Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Most Influential Albums

Last week I went to my two best friends and blog contributors AbsolutGator and Mt. Cat and gave a little assignment. Each of us was to come up with a list of our Top 10 most influential albums. Each of us is a huge music fan and although we have some similar tastes we also have very different tastes as well. The rules to the list are that this is not a "favorite" list but the music that has influenced us. Also it must be a studio album and not a compilation or Greatest Hits collection or a Live performance. It's interesting to see how there are some parallels because none of us knew what the other was listing. Here goes so give a read and Tell us what you think:

Here is the AbsolutGator's list of influential albums. I made this list based on the album influencing me personally to not only listen to the band, but open my musical tastes to listen to other bands like them. These are not in any particular order:
Metallica: Master of Puppets - This is the best of Metallica and, arguably, the best metal album of all time. RIP - Cliff Burton
Jimmy Buffett: Fruitcakes - I always liked Brother Jimmy, but this was the album that got me to really become a fan.
Guns N' Roses: Appetite for Destruction - In the late '80s, you didn't go out after the Friday night football game without listening to this! Playing Def Leopard's Hysteria before GN'R was considered bad form.
The Clash: London Calling - This album hit on all types of genres and made punk something worth listening to.
AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - C'mon, what 3rd grade boy isn't gonna love singing about his balls?
Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil - Glam rock that kicked major ass.
Eagles: One of These Nights - The first album I can ever remember listening to as a kid with my Dad using the Aiwa reel-to-reel.
The Cure: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me - I knew a girl in high school that said she did interesting things when Shiver and Shake would play. Unfortunately, I could only dream as she dated a friend of mine.
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill - Rap w/ classic rock riffs...that I can get into.
Jane's Addiction: Nothing's Shocking - This was the album that got me interested in and started alt-rock to me, making Grunge possible.

The next ten:
Herb Albert - Rise
Van Halen - Diver Down
Depeche Mode: Music for the Masses
RHCP - Freaky Styley
Huey Lewis & The News - Sports
Green Day - Dookie
John Cougar (Mellencamp) - My 1st CD!
The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
Social Distortion - Social Distortion

Here is the Mt. Cat's list. Below are my top ten. A few on the list can be higher or lower depending on my mood. Also, I listed about 45 other big albums in my life. Surprise by any of them? - TMC

1. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (I think I listened to the album more than any other. Their Wish You Were Here album isn't far behind either).
2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John (Greatest pop-rock album of all-time).
3. Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin (Greatest raw hard rock album ever made).
4. Thriller – Michael Jackson (The King of Pop got me into music as a ten year old [insert Jesus Juice joke here]. Who is not influenced by the album??)
5. Who’s Next – The Who (This album as well as Quadrophenia are mind-blowing. Keith Moon makes the hair on my arms stand up).
6. The Stranger - Billy Joel (This album sweats the five boroughs of NYC).
7. Violator - Depeche Mode (I never liked them before this album. I've been mesmerized ever since. Their 2009 Sounds of the Universe album is equally great).
8. Invisible Touch – Genesis (My theme album for my grammar school graduation).
9. Play - Moby (First big album of the new millennium for me and when first I became a proud, successful Manhattanite).
10. The Fat of the Land - Prodigy (A disturbing album to listen to but it reminds me how strong I've become from hard times in my life).

Almost made the list:
Quadrophenia – The Who Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin IV Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin Abby Road - The Beatles Sgt. Pepper - The Beatles Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette So - Peter Gabriel No Jacket Required - Phil Collins Jimmy Buffett - Songs You Know By Heart The Doors – The Doors L.A. Woman - The Doors Joshua Tree - U2 Achtung Baby- U2 Metallica – Metallica Master of Puppets – Metallica Ride the Lightning – Metallica Sounds of the Universe - Depeche Mode Synchronicity – The Police Van Halen I – Van Halen For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge – Van Halen 1984 – Van Halen The Living Years – Mike + The Mechanics Ray of Light – Madonna London Calling - The Clash R - Queens of the Stone Age Hysteria – Def Leppard Hybrid Theory - Linkin Park (What's the Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis Purple Rain – Prince Empire – Queensrÿche Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine OK Computer – Radiohead Dr. Feelgood - Mötley Crüe Pretty Hate Machine – Nine Inch Nails You've Come a Long Way, Baby – Fat Boy Slim Meantime – Helmet Oranges & Lemons – XTC Throwing Copper – Live Dream of the Blue Turtles – Sting Please - The Pet Shop Boys Very – Pet Shop Boys Presto – Rush Moving Pictures - Rush Storm Front - Billy Joel Nevermind – Nirvana Back in Black – AC/DC

Here's Doc's Top 10 list. Mine was really hard to crop down so I also included some that almost made the list. I did mine in reverse order David Letterman style.

