Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are bandmates, friends and practically psychic about each other’s musical tastes. “Jen brought in this new record the other day, and by the chorus, I was like, ‘I’m done—this is awesome,'” says Bush, 38. “It’s great turning each other on to music.” Just as fun for him and Nettles, 33 (whose third album, Love on the Inside sold 314,000 copies its first week)? They share their favorite song-filled memories with PEOPLE’s Eileen Finan, from the oldies to the tearjerkers to the prom-night picks.
THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT
NETTLES: When I was in first grade, I bought a 45 of Captain & Tennille’s “Do That to Me One More Time.” I didn’t even know what the heck it was about; I just liked how it sounded.
BUSH: I remember a K-tel compilation I got with the disco version of the cantina song from Star Wars on it.
MY FIRST CONCERT
BUSH: I saw the Police in Knoxville, Tenn., with my brother. I was 13 or 14 and it blew my mind. I knew the songs—I was voraciously listening to every Police song that came out—but we couldn’t believe we were in the same room with these people.
NETTLES: Mine was Poison in Albany, Ga., when I was 13. I was all into the fact that these guys wore makeup. And the hair was super glam rock. I was loving it.
MY PROM SONG
NETTLES: “Set the Night to Music,” [by Roberta Flack]. It had a line that says, “We could be making love.” The [school] administration was all distraught.
BUSH: I was the band at my prom. We played “Boys Don’t Cry” [by the Cure].
THE SONG DURING MY FIRST KISS
BUSH: I remember making out to [Prince’s] “Purple Rain.” It wasn’t necessarily my first kiss. Thank goodness, because you’ve got [eight] minutes of it!
BEST BREAKUP SONG
NETTLES: Ani DiFranco’s “Dilate.” I relate to it in so many ways, especially the last line: “The world is my oyster and the road is my home and I know that I’m better off alone.” I’m like, “That’s me.”
BUSH: I was always susceptible to things like the Smiths. You could jump off a bridge real quick with “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”
MY FAVORITE SUMMER SONG
BUSH: I have a memory of listening to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” while I was drying off from the swimming pool.
NETTLES: “Panama” by Van Halen feels summery to me. I remember being on the river as a kid, out on a sandbar, and the older kids were playing that. I thought it was so good.
SONG THAT MAKES ME CRY
BUSH: Glen Hansard [and Marketa Irglova]’s “Falling Slowly.” The pain in that guy’s voice is shocking. It’s as if you’re a voyeur into someone else’s life.
NETTLES: “Ghost,” by the Indigo Girls. I love the line, “As I burn up in your presence and I know now how it feels, to be weakened like Achilles with you always at my heels.” Why didn’t I write that?
BEST SONG FOR ROMANCE
NETTLES: Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get It On.” Come on. What else do you need?
NETTLES: You need that twice!