Doug tagged me with this on Facebook, but it was too much text to do in the little facebook text box so I decided to post it here instead and link to it from facebook. This wasn’t easy and there were a bunch of albums that almost made it (Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Dinosaur Jr., and probably others). It was also very hard to pick one album in a few cases. I tried to go with the one that had the most impact even if it wasn’t my favorite album by the group.
So, here are ten albums that had an impact on me (in no particular order).
1. The Juliana Hatfield Three – Become What You Are
I bought this CD used sometime in high school. I probably listened to more metal and other heavy music at the time than anything else, but for some reason I really loved this album. In the long run it isn’t even my favorite thing Juliana Hatfield has done, but it is what initially got me interested in her music. If anything I probably listen to her even more now than I did in those days. My feelings about Juliana Hatfield are pretty well know, but this is the album that really started it.
2. Bad Religion – Recipe For Hate
I’ve always thought this album was kind of underrated compared to other BR music. Good punk rock with intelligent and political lyrics. I clearly remember talking to Adrian after taking the SAT and there was some word in the verbal section that we both only knew because of its use in a Bad Religion song. I have no idea how many times I’ve seen them.
3. Faith No More – Introduce Yourself
Along with my general love for FNM, this album reminds me of the days when there was actually music that was hard to come by. The later (Mike Patton era) albums were easy to find, but this one actually took some looking for. We used to actually look at the sections for bands we liked for uncommon cds or imported singles at Tower Records and other long gone places (not to mention all the used record stores on St. Mark’s Place). I’m not saying things aren’t better now, but I do kind of miss that sometimes.
4. Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet
Unlike everything else here I don’t really know when I got this album or associate it with any particular time period. It is very hard not to feel happy listening to this or most of his music. I’ve seen him a few times, and every time it was very different. One time full band, normal rock concert. Another time piano and string quartet. No matter what, he seems to be happier on stage performing than anyone else I have seen. It looked like he was happier playing in a coffee shop in a Virginia strip mall than the bands playing at the Super Bowl look and that feeling really comes across in this album. Party Hard!
5. Metallica – Black Album
This was the first actual CD I actually purchased (or maybe it was GnR’s Use Your Illusion I, but either way it was close). This album really marked the end of Metallica as a great band and their descent into pathetic sellouts. At the time I loved it (until I heard their
earlier stuff and realized how much better they used to be). I also had to have some metal on here.
6. Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves
Rancid is kind of an uneven band, but Out Come the Wolves is pretty much perfect. I’ve listened to this so many times that it seems weird to hear one song and not here the next one right after it. It also probably has the best punk bass playing anywhere. I also have memories of listening to this on my walkman while working at the physics lab across from the laser lab (can’t remember the name) in college.
7. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound
I bought this right around the time I went to SLAC for a Fermi meeting. I spent a lot of time listening to this while waiting on software to compile. I think this mattered since at the time I was pretty bored with a lot of music and hadn’t heard anything new that I really cared about in a while. This album, and Streetlight Manifesto (who didn’t make it since I couldn’t pick one album) changed that.
8. Nirvana – Unplugged in New York
This sort of feels like it is cheating since it is a live album, but since it deviates so much in terms of songs from their studio work I think it is okay. Not much I can say about this that hasn’t been said before. It is hard if not impossible to think of this album without thinking of Kurt Cobain’s death.
9. The Ramones – Rocket To Russia
It barely makes sense to pick one early Ramones album over the others so I just went with this since it has a few more favorites on it. Again, as someone who used to listen to a lot of metal, the simplicity of the Ramones always amazed me. They showed that punks (from Queens) can do pop music better than pop ‘musicians’. I’ve always been very happy that I managed to see the Ramones one their final tour (although seeing Andrew WK and Marky Ramone do a night of Ramones songs was pretty close). Ramones songs are also the most fun to play. Kind of hard not to be happy when listening to the Ramones.
10. Reel Big Fish – Turn the Radio Off
Upbeat music, sarcastic, depressing lyrics, what more would I want towards the end of high school/beginning of college. I think I saw them at one of the early Warped Tours around when this came out. This album embodies the type of ska-punk I like. Music can have horns and be complicated while still having the feeling of punk.