could listen to and the song was confiscated from me for a while before I was allowed to listen to it again. I think I was about ten years old at the time. Later on I went completely nuts for the Fight For Your Right video, and then some kids from school got together and did a Beastie Boys band and they did some stuff in front of the school. That was kind of the first and last time anything like that was ever allowed ha ha! I don’t know how they persuaded the teachers to let them do it in the first place, but they did and everyone went completely nuts. Hip-hop was just starting to get really big with white kids then Beastie Boys came along and everyone went mad for them. They had the guitars in there as well, which gave their sound a bit of a punk attitude, and they were really my first step of getting into rebellious music. They were a really big deal for me: it was the music and the attitude at the same time, and they got me started on a whole obsession with music.”

Simon Neil, Biffy Clyro

"The first vinyl which I ever bought was Sting and Eric Clapton’s seven-inch, It’s Probably Me from the Lethal Weapon 3 soundtrack. At that point, I had only ever purchased cassette tapes. In true 90s style, I bought this record in Woolworths with my pocket money, and couldn’t wait to get home to place it on my parent’s record player. I remember being intrigued by the delicacy with which I had to handle the vinyl and loving the ritual of placing that needle gently onto the grooves. The reason why I loved that song, was that the rhythm track was built around a Zippo lighter sparking up. It wasn't the coolest first-ever vinyl purchase, but it was swiftly followed by Pantera’s I'm Broken! I think I ended up somewhere in the middle ground between those first two vinyl purchases..."

Lou Koller, Sick Of It All

“The first single I went out and bought, and I got it for fifty cents at a used record store in my neighbourhood, was Alice Cooper's School's Out. How about that?! They didn't just sell records: they had all kinds of second-hand crap. It was one of those tiny little places that's stuffed with everything. I was looking through the 7"s, and there it was. The B-side was Gutter Cat, and I fucking played both sides to death. I still have that record.”

Jesse Leach, Killswitch Engage

"It's Tricky by Run DMC. I'd hear it all the time coming out of ghetto blasters when I lived in Philadelphia. You'd always hear hip-hop coming out of breakdancers' soundsystems. I fell in love with it and I still love hip-hop today.”

Dani Filth, Cradle Filth

"My dad was a record collector and he used to buy loads of the ones with the holes already cut out of them. We'd have all these spare cardboard sleeves that you put records in as well, but that was all rubbish like Karma Chameleon. I think the first single I bought myself was either Starz – you know, that horrible heavy metal band where you had about a million guitar solos going on – or Mentally Murdered by Napalm Death. I wasn't really a single person though, to tell you the truth. I was always an album person. I have kept some of the ones that I did buy, but as seems to be the case with most people, you part with a lot of them and I don't know why that happens. I did have an awful friend when I was young who used to steal albums. He'd come round to look at Suicidal Tendencies or something, and you'd find that the vinyl was missing. But people do seem to separate themselves from their record collections as they grow older, which is a shame."

Max Cavalera, Soulfly

“I think it was Slayer’s Haunting the Chapel EP. You’re supposed to play singles on 45rpm right, but we played it at 33rpm and it sounded all slow, like Venom. It sounded awesome, though! A friend of ours pointed out, ‘I think you guys are playing this thing wrong’, and we switched it to 45rpm and it got even better. The song Chemical Warfare by Slayer is still one of my favourite songs ever.”

What was the first single you ever bought? Tell us below...

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