Ten Albums that changed My Life
Today our thanks go to Kevin Moor for sharing his fantastic top ten choice.
Many thanks Kevin!
In no particular order
Prince – Sign O The Times
Whenever I play this I’m that awkward teenager again.
This album is all killer, no filler despite being a double. The haunting title track is still a minimalist work of art, you have pop perfection in I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man and U Got The Look, funk wigout Housequake, dirgy rock with The Cross, tongue- in- cheek love ballad It’s Going to be a Beautiful Night, filth in If I was Your Girlfriend and psych tinged pop of Starfish and Coffee. And they are just the standout tracks off the top of my head.
A simply wonderful album.
The first single I bought was the Paranoid reissue in 1980. An incredible tune I still love but prefer the B side Snowblind.
Soon after I got the We Sold Our Soul comp and to be fair most of the debut is on it.
A year or two later I got Black Sabbath on cassette which I played loud on my Saisho walkman. It definitely made more sense to me as a full album and I loved it and still do. Black Sabbath, The Wizard, The Warning, NIB, Behind the Wall of Sleep, Evil Woman- absolutely no weak tracks at all- a stunning debut. Although in later years I used to say Vol. 4 was my favourite Sabbath album, these days it’s the first for me.
New Order – Substance 1987
When I was loaned this album in 1988 I was heavily into dance music and have to say I was only familiar with Blue Monday and True Faith.
The first side I didn’t take to for a long time, in fact not until after I ‘got’ Joy Division some years later. However there was a run of bangers from Temptation onwards that were instantly seen as classics to me. I especially liked the Arthur Baker produced ones as I’ve always loved Electro music.
I liked it so much I bought my own copy, and paid over £20 for the cd version (which was actually my 1st cd purchase for my Kenwood cd player from Richer Sounds in 1989). Probably seems crazy these days because of the value of vinyl vs cd but I thought it sounded fantastic, plus it had a lot of bonus material.
A landmark album for me.
Neil Young – Decade
Neil Young had completely passed me by until the age of 30 when I attended my first Open Mic night.
The first performer, who wasn’t great, performed Heart of Gold. A few enquiries and Decade was bought (for a hefty price) on cd.
It was like listening to an album you’d compiled yourself in another life. Track after track of immediately familiar and enjoyable tracks. The only disappointment was the non- inclusion of the only Neil Young penned song I knew (because of St Etienne) Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
I’ve done a lot of Neil Young exploration since!
The Cure – Mixed Up
Back in the day music was expensive, most unlike the ubiquitous nature of it these days. You had to select carefully as a poor choice could be disaster. No eBay then, spend your £6 and the best thing you could do with a dog was swap it with a friend or trade in for £1.50 cash or £2 credit at your LRS.
So, as a member of Britannia Music this arrived as album of the month (on cassette). I’d forgotten to say I didn’t want it so put it aside to return.
I missed the return date. I was going to work in Edinburgh for the week and wanted something fresh for the Walkman and grabbed this. A little like Decade, it was a Pandora’s Box. I still love it to this day however I never explored The Cure further. Yet.
Pink Floyd – Obscured by Clouds
So, which Pink Floyd do you pick?
The one that grabbed me. I came in very late to Floyd and this was my access point. I think mainly because I was an indie kid at the time and this was the Floyd that sounded most like what I was already into.
I’ve grown to love the band since and could kick myself for dismissing Animals when I was 11, along with Rush’s 2112
Pet Shop Boys – Please
The first time I heard West End Girls I was taken aback. It was like a Cinemascope movie within a radio friendly pop song.
When I bought the album (on cassette) I was absolutely stunned by the sound quality and production, as well as the immediate song hooks. I still love it to this day and I’m listening to it as I type.
Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
After loving Licensed to Ill I sort of became distant from the Beasties until I heard Sabotage from this album. The record is a superb demonstration of musical skill encompassing as well as rap, hardcore punk, rock, latin style instrumentals and jazz. I used to bypass Heart Attack Man and Tough Guy but these days I love them as much as the rest.
A stunning album.
The Beatles (untitled)
So which Beatles is it to be?
Sgt Peppers is my sentimental choice. One of the first albums I heard on my late Mother’s red Dansette.
I think Abbey Road is the most perfect Beatles album.
But ‘The White Album’ is something else altogether. A bonkers/ genius dis-jointed masterpiece. Highlights Glass Onion, Dear Prudence, Back in the USSR and Revolution, John and Paul’s near solo whimsies, and Rocky Raccoon and Bungalow Bill along for the ride not to mention the virtually unlistenable bits.
But despite the odds and the strained recording circumstances, it just works!
Iron Maiden – Killers
The debut was a landmark.
The Number of the Beast was the breakthrough to the big time and a superb album to boot.
But Killers! The intro ‘The Ides of March’ into Wrathchild and the pace never lets up. Relentless fist- pumping metal. It doesn’t get any better.
Many thanks Kevin!