10. Everything to Everyone - Barenaked Ladies - One of the greatest albums of the last 10 years. A great listen beginning to end. Also gave me a new kind of hope during a difficult transition time in my life.
9. License to Ill - Beastie Boys - My soundtrack for 9th grade in my life. I moved to Charlotte from a smaller town and found this album about the same time. Listened to it every day on the hour long school bus ride to and from. Probably still know every word by heart. Funny thing is my least favorite song is the "hit" Fight for your Right.
8. Purple Rain - Prince - Wow talk about an eye opening album for a young almost teenager!
7. The Long Run - Eagles - Still a great listen and another one you can listen to from start to end. One of the first records I ever bought with my own money.
6. Synchronicity - The Police - When this album came along it marked my introduction to more complex lyrical music. Wow what is this? Imagery? You mean the words can mean something else? I wore out this cassette tape in a summer and had to buy another copy.
5. Cracked Rear View - Hootie and the Blowfish - Another transition album in my life. I really liked this album and then was given the opportunity to move to Columbia SC during it's heyday. I even ran into Darius Rucker right after I moved there and ended up attending the release party for their second album.

4. Sports - Huey Lewis and the News - Super Pop Rock album and the first CD I ever owned.
3. Automatic for the People - REM - An anthem album for me in college and after. I also picked it up again a few years ago after not listening for a decade and it still speaks to me just like it did back then.
2. Appetite For Destruction - Guns-n-Roses - Hard driving and my introduction to gritty tough Rock-n-Roll. Grabbed me from the opening note and never let go.
1. Slippery When Wet - Bon Jovi - Im my opinion the best Rock album of all time. Probably the album I have listened to the most times in my life. Great music and 2 separate and distinct parts to the album. Even though it served as a high school anthem the 1st part still rings true today. Timeless and I still listen from time to time.

Almost made the list: (no particular order)
1984 - Van Halen
Please - The Pet Shop Boys
Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morisette
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
Storm Front - Billy Joel
The Stranger - Billy Joel
Boston - Boston
Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

So there they are. We would love to hear what you think... Feel free to make a list of your own most influential albums and share it with us.

-Doc, Mt. Cat and Absolutgator


Christine said...

Mt. Cat's mirrored what I would have said. Although all the picks were good, when talking about influence, those be the ones. :-)

Anonymous said...

Metallica what an awesome band….love Master of Puppets… I have seen them in concert 3 times and would go again. All I’ve got to say ….You got to fight for your right to paaaaarrrrrty!

I was listening to Led Zeppelin this morning….that and Pink Floyd reminds me of stuff I should have not been doing. “ If you don’t eat yer meat, you cant have any pudding!” “How can you any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Another Brick Wall…..Still have flash backs!

I would agree with you Doc about Fight for your Right. It is my least favorite out of majority of their songs on all the albums. Girls and Brass Monkey are two of my favorite. Purple Rain what a HOT song.....awe the memories!

The AbsolutGator said...

Fight for Your Right to Party is also the Beastie Boys' least favorite song.

Doc said...

I was interested to see that Absolut and I had 2 of the same albums in our top 10 (and interested that Appetite for Destruction didn't even make Mt.Cats extended list)
I bet when Mt. Cat sees our lists he will say he "forgot" License to Ill. because I know he loved that one.
I guess the toughest time I had was leaving Thriller off my list but I just couldn't make it fit.

The Mountain Cat said...

Wow Christine we are musical soulmates!

Great lists fellas!

As for Guns n' Roses; yes i forogt to list it. I probably forgot 20 more albums too.

Paige said...

License to Ill is definitely one of the best albums ever. Not necessarily for particular songs, but for putting good, Jewish rappers on the map. And everyone needs good Jewish rap.

The Mountain Cat said...

