Top 10 Songs that Got a Recording Contract for an Artist

These songs got the attention of record companies /record executives. The songs were first released as demos or singles, or were on albums and EPs that were self-released, self-produced, etc.

The Top Ten

1 Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits

It was first released as a demo single in 1978 and was produced by the band. It was put on rotation at Radio London, became popular and Dire Straits were offered a contract with Phonogram Records. Dire Straits re-recorded the song for their debut album. - Metal_Treasure

2 Working Man - Rush

The song was on their debut album, released in Canada by their own company, Moon Records.
Donna Halper was a disc jockey and music director at WMMS in Cleveland, Ohio, who played "Working Man" on the air. Every time the song was played the station received phone calls asking where to buy the record. The response resulted in a record deal for the band and the album was quickly re-released by Mercury Records.
Donna Halper is credited with getting Rush noticed in the United States. Rush gave her special thanks for her part in their early history and dedicated their first two albums to her. - Metal_Treasure

3 If I Had $1000000 - Barenaked Ladies

The song first appeared on an independent band release and gained popularity before the release of their first album. - Metal_Treasure

4 These Eyes - The Guess Who
5 California Über Alles - Dead Kennedys
6 Swing, Swing - The All-American Rejects
7 I Will Be Heard - Hatebreed
8 Baby Don't Go - Sonny & Cher
9 Compton - Kendrick Lamar
10 O Mio Babbino Caro - Jackie Evancho

Within minutes of her debut on "America's Got Talent", and performing this number at age 10, major labels starting calling.

The Contenders

11 Another Day - U2

It was first released on their EP Three (aka U2 3) that was produced by the band. - Metal_Treasure

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