In Summer of '85 a friend came back from a few weeks at camp and turned me on to Suicidal Tendencies:
It was something I immediately connected with. Before this, I was listening to songs by Iron Maiden and Dio, with lyrics about knights slaying dragons and whatnot. But this was direct and sincere, with emotions so strong that they could barely be articulated, via lyrics or instruments; the music was on the verge of disintegrating under its own weight. It was enough persuasion for me to buy the song on vinyl, via the Repo Man soundtrack LP at the Coconuts in the Forest Park Mall. The album contains a few duds, but some other tracks were a springboard to finding more music by decent bands, like "Let's Have a War" by Fear:
And "Coup d'Etat" by the Circle Jerks, the first punk band I saw live in concert:
Then there was Black Flag's "TV Party", but I don't like that single. It was definitely a gateway, though, since right after I heard it, I found a used copy of "Damaged". I still listen to it, because, "TV Party" excepted, it rules. So I'll cheat and include this video from the "Damaged" era.
Henry Rollins was definitely not my favorite singer; the band's output quickly went downhill after he signed on. Just a couple years later, he was reciting bad poetry on stage while Greg Ginn just stood there, silently regretting that he ever allowed this clown to join the band. I much preferred Dez Cadena, but he dropped out because the Black Flag concerts were getting to be too violent for him. So check out Rollins in this video. The dude is an asskicker. Few men could have fronted such a band in such a crazy environment. But I digress.
And although I didn't appreciate it as much at the time, Iggy Pop's theme is the best post-Stooges track he's recorded: