As the title asks, what is the first instance of a band down tuning on a recording that you know of ? For me it is Kiss from 1974. I was just learning then and I saw them live for my first real rock concert. They were tuned down a half step. I learned to play the bass by playing along with records from Kiss and other bands of the time and I remember being very annoyed when I had to re-tune to play with Kiss' records because I didn't have a tuner back then. I listened to a lot of other music before then but Kiss were the first ones that I noticed down tuned on their records. Actually, they were the only band I can think of from the 1970s that down tuned. None of the other bands I was into at the time did. For me, "into" meant I bought their records and played along with them. Again, what was the earliest down-tuned recordings you know of ?