Syncronicty almost made my top ten list. That album or Sting's first solo album Dream of the Blue Turtles which was the very first cassette I ever bought!

Doc said...

I think the very first casette tape I bought was Kilroy was here by Styx... Almost made my "almost" list but it wasn't inflential enough. Same with some more of the Rap I listened to in high School.

The Mountain Cat said...

And an interesting side note: The first rock song I remember hearing was 'Fly Like an Eagle' by The Steve Miller Band. I was about 3 year old in my grandmoter's house. I was by an open window and a parked car had that song playing on the radio. This is on my earliest memories of my life.

The Mountain Cat said...

Ah damn, I forgot about Styx! I played Kilroy Was Here & Paradise Theater to death in grammar school.

Doc said...

Oddly enough I don't even own a copy of 3 of my Top 10 albums anymore because of the 200 CDs I had stolen 16 years ago... Sports, The Long Run, and Purple Rain I no longer own ven though I do have Greatest hits of all those artists. I still have a casette tape of License to Ill though!
(Several times a year I drive through Brooklyn in the middle of the night - like next week I will - and it never fails that I will think of 'No Sleep till Brooklyn!"

Doc said...

Funny that Absolut and I both listed Brother Jimmy's Fruitcakes and for the same reason. We knew all his older songs but this was the first "new" studio album we listened too... and it was before we even met.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Steve Miller Band. And The Eagles and Pink Floyd and Alanis Morrisette are also favorites.

"Fight for your right" is so generic. The rest of the cd is great.

Thriller? Really?

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is my favorite ever, though.

Anonymous said...

MtCat... You did a great job of covering all the bases although Closer To Home by. Grand Funk Railroad should have been in the top 20

Four Dinners said...

You have failed to include anything by God...aka David Bowie, therefore you are sad.

You have failed to include anything by Elvis Costello, therefore you are very sad.

You have failed to include anything by Madness therefore you are beyond hope.

Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols. - now your talkin'

Doc said...

LOL @ 4 Dinners... How about you keep those and give me Mark Knopfler and Dire straits Brothers in Arms?

Doc said...

Mrs. D - Fleetwood Mac is GREAT but my favorite album by them is Seven Wonders

Doc said...

BTW - Considering both my best friends list an album I have heard of but not listend too I probably ought to give it a listen. The Clash London Calling.

The AbsolutGator said...

4 Dinners - Never could get into Bowie, but I do like Madness (pop-Ska to me) and some Elvis Costello (great, now I got Veronica stuck in my head!).

Doc - With tunes like Guns of Brixton, Clampdown, Spanish Bombs, Lost in the Supermarket, Train in Vain, Rudie Can't Fail, and more, London Calling was an easy Top 10 selection for me.

Bond said...

Interesting lists gentlemen...

As an - ah hem - older guy - my list would be different in many ways, yet similar in others...

Thanks for sharing

Karen said...

I think my list would be closest to Doc's or maybe a morphing of Vin's and Doc's with a side of country.

Jay said...

I think Mt. Cat's list is the only top 20 or so I've ever seen that didn't include "Appetite for Destruction." So, obviously something is wrong with him, right? haha

I don't know if I could do a top 10 albums/cd's list. I did a book list and I think I expanded it to like 50. This would be a pretty good week long theme. CD's on one day, specific songs the next, books the next then movies and maybe TV shows or something. Hmmm ... that might be an idea there. ;-)

Doc said...

I knew Karen and I would agree on something someday... ;-)

Doc said...

LOL @ Jay... I have known there was something wrong with Mt. Cat for a long time.. HA!

Will Shealy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terri said...

That was a really cool read. I was surprised by the variety of genres within each list. A lot of those would fall into my list as well and it brought back a lot of memories. I think the most striking memory was of Purple Rain. I was obsessed with Prince and I think that album first showed me how dark life can be.

Candice said...

The Prodigy huh? I dig it!

25BAR said...

You have covered 'em all!
Well done!

Doc said...

@ Will - Good stuff! Diverse Musical tastes are one of those things that make the world go around.

@ Terri... I wanted to be Prince (until I found out he was only 4 feet tall)

@25Bar - Thank you and glad you visited the blog!

Four Dinners said...

Dire Straits?????? Arrrrrgh! You are the Anti-Christ!!!!!