on Facebook i was tagged when a friend of mine completed a survey titled 'The 25 Albums that Made Me'. I replied with my own list. I'll explain the reasons i chose the albums that i chose. these aren't necessarily my 25 all time fav. albums, but more albums that had a huge impact on me.
(in no particular order)
1 U2 - The Joshua Tree
probably my all time favorite album. i remember the first time i heard the song With or Without You on the radio sitting in the front seat of a friends car. My sister had this album on cassette and i always seemed to get my hands on it. This opened the door to a passionate love for all things U2. that passion hasn't waned since.
2 The Appleseed Cast - Low Level Owl vol I & II
I can't separate these two albums... they were released two months apart and are virtually one cohesive piece of atmospheric musical bliss when played back to back. i love how every song blends into one. this album opened my eyes to a whole different style of emotion found in lyric and instrumentation.
3 South - From Here On In
I stumbled upon this band when i saw their video for Paint the Silence on MTV2. I found a free download of that song and i was deeply intrigued. I searched and finally found this album and a newfound love for Britpop and British alternative rock was born. I still tend to lean towards music and artists from across the Atlantic... all because of this album. Listening to it is like spending the afternoon in an art museum.
4 Portishead - Roseland Live NYC
Portishead is not the most 'normal' sounding group. Their self-titled second album was my first exposure to them. I loved the eclectic mix of haunting vocals with instrumentation put on wax and then sampled with a DJ. I still have a copy of this Live album on video cassette. I think i am drawn to their different style... not like any music made in America.
5 The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
I had always heard of this album and remember the cheesy album cover with members of the Beach Boys at a petting zoo. I was even familiar with some of the classics on the album (mainly 'Wouldn't It Be Nice'). Probably 5 years ago or so I was watching one of those VH1 specials about the 10 greatest albums of all time. I've always been drawn to lists. I had a collection of Rolling Stone magazines with lists of best albums, songs, guitarists, etc. This VH1 show had Pet Sounds and Sgt. Peppers (by the Beatles) at the top of their list. I was intrigued. I went on a quest to find some of these classic albums and to add them to my collection. After purchasing Pet Sounds and listening to it through, i was blown away. What a musical masterpiece. And reading about the history of this recording made it even more special. It's one for the ages... a must have for any music guru.
6 Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison
Everything about Johnny Cash is rough and tough and full of bravado. At Folsom Prison is unique in that it's a live record and yet it's probably more popular than any studio recording he's released. I've always been drawn to Cash and this album is special because my 5 year old son and my father (God rest his soul) both cherished this recording. Cash's love of the railroad connected me with my father as he loved trains. So does my son. This is a sentimental choice for me.
7 Decoder Ring - Somersault
A soundtrack to an Austrailian film, I stumbled upon this band and album when, for a brief time about three years ago I subscribed to eMusic. I liked the sound, bought the album, and then a few years later, finally saw the film. I subsequently found other albums by Decoder Ring - and enjoy them very much. I think the pursuit of other Decoder Ring recordings furthered my love for 'hard-to-find'/'rarely-heard-of' music. I connect with the rhythms of Decoder Ring.
8 Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
I was in an indie record shop somewhere in Los Angeles in the fall of 1996. I've always loved going to indie shops. This was the kind of shop lots of vintage records that you could spin as well as bargain bin cd's for a dollar. Most of the cd's in that bin were trash - but every once in a while you'd find a gem. I found the single 'A Design For Life' by Manic Street Preachers and bought it strictly based on the album art. I loved the single and did all that I could to track down the entire album. The fact that i discovered this band randomly means a lot. I searched for years for other Manic albums and some have been hard to find here in America. Everything Must Go holds a special place in my heart for many reasons... one being the history behind the album and that it was recorded after one of the Manics, Richey Edwards disappeared, never to be seen again. A few years ago I was trying to track down an import of their 1994 album, The Holy Bible at a local record shop (it was never released in America). I asked the owner if he had any Manic Street Preachers or knew anything about them. He replied "I know one of them is missing."
9 The Prayer Chain - Mercury
A chilling record from start to finish. This album reminds me of my college years and is part of a deep connection of music and friendship with my college buddies. I've often wanted to make a movie with Mercury serving as the soundtrack. Elements of the album are haunting and disoriented. The sound is uniquely it's own. I dream Mercury.
10 Underworld - Second Toughest in the Infants
My love for electronica can be traced back to the film Trainspotting. Underworld contributed a couple of songs for that movie/soundtrack. I liked what i heard; found a copy of the Pearl's Girl EP; loved it and then purchased the album from which that song was on. I like Underworld because their music plays like a soundtrack in my head.
11 Future Sound of London - Dead Cities
At the same record shop in which i found the Manic Street Preachers - A Design For Life single, I found My Kingdom by FSOL. There was something different about the music. It was various sounds meshed together that formed something unique. Dead Cities is a Kaleidoscope of sorts... a wall of sound. I've always been drawn to creative sounds and that is why i love this album. We Have Explosive is a timeless track, the best on the album.
12 Michael W. Smith - The Big Picture
Might seem like a weird choice - but I wore this cassette album out. in the fall of 1986 i went to my first concert ever. MWS and The Big Picture was his most rocking album, as was the concert. I have vivid memories of that show.
