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The most important gateway songs in rock, as chosen by the fans

From Linkin Park to Guns N’ Roses to Paramore, these are the songs that have turned millions of people into fully-fledged rock and metal fans. And to be fair, they’re all bangers.

Everyone who loves rock music has to start somewhere – nobody’s first favourite band is Pig Destroyer. And whether you’re a corpsepainted frost enthusiast or a perma-tanned pop-punk cheerleader, chances are your first foray into rock and metal was something different, and something – dare we say – a little more mainstream.

And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody needs a way into this great, colourful world we call home, and everyone finds it differently – from the radio to older siblings to movie soundtracks. We asked you, the K! audience, to share your stories of the songs that got you into rock music, to put together a collection of the greatest gateway songs of all time. Here’s what you had to say…

Korn – Freak On A Leash

Victoria Allison: My dad bought me the CD in 1998 (I was only 10) but it was confiscated by my mom, so I was forced to give it away to a friend’s much older sister. But three years ago she bought me Follow The Leader, so everything is right again in my world, and I finally forgave her after 20 years.”

The Offspring – Want You Bad

Kris Maisey: A band at my school played it when I was 11; thus began my journey into punk, rock and metal. Four years later, a friend let me borrow their Greatest Hits CD and I rediscovered the song that started it all.”

Green Day – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Holly Yates: I was eight or nine years old when I first listened to it on the radio. I fell in love with the sound of the electric guitar that day.”

Alice Cooper – I’m Eighteen

Greg Thornton: When I was really young, my dad would blast his Love It To Death album and I got hooked. He eventually gave the album to me as a kid because I loved it so much.”

Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

Aaron Hanson: I was a huge country fan and addicted to The Learning Channel back when reality shows weren’t a thing. My sister and I fought over the remote until one day I saw the video for Black Hole Sun. That was it for me; at 10 years old I was all in and haven’t looked back.”

Linkin Park – In The End

Reese Fervish: I remember seeing it on Kerrang! TV all the time after school and it just hooked me in. I loved Chester’s voice and it made me want to find more bands like them.”

Motörhead – The Game

Harry Joseph: Triple H’s entrance music was my gateway, then I went to HMV and got Ace Of Spades. That moment changed my life.”

Enter Shikari – Sorry, You’re Not A Winner

Ashley Fletcher: It kept getting played in our sixth form common room and everyone did the claps, before I knew it I was clapping along while watching the band live. It was so addictive!”

Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City

Shane Page: I remember a lad at school singing Paradise City during class. I was like 10 years old and I asked him what band it was. He lent me Appetite For Destruction on cassette and it blew my young mind.”

Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance

Nathan Cassidy: It was on the soundtrack of some racing game. Then I heard my sister playing the album it was on, and so it began…”

Metallica – One

Russ Holmes: My cousin had the VHS of the music video and I had asked to watch it one day, because I thought the case had cool album art. First note in… I was hooked for life.”

Bring Me The Horizon – Shadow Moses

Chloe Pilbeam: This came on a friend’s phone on shuffle and I loved it. There was so much emotion and power, I had to listen to it again and again, and now I love loads of rock bands and artists!”

AC/DC – T.N.T.

Fredrik Gustafsson: I heard T.N.T by AC/DC on the radio and got Back In Black as an Xmas gift from my grandmother the same year. As she was quite religious, she was not that happy with her gift when I played Hells Bells and she heard the lyrics, If God’s on the left then I’m sticking to the right.’ ”

Paramore – Decode

Charlotte Rainer: Obviously I loved Twilight as a kid (and still do now tbh) and I found myself listening to this song loads! Hayley Williams is so amazing and I love Paramore so much now and all of rock music!”

Trivium – Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr

Bailey Pritchard: I remember my older brother playing me this and I thought it was just noise, but kept going back for more. I found the masturbation line funny but was soon listening to more Trivium, then Lamb Of God and Machine Head – now here I am!”

Posted on August 11th 2021, 2:30p.m.
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