Ten albums that changed my life.
1)…Deep Purple In Rock. This was the album that kick started everything. We had a record library at school and it was the very first album I borrowed. At that time I owned no music and we only had a very old radiogram at home, which probably did untold damage to the album. Blackmore’s intro to Speed King and the interplay between him and Gillan on Child in Time were the very first ‘goosebump-hair standing up on the back of your neck’ moments I ever experienced with music. It was a game changing moment and the start of a journey.
2)…Pink Floyd Dark side of the Moon. The soundtrack to my high school years. All my friends owned a copy of this album and we discussed and played this album endlessly. It still sounds as perfect to me today as it did all those years ago. It really is a prime example of a ‘time machine album’. All I need to do is close my eyes and bang…I’m back in 1973.
3)…The Who Quadrophenia. Everybody raved about Tommy and rightly so, it was a ground breaking album. For me though Quadrophenia was on a totally different level containing some of Townshend’s finest compositions. To my adolescent mind it was as if Townshend had plugged straight into my brain and was able to channel all the angst our generation was experiencing. We were lucky enough to have a geography teacher at school who was a big Who fan, he allowed us to listen to Quadrophenia during lessons,( but at a very low volume).
4)…The Yes Album. My introduction to Yes and an album that broke them into the big time. I find the song writing and musicianship on it simply outstanding. It was another album all my friends owned. We often had discussions about who was the best guitarist, singer, etc. Of course there was never a right answer to this but the members of Yes were always part of that discussion. Yes reached many peaks throughout their career, this album, in my opinion, is their highest one.
5)…Stevie Wonder Innervisions. I really wasn’t supposed to like this album! During the mid 70’s where we lived, music was polarised between two very different social cultures. Music such as Motown, Northern Soul and Atlantic Soul belonged to the ‘skinheads’ and their associated ilk. We long haired hippy types on the other hand, enjoyed rock music, folk rock, progressive rock, blues rock et al, (so basically anything with the word rock attached to it). Battle lines were drawn and anyone who dared cross those lines would be condemned to mockery and derision. So that was my problem, I found Innervisions to be a stunning album, though it was one I mostly listened to in private and through headphones, just in case anyone was passing.
6)…David Bowie The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders from Mars. This kick-started my love for Bowie’s work, there is not one single weak track on the album. Ronson and the rest of the Spiders took hold of Bowie’s songs and shifted them into another gear, they became anthems! Sonically it is a stunning album that sounds as fresh today as it did in the early 70’s. Another time machine album, stick it on and I can smell cider and dusty bedrooms.
7)…Jethro Tull War Child. The first time I heard tracks from this album was on my old transistor radio. Alan Freeman had a Saturday afternoon rock show in the 70’s which we all listened to, (not the skinheads though). Listening to Bungle in the Jungle, then Solitare, (if my memory is correct), subsequently began a lifelong love of all things Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson is one of the finest and most underrated songwriter these isles has ever produced.
8)… Led Zeppelin 2. My introduction to Zeppelin. I could never put my finger on what exactly it was about this album that reached into me and shook me up, the brashness, the swagger, the musicianship? In hindsight, it was probably the combination of all these elements. But that was the magic of Led Zeppelin, they always did things differently and took their music to a level other bands didn’t know existed. Led Zeppelin 2…it was like walking into Mordor with Page and co writing the soundtrack.
9)…Rival Sons Head Down. At last an album from this century! I was going through a phase where I was beginning to lose faith with the music that was being produced. Some of it was good, some of it was very good, but for me it lacked the magic that the music from the 60’s and 70’s had. This album restored my faith that a band could not only conjure up that kind of magic, but take it to new and interesting places. My faith was rewarded in bucket loads when they released the masterpiece that is Great Western Valkyrie, but it was this album that got me hooked.
10)…Thin Lizzy Johnny the Fox. Not Lizzy’s best known album but still a fine one and one that probably changed my life more than any other I have so far mentioned. Released in 76 Lizzy toured the UK promoting the album, playing a date at Sheffield City Hall. I took my new girlfriend to what was her first ever live concert. She absolutely loved it and became an instant Lizzy fan and an all round rock fan. I knew at that point that she was a keeper and we have been together ever since sharing our love of going to concerts and listening to music. Old Phil certainly knew how to write songs to charm the girls….thank’s mate!
Keith Michael Sheppard
Keith is a long-standing customers of ours and a Rival Sons gig-buddy. We’d like to offer our thanks for the time and trouble he went to – to do this.
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