13 Amy Grant - Lead Me On
It came out at the height of my Christian music fascination. It was not like other Christian albums. It was not mainstream... and at the time, Christian artists didn't make these kind of albums. I've always liked the fact that it broke barriers.
14 3rd Bass - The Cactus Album
1988-89 was the peak of Rap & Hip hop (in my opinion). The Cactus Album had some really great sampling with some creative MC's. Being that they were one of the few white rappers who could actually rap. For awhile, back then, i had dreams of being an MC like the guys in 3rd Bass. God had other plans for me.
15 The Police - Synchronicity
It was the second cassette i ever had (Michael Jackson - Thriller was the first). Needless to say, Synchronicity got more airplay on my walkman. It was the first album to consume my time.
16 Nirvana - Nevermind
Who can forget the first time they saw Smells Like Teen Spirit on MTV? Obviously that album changed things... and grunge became part of the mainstream as a result. Maybe it was the 'i don't care about anything' attitude of Kurt Cobain and maybe it was the timing of it's release (Senior year of high school, beginning of college). I connected with it because it was easy not to care about anything then... the stresses of college made it easy to not care.
17 Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
Progressive rock, Post-rock or whatever you want to call it... Most of Explosions in the Sky is uncategorizable (is that a word?). EITS brings something so unique to the table - their music is all instrumental. I've always love the instrumental track. Their music - and this album is filled with so much raw emotion. I can't explain it. I connect with their songs more than any other band. If i were to be honest, i probably appreciate EITS more than even U2. hard to believe. Seeing them in concert last year was one of the top 10 things that have ever happened to me. (live video)
18 The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
After my return from Film School in California, i had been exposed to lots of new sounds. The big beats of The Chemical Brothers was unbelievable. Along with Underworld, The Chemical Brothers were one of my most played artists from the late '90's. That was a pivotal point in my life, leading up to my eventual engagement and marriage.
19 Over the Rhine - The Darkest Night of the Year
A holiday album that can be played year round. The first and last songs (both instrumentals) are bookends to a simplistic, genuine approach to a simplistic, genuine event, the birth of Christ. Those instrumentals draw me in every time.
20 Sixpence None the Richer - This Beautiful Mess
My roommate in college, freshman year, had the first cd by Sixpence None the Richer - so i had many chances to hear them and grew to like them more and more. When This Beautiful Mess came out, it struck a cord with so many. It alternative christian music at its best. It takes me back to seeing them play live many times in the mid '90's. i get chills when i listen to this album even today.
21 Radiohead - OK Computer
I mean seriously.. do i really have to explain the impact this album had on so many? After hearing the first single, Paranoid Android - and it's epic sound scape were captivating. I bought the album at Best Buy and fell in love. Literally. The documentary film Meeting People is Easy makes the album that much more enjoyable. The turmoil of celebrity seemed to make the music all the more emotional. This album is a huge part of me and is still listened to frequently. The climax of Let Down gives me chills every time.
22 DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...
I love the mixing of sounds from many other pieces of music. With Garage Band and other music maker programs, i've often attempted to recreate what DJ Shadow does. I've never been gutsy enough to even attempt to DJ with two turntables and a microphone - but i've often dreamed of it. This was another album that i originally purchased based on the album art alone. What a pleasant surprise. In some ways - i think one of my best attributes is the ability to 'remix' things - meshing together music, video, words or whatever - to a single purpose. This comes in handy in youth ministry and keeps things fresh, i think... sort of a 'remixer' of the Gospel, possibly.
23 Sigur Rós - ( )
The dawn of the message board in the early 2000's led to many discussions on various boards about music. It was easy to be exposed to new things. This is where i heard of Sigur Rós for the first time. i bought ( ) - yeah, that's the name of the album... and was surprised to see virtually no text on the cd of album art. There was no track listing at all. Upon placing the cd in my computer, the song titles came up Untitled 1, Untitled 2, and so on. Listening to the album brought to life another unique sound. The vocals were mostly in 'hopelandic', a made up language - not in the native Icelandic tongue. It's just a beautiful album. It has more meaning to me as it was in heavy rotation around the time that my son, Micah was born. I used songs from this album when i edited together videos of his first days on earth.
24 Led Zeppelin - II
I think most guys from my generation at one point in time get into Classic Rock. Led Zeppelin epitomizes classic rock. Led Zeppelin II is timeless and makes me feel like i was part of generation that preceded me. The instrumental jam during Whole Lot of Love is not like any other classic rock sound. Mody Dick was often played to get us pumped up before a major event in college, although my roommate Steve and I swore that something bad would end up happening if we played it... that song still freaks me out.
25 Rush - Counterparts
Rush has never really received the respect they are certainly due. Counterparts came out my freshman year of college down at Asbury. an upperclassman down the hall listened to them a lot. His name was Brent. I looked up to Brent. A bunch of us then went to see the Counterparts tour live in Cincinnati and it was pretty sweet. I became a huge Rush fan and spend a good amount of time after that seeking out as many Rush cd's as i could find. College is a monumental time for many... this album kick started my time after high school and made me feel connected.
wow. i can't believe i've spent so much time thinking about this and writing this. it was probably overdone... easy for me to do when it comes to something like this.
if you've bothered to read it all - good for you... i hope it wasn't a complete waste of time. hey, if nothing else, this gave me a chance to reminisce. music has always been a big part of my life... now you see why.