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Hey, I can do memes too!

Simply put: List the five to ten albums that have been the most important to you throughout your life; describe them - and why - if you want. Don't fall for fads; try to pick things that have stood the test of time.

Tagging is optional.


Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Growing up, I was never a huge fan of Elton John simply because it was Mom's Music, and Mom's Music wasn't "cool". Then again, my desire to be cool led to me actually buying 2 Live Crew albums, so that shows what I knew back then. Looking back, this albums was amazing; the first song - Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding - is still one of the most intense songs I've ever heard, and the rest of the album is great, and reminds one just how much ass Elton kicked when he was with Taupin and doing drugs. This album is a lesson as to why we should never let our rock/pop gods get old.

Bob Segar - Live Bullet: The fact that this album barely beat out two others (Night Moves, The Distance) should show how much I adore Segar. Live Bullet shows how good a live album can be, and this is coming from someone that typically doesn't like live albums (I prefer polished studio albums mostly); to me, the only live albums that come close are Frampton Comes Alive and Yo! Bum Rush The Show. Hey, speaking of PE...

Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet: Everyone mentions It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back as being better, and for it's time, it might have been, but this album blew my mind as a kid, as I started to come into myself, and start to get some perspective of the outside world outside of lilly-white Seymour. Musically, it's also better; it's a more mature album, and I preferred hip-hop as it came into the late 80s/early 90s anyway (as it got away from the Kurtis Blow style). Most rap albums can never hope to stand up as well as this one.

Queen: Jazz - I started extending my listening tastes outside of pop and rap and into rock when I was about to hit my teens; this album got my foot in the door. Most people care about the hits (Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race), but my favourite track on the whole album is Mustapha, a song NO ONE could get away with today. I also still love Don't Stop Me Now, If You Can't Beat Them, and of course, More Of That Jazz, which I didn't learn to understand until I hit adulthood.

George Carlin: What Am I Doing In New Jersey?: There are two types of Carlin: the goofy, Class Clown era Carlin, who doesn't stand up too well today mainly because he was always baked, and the political, socially conscious Carlin that we saw in a lot of his books. I much prefer the latter Carlin, and this album was his turning point. It's the first actual Carlin CD I ever owned, and it's still my favourite.

Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell: No, it's not as popular as the first Bat Out of Hell, but it was this album that I sung to myself whenever Boot Camp seemed to be too much to handle. It's too bad that the other memory I have of this amazing album - a more enjoyable listen to me than the first one, BTW - is that it was one of the things I got back from Amy when she gave me my shit back (meaning I had to look at her again), but that's OK; it got me through boot camp.

Jackson Browne - The Very Best of Jackson Browne: The only compilation to make the list, essentially because the entirety of Jackson's career was amazing. Some bands or artists, as they age, tend to change their sound. Sometimes, the change is subtle (like Bob Segar); other times, they go off their fucking tits and change EVERYTHING (Journey, The Doobie Brothers), but either way, something about it tends to be off somewhat. Jackson didn't change too much; there's subtle changes in his songwriting (he tackled some more controversial material as he got older, and got a bit more electric), but he's about the only artist that I can say I enjoy his modern work as much as his stuff from the 70s and 80s. There are no "what the fuck is this" moments with Jackson; there's no Trial By Fire (Journey), no Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (or as I like to call it, "The Day Stone Temple Pilots Died To Me"), no Nastradamus, and certainly no 180 degree shift like the Doobies went through when Michael McDonald came on. This compilation is amazing, simple as that.

Now, with all these seven albums accounted for, three - or really, three and a half - stand out above even THEM.


Guns 'n Roses - Use Your Illusion I + II: If Queen got my foot in the door, GnR closed it behind me when it came to rock (the ones that threw away the key are coming up). My friend Jim and I would listen to these albums religiously; we would scream the lyrics downstairs in his basement as we played checker hockey with tiny sticks and a little table hockey puck until his mother would yell at us because... well, the lyrics weren't clean, and he DID have a little sister. Sadly, of all the albums I've put up, these stand up to my standards in 2008 the worst; I don't enjoy them nearly as much as I used to. Still, I can't deny that they more or less defined my puberty years.

