This was one of those Facebook survey type things that I normally ignore however I liked this one because it dealt with music and that is something I really enjoy. As you read this, take the time to consider your responses and leave them in the comments. I love to hear about the types of music people are passionate about, I feel it shows much more of their personality than just conversation would.
Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world, albums that you can listen to from beginning to ending.
Here’s My Top 25:
1. Concrete Blonde “Free” – A great introduction to one of my all-time favorite bands. Finally a female vocalist that wasn’t all about playing for the boys. She is bad-ass and makes no apologies for it.
2. Pink Floyd “The Wall” – Found this one in 2nd grade and while I have come to love almost every single thing they did (and most of the solo stuff as well) this album was my first introduction to them and I will still listen to it at length today. I remember the feeling of listening to this sitting in front of my parents stereo with headphones on, catching all the odd little voices and “samples” they used, and thinking “this is what being cool is all about”. Of all the albums I could list, this is the only one that I actually listened to through every single phase of my life up to this very day. The memories I have with this album keep accumulating, as proven recently when I made a new friend, Vera, and have not gotten tired of singing “Vera Lynn” to her yet.
3. Frank Zappa “Strictly Commercial” – Love this one. All the Zappa you want in a nice neat package. Brings back some very good memories.
4. The Ramones “Rock and Roll High School” – I could never to put into words the full breadth of what this album did to my life. This album opened me up to not only Punk, but older Rock & Roll, the concept of wearing all black, unkempt, loud, fast, sloppy music that still completely psyches me up to this day. There is nothing I didn’t (or don’t) like about The Ramones and I still consider them one of the greatest American bands. They stood for so much just by standing for so little. Loved this album. Love them.
5. APB “Something to Believe in” – I love post-punk and this is everything that was right with the ’80’s.
6. Motley Crue “Shout at the Devil” – While I am usually embarrassed when I remember the Motley Crue years of my life (the early teen years of awkwardness) this album kicked ass when it came out. I will never forget Z-100 (my radio station of choice at the time) playing the singles Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue and then Modonna’s Borderline and asking listeners call in to log a vote for which “sound” they preferred from the radio station. Madonna won. And I never listened to Z-100 again.
7. Matthew Sweet “Girlfriend” – This one never loses its allure for me. It is sad, but so good, and it tends to be my first pick during more trying times.
8. Meatloaf “Bat out of Hell” – When this album came out it was the most exciting thing I had heard as an 8-year-old. It was fast, hard, and just a little bit dirty, which I thought was fantastic!
9. Violent Femmes “Violent Femmes” – if you have to ask, you would never understand
10. Billy Joel “Glass Houses”- Not really a Billy Joel fan per se, but when my sister got this from Columbia House on 8-track, I loved every minute of it. I was 8 years old and I loved the sound, it was kind of old-time rock and roll meets the ’80’s (or so I thought back then, lol). I felt as a second grader it gave me an edge over the other “Manhattan Transfer” listening girls in my class (it did!).
11. S.O.D “Speak English or Die” – Hardcore punk…there was nothing better at the time…a true eye-opener!
12. Pearl Jam ‘Vs.’ – When this album came out it was the world to me. The anticipation of its release was only equaled by the excitement of finding it to be so much more than I ever could have expected. This was a soundtrack for a large chunk of my life. I listened to this thing non-stop and never grew tired of it. It defined a whole lifestyle for me.
13. NIrvana “Nevermind” – Kicking open mainstream doors and making radio bearable again. Thank you!
14. Metallica “Master of Puppets”- One of my best friends ever lent me this on vinyl over Thanksgiving weekend in 8th grade. I had the flu and stayed in bed all weekend long. After 3 non-stop listens, I moved my mattress onto the floor so that I could reach the arm of the record player without getting out of bed. I listened to it at least 60 times that weekend and countless times since.
15. The Traveling Wilburys “Volume I” – This was the first time since Van Halen covered Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” that my father and I had music to share. I was able to buy this album and surprise him and we both loved it. It is the apex of my last memories with my father and will always be special to me.
16. Michael Jackson “Thriller”- In 6th grade this came along and was the first music that was “mine”. No one else in my family had been into it first and I got caught up in the fever. For years I was ashamed of that period of my life, but listening to it with new ears reminds me that I have pretty solid taste for quality music, regardless of the genre.
17. Suicidal Tendencies “Suicidal Tendencies” – Loved this album. Reminds me of a great time as a teenager; right at the end of Jr. High, summer before high school, had great friends, good times, and no reason to think life would be anything other than amazing.
18. Phish “Farmhouse” – This album had the significance of being released on the same day as Pearl Jam’s long-awaited “Binaural” I bought them both, but it was clear after one listen to each I had bought Pearl Jam out of loyalty and a sense of obligation. I love “Farmhouse” (as commercial as it is) and listen to it over and over.
19. Iron Maiden “Number of the Beast” – I was a loyal fan for years, but this one always stands out as the one that opened me up to a whole new world of music.
20. Fiona Apple “Tidal” – great album from beginning to end.
21. U2 “Zooropa” – Not even close to my favorite album by them, but this album brought me back to them after a long hiatus, and I listened to it non-stop for at least 6 months. It was during a fantastic, new, time in my life and I love it from beginning to end.
22. Nine Inch Nails “Pretty Hate Machine” – Introducing a whole new level of listening. Felt so brand new, yet familiar at the same time. It was like every lyric Trent Reznor sang had already existed in my head. So perfect. My life needed this album and it came into existence.
23. Sinead O’Connor “The Lion and the Cobra” – Still one of my favorites that reminds me of the time right after high school.
24.Sublime “Sublime” – This was the introduction and I loved this album. A new style for me, and yet it seemed to have elements of every different type of music I had ever loved. I love everything they did and everything any band who sounds like them does.
25. Van Halen “1984” – While this album is quite clearly (today) the suckiest of all from them, it had the wonderful power to kick me out of my “Michael Jackson” stage and set me on a different musical path. If it had never existed, who knows what I might be listening to today!