Quite a while ago my son asked me to list the 15 most influential music albums in my life. I'm not sure why, but I didn't get around to it until today. I guess I thought it would make a good Turning 40 post. A retrospective of the last 40 years of my life. Here goes in chronological order (according to my brain, and not necessarily an album date):
1. Shaun Cassidy, 1977
This was my first and last major infatuation with a celebrity. I remember sitting in my bedroom, with its red shag carpet, looking at his debut Shaun Cassidy album cover for hours. "Da Doo Ron Ron" was my favourite song, of course.
2. Quirky Song Collection,
While I can't recall the name of the album, I can still sing the songs, including "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)", "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight?)", "Yakety Yak", "Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat)", and "The Purple People Eater".
3. Bill Haley and the Comets
I thank my dad for this one. He really likes the America 50's rock and roll music and for quite a while I explored music during that time. "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Rock Around the Clock" were perfect songs to clean my bedroom to. This led me to Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, Ritchie Valens, Elvis Presley and others.
Yep, I was a HUGE Elvis fan. Don't listen very much now, but still love "Blue Christmas" and "Jailhouse Rock".
5. The Beach Boys
First concert. I still remember being front row dancing with other young Beach Boys fans (just a few of us with hordes of older fans in the rows behind). Inspired the Gilby Freedom Bad Mother Fucker road trip to Malibu where I first unsuccessfully learned to surf. Greatest Hits Volume 1.
6. The Clash
Who hasn't been influenced by The Clash? Combat Rock. Bring back my black boots, ripped black tights, long black Batman t-shirt and plaid logger jacket. Major black eyeliner. Mosh pit.
(6A. Tiny shout out to the Stray Cats here as well for making a runner-up appearance.)
7. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Album: I Love Rock 'n' Roll. "Crimson and Clover" was the best song to sing along to driving down any old freekin' freedom highway when you first get your license and keys to any ole beat up 72 Toyota Corolla. "I Hate Myself for Loving You." No, I don't.....still love it!
8 . Collection, Sixties Music
You know, all those great songs they put in movies about the Vietnam war. Peace, love, granola stuff and those tough songs with helicopters in the background.
9.. The Doors
Ah... memories of The Doors. All of them fuzzy. Hazy. Something about sleeping under a dining room table..... While not necessarily live in the moment, it was nice groovin' to their Greatest Hits compilation.
10. Bob Marley
His best-known hits include "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Could You Be Loved", "One Love". All great, but for me, it was all about "Exodus". Over and over and over and over and over again. All the time. Legends has to be one of the best all around albums of all times.
(10a. Somewhere in here I have to shout out to Spirit of the West Save This House, for adding zest and life and fun to frickin' everything whenever I played them. They know how to liven up a west coast party! Still on the dance list...)
11. Depeche Mode
Album: Music for the Masses. Best. Concert. Ever. I still know every song off by heart. I lived and died by Depeche Mode, all shrouded in black and black and more black and some purple hair and vintage chic thrown in for colour.
Just amazing music. Too hard to pick a fav album. Defining sounds that surrounded some defining moments in my life. I love the edge and clarity they brought to that time in my life.
(12a. Shout out to Sebadoh, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. Helmet, Galaxy 500, Meet Daisy, Violent Femmes, Velvet Underground, Camper Van Beethoven and all other sounds that filled those "band days".)
Enya. The music I played for both my kids. The music I got married to. I still hum her in the quiet times.
14. Liz Phair.
Exile in Guyville. Great album. Fucking great album. Toughens you up. Makes you want to clean your house in your bra while smoking and drinking. And then tell everyone to go fuck themselves. Yep..... gotta love her!
I still get pissed that Nirvana isn't playing anymore. Nevermind.
Yep, music doesn't influence as much anymore. I am influenced more by other things, but it's still a part of my life. And heck, I still reserve the right to add 16 anytime in the next 40 years. Perhaps gypsy music or Public Access or Ben Harper, or .......