Ten Albums Which Changed My Life (or at least my perception of music)
Buddy Holly – Greatest hits
This changed my life. My parents took me to see Buddy Holly the Musical when I was about 12. Before that, I’d had no real interest in music other than the odd song here and there. Hearing these rock n’ roll songs for the first time was a revelation – I’d no idea something could be this much fun. I got this for my birthday a few months later and that was it – hooked on music for life.
The Beatles – 1962-1966 ‘Red’ album
I discovered this via my parents’ record collection. The first song I loved was ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and the next was ‘Nowhere Man.’ From then, age 14 until 18, I was a Beatles fanatic. Appreciating them opened up a lot of doors.
The Doors – Movie soundtrack
I borrowed and taped this from a friend at sixth-form. It was the first non-Beatles music I’d heard which really pushed the boundaries of what you could do with rock. Except at the time I didn’t think of it like that, I just loved the sounds and the atmospheres. The instrumental from ‘Light My Fire’ caught my imagination – and of course, ‘The End.’
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
The first thing I discovered off my own bat having read one of those ‘greatest albums ever’ lists magazines are so fond of doing. I first heard this just after leaving sixth-form and associate it with the heady pre-university days of 1999. It blew me away on first listen and has stayed with me ever since. I consider it an old friend and it’s got me through some tough times.
Led Zeppelin – Remastered (‘Communication Breakdown’)
I took ages getting into Zeppelin but this one grabbed me from the start It sounded so heavy and aggressive – like an engine starting up. My parents didn’t like it, so that was good enough for me.
Nirvana – Nevermind
This was my big discovery of the first term of university – again, borrowed from a friend. Everything about it intrigued me especially the swimming pool cover. And the songs were so raw – but accessible, too. Just what you need when you’re 18 and feeling confused about who you are.
Beethoven – Ninth Symphony (‘Prism’)
This got me into classical which I’d hitherto despised. I bought it on a whim having read ‘A Clockwork Orange’ as the anti-hero Alex loves it. It was the start of my discovery of classical.
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
Up until then I’d only been a casual Dylan fan and only owned one or two best-ofs. But this threw new light on the whole thing and opened me up to the rest of it. One of the greatest records ever made.
Johnny Cash – Live at San Quentin
Simply because a) It was the first live album I loved (having been dismissive of them in the past) and b) It brought the great Mr Cash into my life.
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
My first jazz album as a neophyte. The same journey millions of others have taken, but hey, this isn’t meant to be original, right?