Tuesday, 3 March 2009

an autobiography in albums: the early years

After succumbing to facebook tagging and the irresistible lure of reminiscing over albums past I started compiling a list of the albums that had the most "profound effect" on my life. I'm not sure how these albums effected me exactly, other than contributing to some of the eccentricities in my musical tastes. But they do stand out in my memory - as albums - and bring to mind particular scenes, locations, people and moments of my life. 

So, here's my autobiography in albums, the early years: 
  1. The Beatles  - 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album): My older sisters owned this pair and played it a lot when I was very small. One of my earliest introductions to recorded music and I re-immersed myself in both records nearly a decade later when one of my closest friends was a huge Beatles fan. (They played Blondie, Martha and the Muffins, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and an array of 60s and 70s rock, but most of these I remember in terms of songs rather than albums.)
  2. Queen - The Game: I have vague memories of my sisters spinning this one at sleepovers and parties, again when I was just wee. "Another One Bites the Dust" was a particular favourite. This may have been the first Queen album I purchased for myself (used on vinyl at Dr. Disc?) when I renewed by love for the band early in highschool. Just in time to experience the decline and death of Freddie Mercury as it all went down.
  3. Dumb Ditties - a K-Tel compilation of pop music oddities from the 50s and 60s primarily. Another debt to my sisters. They used to sing and even act out some of the songs and taught me how to as well. I could still probably sing "Who put the bomp in the..." at a moment's notice. (but don't ask me)
  4. Neil Diamond - Jazz Singer soundtrack: This must've been one of the first movies I went to see in the theatre. This and a few other Neil Diamond offerings permeated my early childhood and provided a soundtrack to exercise time with my mother. (Abba made its way in there too).
  5. Police - Synchronicity: I think both my oldest sister and best friend's brother had this album and it played nearly continually (with a few breaks for Wham, perhaps?) during some early play sessions. Plus "Every Breath You Take" featured prominently in All My Children at the time, which my mom watched regularly.
  6. Heart - Heart: Between my one sister playing the record and hearing the hits on the radio (Q107?) I decided I had to have my own copy. I request the cassette version as a gift, eventually wore it out, and replaced it on cd. Even drenched in pop-hard-rock-schmalz the Wilson sisters kick ass.
  7. Genesis - Invisible Touch: Did I ask for this one after my Aussie cousin made me into a Genesis fan or before? Can't remember, but I requested and received this one for Christmas and promptly played/sang it to near death. Inspired me to get Phil Collins - No Jacket Required too, though I never liked it quite as much.
  8. Gowan - Strange Animal / This Great Dirty World: I can't remember which tape I bought first, but Gowan was one of the first music passions I picked up on my own. Which turned out to mean that Gowan also headlined my first 'rock' concert. The Spoons opened up.
  9. Def Leppard - Hysteria: I never owned this record, still don't, but my best friend at the time played it so much I have it imprinted on my brain. Love Bites, indeed. Along with Whitesnake and Bon Jovi (and some Van Halen and Twisted Sister nostalgia), Def Leppard solidified my 80s hard rock addiction.
  10. REM - Green: Some Junior Achievement project earned me a $10 A & A records gift certificate. I bought Green. And eventually, with some tape trading and back cataloguing, discovered there was more to REM than "Stand."
Up next...
The Decline of Western Civilization: My Metal Years.

1 comment:

Jon said...

"Hysteria" is a definite sight to see here.