Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories: Stay (I Missed You)
Some music fans are lucky enough to grow up in households where music is prevalent and important, and others have to find it on their own. For me, I was a casual music listener, but mostly just heard whatever was on the radio until I had an epiphany in 1996. This epiphany came in the form of a hit single on the radio called "Stay (I Missed You)". As for the theme, the song in question lost it's parentheses for the album, but the single was definitely called this, as was it on the Reality Bites soundtrack, where it was first heard.
Cliche almost now, but at the time the song grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I was in high school and music was just "fun" to me and didn't get much deeper than that. But then I heard a song by a girl, and I related to it, it felt conversational, confessional, and enlightening. I bought Lisa Loeb's debut album shortly after that and didn't listen to anything else for nearly 6 months. It led me to buy soundtracks and compilations that led me to other bands that were equally enlightening. It was a side of music I didn't know existed, and it led to sides of me I hadn't known how to express before.
Obviously, others felt similarly about the song, as it became the first song to hit #1 by an unsigned artist. Since then Lisa hasn't made an album that hit quite like that first one did, but we can never really replace the feeling of a first love.