BSR Web Staff: First Ringtones
Written by Reid Smith on March 16, 2017
Before the time of smartphones and having infinite musical choices at the touch of a button, many people went through the all-important effort of selecting songs as ringtones for their first phones. To make a call down memory lane, the Black Squirrel Radio web staff reminisced about their first musical ringtone and why they chose that track.
Latest Plague – From First to Last
Remember when Sonny Moore (better known as Skrillex) sang in a post-hardcore band? Not many people do, despite FFTL ripping off Culture Abuse’s 2016 LP Peach album artwork earlier this year. Sweet, innocent, 10 year old Alex found this song on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball compilation and it blew his mind. The only appropriate thing to do was make it his ringtone, by recording it with his phone.
Fancy – Iggy Azalea
My parents were very strict and I couldn’t get a cellphone until I was able to pay for it myself. I was a sophomore in high school and I was still in the mainstream pop music phase that most teenage girls go through. My friends and I thought we were so badass singing along to this awful song so I recorded it from the radio and set it as my ringtone for my slide up keyboard phone we all know we once owned haha.
One Step at a Time – Jordin Sparks
I heard this song on the radio maybe two times before I downloaded to my flip phone. I was really cool for having a ringtone that was an actual song, while all my friends had lame preset beeps and buzzes. I liked the song for about a week before realizing that I actually hated it and proceeded to keep my phone on silent until I gave in and eventually changed back to those standard beeps and buzzes.
Low – Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
Everyone in my school had been listening to this song, it wasn’t really my type of music but it seemed to be what was trending so I recorded “Low” from the radio onto my EnV3, saved it, and then made it my ringtone so that every time my phone was poppin with texts from my mom, it would go off and I’d seem like a cool kid.
1901 – Phoenix
Back in the pre-Spotify days of 2011, I discovered new music by renting CDs from the library. My method for choosing CDs was mainly based on the album artwork and how cool the band’s name was. So naturally, I was drawn to Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album. I enjoyed the music as much as the cover art, especially hit single “1901,” so I decided to purchase that song on the TracFone ringtone store for $0.99. But I deleted it a few weeks later because I was afraid the other kids would think I was “soft” for listening to Frenchmen with such high-pitched voices. Worst $0.99 I’ve ever spent.
Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
I was an incredibly angsty, chipped black nail polish, raccoon eyeliner type of eighth grader when I recorded “Gives You Hell” straight from the radio and onto my Pink Razr flip phone. I was constantly under the impression that my parents would never understand me or the way I wanted to live my life, so I set this ringtone to go off only when they specifically called me. I’m not sure if they ever caught on or noticed, but it’s never come up after all these years!
Sit On You – Tim and Eric
I must admit it was probably a decade ago that I got my first phone, an LG VX8300 that I had to share with my brother. That whole time period is a little foggy but the first musical ringtones I actually remember having were crudely ripped versions of “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye and “Sit On You” from the Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Clearly I didn’t care what ill-advised music came out of my pocket while I was in public. I’ve long been an Adult Swim fan and one day when my brother and I were doing a dubious job babysitting our youngest cousin, we played an episode of Tim and Eric and stumbled upon a song that would forever entertain my family for it’s sheer weirdness and catchy sounds. So, what else could you do but make sure every one heard this ode-to-sitting anthem every time you got a phone call?
One – Metallica
Seventh grade was a great time to be Reid Smith. I was only two years away from my first kiss and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock had just been released for the Playstation 2. My favorite band, Metallica even had one of their songs featured on the game. That song was of course, “One”. I decided to cement my love for Metallica by getting this song as my ringtone on my baby blue LG Rumor Lx260, so whenever my mom would call me home from riding my bike around the neighborhood with my friends, at least I would be able to hear my sweet sweet Metallica before she did so.