Common - Be: I actually stopped listening to rap for awhile, mainly because all I could hear was the bullshit that was coming across on MTV, and that was being pimped out by XXL; looking back, G-Funk killed rap for me for awhile, as I got tired of the objectification of women, of drugs, of killing people, and the silly, pre-pubescent feuds that came with them and ended up leading to the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Chris Wallace. Naturally, I didn't know where to look for the really good stuff. I didn't hear about Mos Def and Talib Kweli. I didn't know about Cannibal Ox. No one really paid mainstream attention to KRS-One at that time. And I didn't know to look for Common, who had his own seminal album in 1997, with Resurrection. Then I heard Be, and it was like going to church for the first time. Picture one of the best lyricists ever combined with some of the most soulful beats you'll ever hear in an album, and not one track on the entire LP that can be considered "average"; everything is incredible in it's own right. This album not only solidified Common as one of my all-time favourite artists in any musical genre, to me, it legitimized Kanye West as well. This is simply the greatest rap album of all time.

Led Zeppelin IV: Queen got me in the door. Axl Rose and Slash closed it. And Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham threw away the key, boarded the windows... and then proceeded to kick unholy amounts of ass. I remember first looking at the CD, when CDs were still new in the early 90s; there was something about the album art that drew my attention, and this was before the remasters, where the art was the exact same as it was on the LPs (they updated things later, and fucked it up, as always). I was fascinated by the art, wondering, even at that age, what drugs the people that conceptualized the art were on. Then my uncle put the CD in for me.

I was blown away. Absolutely fucking blown away. I cannot understate what this album did to me. It made my head move by itself. It gave me goose bumps. It made my imagination wander to places it had never been before. Led Zeppelin IV was a gateway drug into the greater world of Zeppelin, and had me hooked. I befriended people in high school specifically because they also liked Zeppelin. In short, Zeppelin defined my high school years, and I'd go as far as to say that anyone that knew me back in high school would define me by my love for Zeppelin much the same way one would link Queen to popo_licious.

The relationship wasn't all roses, mind you; after all, I have a lot of Robert Plant solo albums collecting dust, and I also bought the inexplicably shitty Jimmy Page/David Coverdale co-op, a waste of $15 if there ever was one. But looking back, I can equate a song from every Zeppelin album to seminal moments from high school. Riding the bus to baseball games? Achillies' Last Stand. Breaking up with Joleen Carr? Babe I'm Gonna Leave You. Studying for shitty standardized tests? Moby Dick.

Led Zeppelin is simply the most incredible rock band I've ever heard, to this day.





Honourable Mention:
- The Isley Brothers - Love Songs
- Metallica - Master of Puppets
- The Doobie Brothers Box Set



Dishonourable Mention: Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman. One of these days, I hope to be able to listen to this album without vomiting. That's a goal of mine in life.


Tagging: I'm actually going to tag, because I'd love to hear from a few specific people on this. So...

hezul
punksteriot
kyuusei
popo_licious
buddhamike

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
popo_licious
Jun. 19th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Jazz? Your stock is rising... quickly. XD

Hah, thanks for the tag! This might actually be fun! ;D 'Time to dust off my old CDs and take a look~
burning_phoneix
Jun. 19th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Good thing you didn't tag me because I wouldn't know what to put on an album list. :P
otosaretatenshi
Jun. 19th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
yeah, I wouldn't know what to put either... Muse has served me well for quite a few years, but they are still relatively new. And back in middle school... I listened to Linkin Park. T_T
burning_phoneix
Jun. 19th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
I barely listen to music anyway.

Now if Bus tagged me for games instead of music?

That'd be a problem as well since I can't decide what to put there due to an overload of choice! XD
yokaiknight
Jun. 27th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
Back in high school, I listened to Linkin Park too. T_T

Wait a second--
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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