The “First Time” for Music. There are so many first times in one persons’ life you could dedicate a book to it. Since music is a theme, I wanted to recall some of my best firsts with music that changed me forever. My top 5 Albums. What albums have changed your life? Made an indelible impression on you forever?
1 Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: I held it in my hands that summer day and listened to it over and over and read the words (they included the fickin words) and stared at the cover. I didn’t have the money for the stereo version- I bought the mono version. It didn’t matter, I was consumed by it. It still amazes me every time I listen to it end to end. It seems like a much longer album, but it wasn’t that long from begining to end.
2 Who’s Next: I blew a set of speakers because of this album. I think it was on “Baba O’Rielly”, but it maybe could have been “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. I can’t tell you how great it is that all of my teenagers love this album as much as I did in 71. They totally get how it influenced what they listen to today. It still makes sense even now. The songs. The lyrics. The music. Since then I can recall just one other time jacking up my speakers: Blink 182.
3 Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars: What Sgt Peppers did in its day, Bowie helped glam rock and all that it would be. It captures the heart of Velvet Underground and what would be the rest of the Mott the Hoople/T Rex/Lou Reed evolution. Even though there were better albums in that era in some pieces, this was the complete damn record.
4 Innervisions: Stevie Wonder man- in the way that this album was constructed is like some sort of opera for the inner city, but also like a painting, or a movie. It stands as a work of art. The album influenced the word of soul, funk, and everything that came after that. It influenced me by taking me beyond rock for the first time in a way that Motown music had not done before that.
5 Hotel California: The first time I heard this, I was in denial. I had heard the Eagles first album and it was stacked up with the America album in my collection. Then I listened to this album. It was the way that they captured the essence of California, and all that it meant to be the cool part of the next decade. The 60’s were behind us, this was the cool 70’s and this was the new band to take it there.
My top 5 list (of 50). Believe me when I say that there are a dozen really great contemporary albums on my personal list. I will forever be a Copeland fan (Beneath the Medicine Tree) and as emo it seems it is…Dashboard Confessional (A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar) or Something Corporate (North) or Jack’s Mannequin (Everything in Transit). Yes there is Dylan, Joni, Frank Zappa, the jazz of Dave Bruebeck or Miles Davis and others from the era gone by I guess- makes me feel old when I don’t feel old. But there they were.
Just bear with me here, music is the paintbrush that creates moments in time like pictures and the recollections that are always there. What are yours?