Monday, November 28, 2011

20 Albums Meme

I'm answering @Anandi's call for a list of the top 20 albums that have influenced my life. I purposely stayed away from "Greatest Hits" albums, because I wanted more of a challenge. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Doolittle - The Pixies. Back in the day, I included songs from this wonderful little album on pretty much every mixtape I ever made. There was a time in my life where, if you were a boy, knowledge of this band was a prerequisite for talking to me. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to see them in concert the week before I got married. Amazing.

2. The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - The Beatles. Man, I totally grew up on this record. See, my parents are very musically literate and did not abide "children's music." This was their version of the music they thought children ought to be experiencing at all times. None of that Disco Duck crap, thank you.

3. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys. Another one of my classic childhood albums that was always playing in the background. Yes, I realize its release actually pre-dated my childhood by several years. No matter.

4. Thriller - Michael Jackson. Though I believe in my heart of hearts that he was a ped, and that perhaps we should all be thanking a certain tranquilizing-prescribing MD instead of imprisoning him, I can't deny how much this album once meant to me. I can still do every step of the Thriller dance upon request (which is never).

5. London Calling - The Clash. Every damn song is good.

6. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac. Reminds me of every road trip I've ever taken. I love Stevie.

7. The Joshua Tree - U2. Hands down the best U2 album, and they've put out so many good ones.

8. Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin. It was also hard to pick just one Led Zep album.

9. Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones. Again, they've put out so many great albums, but this is a standout for me because it includes my favorite song of theirs "You Can't Always Get What You Want." True dat.

10. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd. I've never tried playing this album along with the movie "The Wizard of Oz" on mute - but they are supposed to be in sync. Someday when my kids are old enough to appreciate it, we'll have to try that.

11. The Doors - The Doors. "Crystal Ship" is probably my fave, in addition to all the songs of theirs everyone and their mom has heard a million times. And by the way, Val Kilmer made a fantastic movie version of Jim Morrison, IMHO. He wore the same black leather pants for the entire shoot. I bet that smelled lovely.

12. Appetite for Destruction - Guns n' Roses. Despite being released in the 80s, and all that perhaps implies, his album has aged so well. They never got lame.

13. Remain in Light - Talking Heads. I can't get enough of T.H. So many excellent songs.

14. Nevermind - Nirvana. Came out when I was in high school. Instant love affair with their sound. How I never got sick of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is totally beyond me.

15. Parallel Lines - Blondie. I want to be Debbie Harry when I grow up, but I'm too tall, too brunette, and can't sing. Keep hope alive though.

16. Substance - New Order. My DH totally hates "that synthy poppy crap" but I cannot get enough. This album will always be cool to play at parties.

17. Tapestry - Carole King. My favorite 70s singer-songwriter. Her version of the Shirelles '61 hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" is so beautiful.

18. Sam's Town - The Killers. The most recent album (2006) on my list. Guess that means I don't think very much memorable music is being put out today. Yes, I'm looking at you Ke$ha.

19. The Chronic - Dr. Dre. Instant classic. I loved Snoop Dogg's contributions to this album, too.

20. Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails. TR made this album pretty much singlehandedly in a studio where he once worked as a janitor, if I'm not mistaken. He's gone on to do some good work on movie soundtracks.


Anandi said...

Yay! I'm so glad you did this! In the end we had only one overlap, though your list is making me rethink my own. I forgot Joshua Tree and Pretty Hate Machine! And Rumours! Aaagh.

I laughed out loud when I saw The Chronic on your list. It's the only album I've ever bought that offended me so much I had to give it away. And I'm not easily offended! I love the clean versions of the songs, but the originals were way too misogynistic for me, and I'm really not easily offended. Heh. But I agree about Snoop Dogg.

Thanks for doing this :) I love reading other peoples' lists/reasons.

Zenmoo said...

I am a huge Pixies fan - Here comes your man is on my all time favourite song list. However, I fear I'm fated never to see them live. I was too young first time round, and have been out of the country both times they toured Perth within the last 4 years.

I listened to a lot of the Who, the Beatles, Billy Joel & Elton John growing up. My father certainly never played us kids music & my mother isn't musically inclined at all. I think the first tape my Dad bought me was Spandau Ballets Gold - when I was in kindergarten.

The other big musical influence on me was our school bus - it was a K thru 12 bus & the high schoolers played their tapes all the time. That was my introduction to the Beastie Boys!

hush said...

@Anandi - You're so right about The Chronic - thanks to Tipper Gore, my exposure was to the clean versions. I should thank her.

@Zenmoo - Yeah, The Pixies really are incredible. I hope you get the chance to see them someday.

Got It, Ma! said...

Aargh! Blogger at my comment! Hate that. The short version is that I'm totally with you on London Calling. Absolutely essential album.

eta said...

I loved reading this list! And because you've written so eloquently, I'm moved to offer you an unsolicited music thought, mainly because I don't know many people these days to whom I can recommend one of my new favorite groups & I wish I did. But your list tells me that _maybe_ you might also like it. So here goes, in case you're interested:

Last year I belatedly discovered (because I'm old & out of the music loop--heck, any loop, really) the loud Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks. I wanted the first album mainly because the name made me laugh so hard, but I really, really love that album. Their second one was just released, & after a couple of listens to get used to the even angrier guitars, I've grown to love it, too. (I also recently & late-to-the-party-ly discovered the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which is a totally different kind of music, but equally wonderful. I highly suggest tracking down their cover of Hit 'Em Up Style, which I'm afraid every member of my family, even the 5yo, can now sing.)

Thanks for the list--it's fun to see what people grow up on & hold to.

hush said...

@Got It Ma! - Blogger too often has an appetite for the best comments - ugh. "Lost In A Supermarket" and "Rudy Can't Fail" are probably my favorite songs from LC. And "Train In Vain" too.

@eta - Thanks for the recommendations - I'm also chuckling at WWPJ's name. I'll definitely check out CCD's cover.

zenmoo said...

And here is my much belated list....