Sunday, December 18, 2005


A couple of the other Dad Bloggers have posted either their favorite albums or albums that changed their lives. I like this idea so, I will give it a go.

1) Diver Down by Van Halen
I actually bought this on vinyl at the Grand Central store down the street. I loved Eddie Van Halen's guitar playing, they were my favorite band during my early teens. I owned it just as much for the music as to impress my friends.

2) Erasure- I can't remember the name of the album, but my buying it and liking it was nothing short of controversial amongst my neighborhood friends, who approved of my two album Van halen collection. Going from rock to synth-pop reflected a change which I thought of, at the time, as sophistication. From there I started to listen to Depeche Mode, Yaz, New Order etc.

3) The Cure- The Head on the Door. I heard this album in it's entirety on a local SLC radio station. I was home alone and it was late; for some reason the radio was not getting great reception so, I listened to it through the static. The next day I had to ride the bus all the way downtown to find it because the local K-mart did not carry obscure bands like the Cure.
Though I still liked synth bands, from this point my tastes started to get darker.

4) The Mission U.K.- Children This band was formed by the guitarist for the Sisters of Mercy. The lyrics, I can't recall that well but the music comes from the Led Zepplin book of rock music (Houses of the Holy) This is not surprising, their producer was John Paul Jones.

5) Bauhaus- Press the Eject and Give me the Tape. I bought this because of the song Kick In the Eye. I was a senior in high school, it was 1989, I went to a school that was filled with suburban red necks. The school was fairly cliqueish, though the stoners, metal heads and the little group of prog rock kids all hung out together, so the cowboys couldn't intimidate us. Still, I was pretty angry and listening to this really seemed to calm me down. This album has "Bela Legosi's Dead" possibly the campiest song ever written and a rocking version of "Ziggy Stardust." (My wife insists that Ziggy Stardust is supposed to be a ballad. Yes, if it is part of the Ziggy Stardust Album. I think it works just as well sped up with more distortion)

6) The Waterboys-Fishermans Blues. This is filled with great songs, "Bang on the ear" to Riding in a strange Boat. It really represents the first time I listened to any music that included un- plugged instruments and songs that could possibly be classified as country. It really was the Mandolin on some of the songs that did it.

7) Cowboy Junkies- Black Eyed Man. My girlfriend and I had been together for about three years and had come to a point where it was time to split up. I bought this album because I had heard "Murder in the Trailer Park" and liked the imagery; little did I know, when I bought it, how dark some of their other songs were and how much Margo Timmins voice would sustain me over the hundreds of miles that I would drive after the break up. Also worth mentioning other albums that contributed to my soundtrack at this point, were: Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine and Downward Spiral; The Jesus and Mary Chain- Psycho Candy; Screaming Tree's- Uncle Anesthesia and Pearl Jam-Ten.

8)Jerry Garcia, David Grisman-Shady Grove. This was the first Folk album in my collection. I attended my first Blue Grass concert with my Gilfriend and her parents, (we went to see Hot Rize)- it was 1990- My girlfriend and I were the only people there who were wearing all black. I loved the whole show, they were wearing suits, all their instruments were acoustic and some of the songs had the same speed as a Ramones song, and some were as dark as a Cure song. From that point on, I listened to the blugrass show on the local public radio station, KRCL. I bought the album six years after I became a fan of Folk music.

It was David Grismans handling of the Mandolin that motivated me to buy it. It is a great album because they played so many old folk tunes, I remember listening to it constantly in the car, at home and at work. It represented a change because it was the first time I had willingly bought, an album that had Jerry Garcia on it; it totally changed my perception of him as a musician.(he had been dead two years by then. May he rest in peace) To me he stopped being this dried up musician from another generation but an actual musician.

9) The Submersians-Save the Cave Train. This album was significant to me for several reasons, it is the first album I own that is strictly instrumental (Surf). I used to pop it into my CD player after work on cold, snowy days, turn up the volume and roll my window down. In my car, I would imagine that I was walking along west cliff in Santa Cruz, watching the waves and the surfers. Also it is the only album that my friend Jessica plays guitar on and features the "hit" song Cape Lugosi a surf version of a popular Goth song. Surf music is straight ahead rock, no lyrics to mess up your head, just guitar riffs and drumming.

10) Last but not least Woody Guthrie- This Land is Your Land (the Asch Recordings). I bought this because of Woody Guthries straight forward guitar playing, his lack of rythm and ability to carry a tune and mainly to get a history lesson. He was a critic of the rich and powerful, politicians and the unpatriotic. Many of the songs on this album were written during the Dust Bowl (Do-Rei-Mi) and has three different versions of This Land is Your Land one inclding a lyric that was not taught to us in Elementary school " There was a sign there/that say's private property/ on the backside it didn't say nothin'/ that side was made for you and me."

I could go on and on, there are so many more I could talk about, that ten is plenty. There are many bands that I have liked for years but never got around to buying or listening to their music, until recently. For example, I always thought that the Beatles were a bit over rated until I heard the White Album, and Abbey Road; the Clash, I did not get into them until recently, they are probably the best band to come out of the British Punk scene. May Joe Strummer rest in peace.


John said...

For Jerry Garcia/David Grisman stuff, you should try Old and In the Way.

The first time I ever heard of Cowboy Junkies was seeing them on Saturday Night Live, doing Lou Reed's Sweet Jane. I thought they were amazing. That led to me buying The Trinity Session and later, Lay it Down. Still some of my favorites.

The Clash - definitely London Calling rates as one of my all time favorites.

Most of the Talking Heads collection. I remember in college, a friend went to see them in a small place outside Philly in 1977. I remeber him coming back saying, "Those guys are awesome, but I wouldn't invite them to dinner." Never saw 'em live, but Stop Making Sense is my favorite concert to watch on DVD to this day.

Most of my favorites would suffer a generation gap compared to yours, but not all.

Playground in my Mind said...

I am not a big fan of most of your listings, but I love Erasure and the Waterboys. I enjoy learning why people love the music that means the most to them, though. Renee

Playground in my Mind said...

ooo ooo ooo....I forgot!! Van Halen is worth a huge crank!!! :) Got to love it.;0)Renee

Media Girl said...
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Media Girl said...

Hey, cool! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, and you even mentioned my band -- how sweet is that?

Music was such an important part of life during that time, and I have a certain fondness for many of the albums you mention. I'll add the following;

Love and Rockets -- "Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven"

Peter Murphy -- "Deep"

The Pixies -- "Surfer Rosa"

Camper Van Beethoven -- "Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart"

Squeeze -- "45s and Under" (this was the first time I had heard anything other than "top 40" or cowboy country, and it blew me away)...