There are some songs, or musical works in general, that have come to define their composers and/or performers, rather than the other way around. When we hear the music, we instantly think of the performer - it's indelibly associated with them, and no amount of performances by other artists can break the mental link between "this song" and "that performer". They define each other, as it were.
I thought that today, I'd pick half a dozen of those pieces that are fixed in my memory from the days of my distant youth. I can't hear them without thinking of their performers. I daresay there are many others, and I may put up more of them from time to time; but here's my first-pass effort. I'll list them in chronological order.
First, from 1964, here's The Animals with "House of the Rising Sun". They didn't compose it - it's far older than that - but their performance has become iconic of the piece.
From 1966, here's The Rolling Stones with "Paint It Black".
From a year later, here's The Moody Blues with their classical/rock blend on "Nights In White Satin". This is the original footage released to publicize the song and the album from which it came . . . and boy, does it look dated!
There are two songs from 1969 in this mix. The Who released their rock opera Tommy in May of that year. From that double album, here's "Pinball Wizard".
In October of the same year, King Crimson released their debut album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King". It was a dramatic redefinition of the then-new progressive rock genre. From that album, here's the title track. This is a live performance from, I think, 1970.
Finally (at least for today's collection), from 1973, here's Jim Croce with "Time In A Bottle". He wrote it in 1970 after learning that his wife was pregnant. It reached the top of the charts after the singer's untimely death in an aircraft accident. I've always wondered what he might have achieved, musically speaking, had he lived. He was very gifted.
Some may wonder why I chose "Time In A Bottle" instead of another Jim Croce hit, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown". The reason is that many performers have produced versions of the latter song, and it's associated with many of them; but the former is indelibly Croce's, and probably always will be.
Well, there you are; six songs forever intimately associated with six artists. If you have your own songs like that, please let us know in Comments. I may feature them in a future Sunday Morning Music post.