List: Nine albums which have influenced me

OK, so I’ve been nominated to compile my most influential albums, the LPs which have helped shaped my musical habits today. The albums which have led to me becoming the kind of prat that buys Gigolo Aunts albums for 6p off eBay in case they were wrongly written off as one hit wonders 20 years ago.

They probably weren’t, but I’m still excited to check.

Anyway, before I begin, I’d like to just point out that this isn’t a list of my favourite albums, far from it. It’s a list of albums which in all likelihood led me to them, sure, but the favourites are a whole different list nonetheless.

I’m attempting to put them in chronological order, not of their release, but of when they impacted on my life…

MICHAEL JACKSON – BAD

My first album collection was in fact a small collection of cassette tapes, which I proudly used to play to myself on a brown portable Fisher Price cassette deck, the ones with big chunky buttons for kid fingers. I had a home recorded soundtrack from the Turtles movies, and then the complete discography of Michael Jackson, as well as a best of the Jackson 5. I played them all to death, but Bad was without a doubt my Jacko of choice.

PINK FLOYD – DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

My pops had a great vinyl collection when I was growing up, full of gems – The White Album, the Best of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Kenny Everett’s World’s Worst Record Show – but I always had to ask to have them put on for me, and then it’d be sit and listen. I think this early listening habit was a real influence on my appreciation for the long player today, and Dark Side of the Moon was one of my favourites then and still is.

THE LEVELLERS – LEVELLING THE LAND

As I grew up, due to my parents’ unquenchable addiction to morris dancing, I ended up exposed to a LOT of folk music. I still listen to a lot of it, but The Levellers just seemed to release this just at the right time, at a sort of musical coming of age for me discovering loads of bands for myself for the first time. And this felt familiar, yet my own. I wore out my walkman with it.

RADIOHEAD – THE BENDS

Another walkman classic for me, I’ve plucked this one for it’s duel connotations for me. It came out amongst the slew of Britpop bands I loved and still love today, so it kinda represents Blur, Kula Shaker, The Bluetones etc as far as this list is concerned anyway, and it also is the sound of a band I still play more than most nowadays finding its feet.

MARILYN MANSON – ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR

As I began to grow and I acquired a taste for more than pop and then Britpop music, I discovered harder music, like Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, and also Nine Inch Nails. For me Trent Reznor is one of the all time greats but an artist totally bypassed in the mainstream. His work looms over a lot of my listening tastes today. But I wouldn’t have found it and a lot of my other more metal tastes without absolutely caning Marilyn Manson, this album in particular, for a year or two.

JURASSIC 5 – JURASSIC 5

Again, this was a gateway album for me – although I’m more likely to give this one a spin than Antichrist Superstar nowadays. It was my first hip hop love. Just so so cool.

DJ SHADOW – THE PRIVATE PRESS

Yeah, Endtroducing… was probably the one that most people would cite, and I certainly had that first, but Shadow nailed it here for me. It’s probably the album I’ve heard the most times in my life, and it still reminds me of cool times with cool bros.

TOM VEK – WE HAVE SOUND

I love Tom Vek’s music. I’ve seen him live loads, and each of his albums have been played to death by me. We Have Sound in particular, as well as being a totally flawless album, also resonates with a particular time in my life. So it’s in.

BONOBO – BLACK SANDS

This album is one of my all time favourites, pure bliss. It also came out at a time when I was blasting threugh loads of music of all sorts, doing reviews for my blog, and perhaps not always enjoying my listening. This was perhaps pushing me to music faster or louder every time. This album just reminds me to relax, to enjoy the moment and not worry. I thoroughly recommend it.

Wow, that was cathartic.

Notable mentions – Biffy Clyro – The Vertigo of Bliss, Steely Dan – Reelin’ In The Years, G Love & Special Sauce – Philelphonic. Idlewild – 100 Broken Windows, Chemical Brothers – Surrender, Isis – Wavering Radient, Sticky Green Trees – Sticky Green Trees, Mars Volta – De-Loused In The Comatorium, Pig’s Whisper – Bringing Home The Bacon.

If anyone fancies putting themselves through the mill and doing a list, I’d love to see it. Send me a link!

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