Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wasu, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you’re it!
1. “Viva Hate” Morrissey: Late nights in the dim light of my room, this cassette was the defining soundtrack to my teenage years. I experienced the “Suedehead” video when we took a road trip to Fairmount, IN, home of James Dean.
2. “So Red the Rose” Arcadia: Duran Duran grown up. I latched on to Arcadia’s atmospheric vibe much quicker than I did the rawk of Power Station.
3. “Grace” Jeff Buckley: “Last Goodbye” will never be overplayed.
4. “Substance” New Order– Every Filipino Debutante ball played “Bizarre Love Triangle.” Great beats, Peter Hook’s bass is fantastic. Another one of those soundtrack to my life cassettes.
5. “The Stranger” Billy Joel: I actually remember my folks buying the LP at Woolworth’s I think. I picture the scene–me sitting on the floor listening to the album, watching the rotation of a 33 1/3 record. I also recall over accentuating the “ack,ack, ack, ack” of “Movin’ Out.”
6. “Never Mind the Bollocks” Sex Pistols: If I ever had a rebellious streak growing up, this album helped me walk through that door. My brother thought I had joined a cult when he heard this blasting out of my bedroom.
7. “Disintegration” The Cure: First CD I ever bought. I learned to play the bass line of “Fascination Street” recently. That’s another song that can never be overplayed!
8. “Nevermind” Nirvana: Blew my mind when I first heard the album in its entirety. “Endless Nameless” was a nice surprise at the end of the CD. Something in Kurt Cobain’s voice just connected.
9. “Head on the Door” The Cure: an art club staple. Who didn’t do the hand-clapping when “Close To Me” played?
10. “August and Everything After” The Counting Crows: “Round Here.” Beautiful. Even more incredible live.
11. “Louder Than Bombs” The Smiths: I remember getting the cassette thinking, “Wow, there’s a lot of songs on this one!” Definitely a good starter album for the uninitiated. Morrissey & Marr at their peak.
12. “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most” Dashboard Confessional: The 30 year old me combining with the 17 year old me, listening to this album in a room alone, very loudly. Yeah, it’s like that.
13. “Exile In Guyville” Liz Phair: Another one of those albums where all I can say is “wow!”
14. “Cosmic Thing” The B-52’s: The perfect summer-time album!
15. “Transformer” Lou Reed: I wish I were able to have picked up this LP the day it came out.
There are tons more . . . these would be my desert island picks. These albums define me. Let me know which ones define yours.