Blaugust Winner

Blaugust Winner
Blaugust Winner 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Ten Most Favorite or Influential Albums

Music is a real passion of mine.  I do not play any instruments myself.  I do have a bass but have never learned to play it.  Just looks cool sitting in the corner here.  Music keeps me young really.  Going to live shows, the occasional festival.

Here is my belief about music:

One could argue modern medicine, or other technological advances sure.  In my mind, it's music though.  Hands down.  When a band or artist creates something and it connects with you; really touches your soul, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I put together a Spotify playlist.  The link to it is here Top Ten Albums.

This list is in no particular order.  Be sure though that each one has touched me in some way or another.  This is music that makes me FEEL.  It evokes emotion good or bad in some cases.

Here is the rundown:

Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
I'm not sure where it was I first heard the title track from this album, "Girlfriend".  When I saw the cover shot of Tuesday Weld I had to buy it.  For me the album runs across a range of emotions.  The opening notes of "Divine Intervention" gives the feel that something is beginning.  Something is about to happen.  It is the start.  The smoldering "Holy War" is also a highlight for me.

Boston - Boston (self titled)

Absolute classic.  Pretty much everyone knows this album.  A shame that legal issues had to derail this band.  I was lucky enough to catch them live before lead singer Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007.

Editors - The Back Room

This is a band none of you have heard of I'll wager.  Right now they are my favorite band on the planet.  The only band I have chased them around the country to see their shows.  San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philly.  Tom Smith's voice just resonates with me.  They have better albums, but this one is raw.  Not as finely tuned.  Rough edges can be nice.  In 2012 the lead guitarist left the band and the last  album was a whole different affair.  The Back Room was their debut.

Cold Cave - Cherish the Light Years

Cold Cave is really one guy.  Wes Eisold.  I met him in Atlanta following a show and he was one of the warmest, friendliest artists I've met.  He makes art.  I really love all the angst and suffering on this album covered up in the glossy sheen of poppy sounds.  I danced at that show until my clothes were completely wet with sweat.  Main tracks for me on this are "The Great Pan is Dead", "Underworld USA" and "Villians of the Moon".  Eisold use to front hardcore bands such as American Nightmare, Some Girls, and Give up the Ghost when he was younger.

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I (self titled debut)

Zeppelin made so much GREAT music, but this first album is probably my favorite.  In my opinion, this album is one that really helped build the bridge between blues and heavy rock.  Everything on here is fantastic.

Jolie Holland - The Living and the Dead

Jolie is another artist I was lucky enough to meet.  She is a storyteller and has a love for American classic folk music, as well as Sunny and the Sunsets...  Jolie is a unique voice.  Songs on here I adore are "Mexico City" and "Sweet Palmyra".  She was also in the band The Be Good Tanyas.

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

I discovered New Order before Joy Division.  Ian Curtis is absolutely on my list of people I want to meet either living or dead.  The lyrics on a lot of his music is just his soul painfully laid bare.  "New Dawn Fades" and "Shadowplay" are probably my favorites on here.  Ian hung himself on the eve of leaving to tour the US in 1980.  He was just 23.

New Order - Movement

This is the first NO album, really it is the third Joy Division album, but this didn't come together until after Ian Curtis' death.  The vast majority of the lyrics are Ian's.  Bernard and Hooky even try to sing like Ian on the record.  "Ceremony" is such a haunting song.  It is my favorite of the early NO tracks.

Iron Maiden - Powerslave

This band really kicked off my heavy metal phase, and this album was just amazing to me.  I saw them on this tour and I was hooked.  Metal used to be a big part of my musical life.  Still to this day I enjoy it from time to time.  Favorites on here are "Aces High" and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil

Don't laugh!  When this came out in 1983, it was my world.  I heard this album and it took me to another place.  They were the very first band I ever saw live even, opening for Ozzy.  I had NO idea what to make of these guys.  This glam metal look was so far removed from anything I'd seen growing up in Tennessee.  Vince Neil can't even sing and I love this stuff.  Noteworthy tracks for me are "Shout at the Devil", "Too Young to Fall in Love", and "Ten Seconds to Love".  Just listening to this you can smell booze and sex.  It's just a dirty dirty album.

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