I was going to stick with a list of 10 albums or something.
But at my age, it seems like it is justified to make it 25. So here is the first 10. There is way too much historical music and experiences to stop short.
I realized that I am pretty much sticking to classic rock and vinyl memories. Actually the 2nd 15 there are few more contemporary albums. Not much out of the out of the mainstream or anything… but that is what was thought-provoking. Maybe for you too.
The challenge is to think about the following. Not just that it is “good” music-because that could go on forever on a list. Rather consider this.
• Changed your personal perspective musically
• The music became embedded into your life and the “album” itself is important- not just one song on it
Here’s my first 10 – the other 15 come later. Chime in with comments-anyone who likes music of any sort has an opinion.
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 frickin’ 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.
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.
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 Inner visions: 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- this was the cool 70’s and this was the new band to take it there.
6 Déjà vu; I have to say that this is a personal favorite- but like you gotta know – if you play Carry On really loud, it just doesn’t get better. Add to that the bass line and organ in the title song, and “Almost Cut My Hair”. I loved their first album, but this was something more stretching – it had Neil Young too.
7 Beach Boys Pet Sounds: I know I grew up as a young kid listening to them rather than the standard bubble gum stuff other kids my age were listening to. All the early 60’s stuff was fun and pop- 3 minute songs with a lot of images. This was the real thing. “God Only Knows” and “Caroline No” the Warmth of the Sun… just put this on the record player and close your eyes… and it always projects me back ( like most music does) – but it like put this box around summer, and made it the good vibrations.
8 Todd Rundgren: Something/Anything; I grew up in the matter of months from a kid-like existence to being an adult with this album. This was something that captured everything in one double album for me. Todd spoke words to make me remember my high school years with each song bringing back something different. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference, if you’d loved me. Yes, Wizard True Star album was kicking ass, but this was like a soundtrack album for me.
9 Jimi Hendrix: Electric Lady Land. I used to play this off my back porch by stringing my speakers from my room down and out the back door. Smoke cigarettes and drink beer and keep turning the records over and starting again. Then later I put it on tape and just let it play. It pissed off the neighbors, but my friends and I were in a trance I think. Imagine Voodoo Child playing on a humid late summer evening, with a beer in your hand.
10 Dark Side of the Moon: Okay so I couldn’t find a way to not list this album. It had really captured me- I had owned Uma Gumma I think – but this was so rich with sounds. Okay – so like so many others, I used to sit in the dark and smoke stuff and listen to this. I owned a better stereo then I had in my earlier days…and this was one for the headphones too. Okay a weakness. I had one of those light things that would change with the music that my brother had given me – we would put this on, then for an encore-play Echoes from Meddle. Dude.
If you got this far… share your top 10. No choices are wrong, it is about you.