Monday, February 23, 2009

25 Albums

This was the first Facebook note that I ever wanted to respond to. I posted it there, now it's here.

25 Albums

Directions: 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. When you finish, tag 25 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!


Black Sabbath, Paranoid. I first heard “War Pigs” drunk on a camping trip staring into the coals of the campfire. I recommend everyone do it this way.

Monty Python’s Instant Record Collection. I played this one more than any Rolling Stones album I ever bought. And I know more of the words.

Neil Young, Harvest. That was six months of one bad breakup.

Carole King, Tapestry. Same breakup. And some acid.

Monkees, Head. Just the acid.

Guns n’ Roses, Appetite For Destruction. The first album I ever bought that made me feel hip and current. Buying it now would have the opposite effect.

Pink Floyd, The Wall. So good it’s worth ten bucks to listen to it once. I wasn’t enough of a pothead for most of their albums but anger and self-destruction? Count me in.

Beach Boys, Pet Sounds. The album that made me stop hating the Beach Boys. Or at least Brian Wilson.

Beastie Boys, Paul Boutique. A joke band no more.

Radiohead, OK Computer. Arguably the last great album from the last great era of music.

Body Count. The worst record I’ve ever owned. Every time I listen to it, I wonder; is Ice-T in on his own joke?

Paul McCartney, McCartney. The king of all home demos. And it’s got my wedding song on there.

Nirvana, Nevermind. I first saw the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV at 2 a.m. and said out loud, “Music is gonna change.” Then I saw Henry Rollins’ video for “Low Self Opinion.” I said, “The Punisher has a band now?”

Metallica, Master of Puppets. Yes, we can hate them now. But by minute 8 of the title track I was transformed from hippie to metalhead.

KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope. Best album I’ve heard in five years.

Keith Richards, Talk is Cheap. Who needs Mick when you’ve got five strings?

Beatles, Revolver. I listened to this on my first cd walkman and yelled in the street. “Oh! Paul McCartney really IS a good bass player!”

Bill Cosby, To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With. Side 2 is one bit. One bit! With an eighteen minute act-out! You ask me, it’s never been beaten.

Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited. The perfect Dylan balance. Smarter than you, rocks harder than it should and full of equal parts snarl and hilarity.

Johnny Cash, American Recordings, Volume II: Unchained. They’re all worth it but this is the one with the Heartbreakers on it.

Cream, The Very Best of Cream. The first (and last) album I learned every guitar solo to. If I do nothing else with my life, I saw the reunion concert.

Allman Brothers, Beginnings. I’m still working on these guitar solos. If you want to know why I got a Les Paul at 30, this album’s to blame.

Elvis Costello, Brutal Youth. Right at the point I got into Elvis, he put out one of his strongest albums. It’s been a sad, slow decline ever since.

Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville. Nothing like a cute, tough chick with some Fender gear. I never wanted to make out with a singer more in my life. It was disheartening to learn all my friends did too.

Harry Nilsson, All-Time Greatest hits. Different breakup.

2 comments:

Richard Salit said...

Interesting list.My only comment would be about Elvis. You seemed to have missed some of his best albums early in his career. He has had several fine albums following Brutal Youth. He still commands a lot of respect as an artist.

dave said...

I loved this list because it stayed true to the point of Albums that had a "profound effect" on you. All of the little snippets of stories for each were great.