This list has been coming a long while – the ten albums that have left an impact on me/affected my life in some way. Not necessarily the albums that I listen to regularly/are my favourites nowadays (though some of them are) but those that will always have a place in my collection. Narrowing it down to 10 was tough but I managed. The following are in no particular order – don’t forget to tell me about yours.
The Animals’ The Animals
This is the soundtrack that defined my early childhood. My parents were (understandably) stuck in a ‘60s timewarp and I’d get to listen to this album on full blast regularly. When my mother explained what House of the Rising Sun is all about, 6-year-old me bawled bucketfuls.
CCR’s Mardi Gras
I mostly have my mother to thank for this (as opposed to both parents). She was obsessed with CCR and though they never were one of my own favourites I find this album extremely comforting, with Someday Never Comes giving that intense bittersweet feeling.
In 1990 I shamefully took a detour away from real music so that come Friday and Saturday I could go all moronic to the likes of Technotronic. Happens to the best of us… go ahead, snigger away. I got back on track with the release of this album. To date, the title track sends shivers up my spine even though I rarely ever listen to Queen nowadays.
Bauhaus’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead EP
This album was the start of something beautiful. I’m one of those who believe that Pete Murphy can do no wrong. And the nine minute (I think) title track remains one of my favourite songs to date. This EP sort of got me into the whole post punk, dark rock sound. I very, very rarely listen to it but when I do it then haunts me for days.
Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures
When I’m just in the mood for Joy Division, I cheat and put on Substance. But when I want to “reconnect” with everything that is me, this is the one I listen to. Again. And again. And again. Until it becomes a tad too morbid and I snap out of whatever it is.
The Clash’s London Calling
This is what I call punk for the common people – ie, for me. I was never a punk kid and more often than not I found the sound of pure punk too harsh. London Calling was a departure, probably because it’s more a fusion of different styles of rock than anything else. Whatever you choose to call it, there isn’t one song on this album that is not gold. Not to mention that it raised awareness about pressing social issues. This is the one that helped me open my horizons a tad further. And I also love the cover art, so there’s another plus point.
The sound that totally blew my mind the first time I heard it. “Dancing” to Lithium, Smells Like Teenspirit, Come As You Are in a basement garage… one of the best memories from my 16-year-old self. This album heralded what was probably one of my best years ever; fresh out of secondary school and with that magical feeling that nothing is impossible. And nothing was, really, because when you’re 16 what is there to stop you?
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads
This is the one that became synonymous with a particular stage of change in my life. And what better soundtrack when making life-changing decisions, than The Curse of Millhaven, Henry Lee and the like? Tends to put things into perspective.
Placebo’s Sleeping With Ghosts
My guilty pleasure. The one that brings out the latent drama queen in me… teenage angst with a touch of emo that brings me broody all over until eventually (very eventually) I dissolve laughing at the silliness of it all. Though I have to say that Bitter End remains one of the coldest songs ever. Why would I want my kids to have this? Simple: to let them know that being broken is fine and no-one expects you to be perfect the whole time. Also, because a lot of Placebo tracks are ace for dancing to.
There just has to be a Muse album here. My dog (who had great taste in music, of course) loved this album as much as I did. She knew that the intro to Apocalypse Please blaring out of my headphones meant one thing: walkies. She is with me no more but I like to think that wherever she is there is someone singing to Muse and waiting patiently for her as she sniffs every single corner. Yes, we are allowed to think silly thoughts sometimes.
Now I want to know about YOUR life-changing albums, the ones you would you want to pass on to your hypothetical/real offspring to listen to in order to “shape” them. Comments below, give me an insight into your musical personality. The rules are these:
• No Best Of/Greatest Hits
• No Compilations
• Must be albums not singles
If you don’t have a nice, free evening and wine to mull over a whole TEN albums like me, give me 1, 2, 3, 4…whatever.
Ps – incidentally, the cassette tape image is actually a lamp designed by ooomydesign.com.