Okay, I was tagged with this meme on Facebook but that is not how I roll so I am doing it here instead:
15 Albums That Changed My Life
Pink Floyd – The Wall (released December 1979)
Before my first official boyfriend introduced me to The Wall, I was listening to a lot of .. miscellaneous crap. It’s somewhat of a secret that I had a huge girl boner for Janet Jackson, and before my musical tastes (and vagina sorry, that was a little classless even for me) were widened, I didn’t really have any sense of musical identity. I listened to whatever the radio or TV told me was appropriate, and that was that. Listening to The Wall brought me in touch with my inherent teenage angst, opened my ears to an entirely new kind of music I hadn’t known existed, drove my father crazy, and was eventually the soundtrack to my lost virginity. If that isn’t life changing, I simply don’t know what is.
Green Day – 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours (July 1990)
In 1992 I had a dizzying crush on a boy named Colin. He was tall and pale and skinny and utterly out of my league. He also had excellent taste in music, and introduced a great many people to a number of bands that would probably make this list. He introduced me to Green Day, I immediately fell in love with the sound, and never really looked back. Fun Fact: We have three copies of this album in our living room (two CD and one cassette) and it still gets pulled out for road trips.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Mother’s Milk (August 1989)
The same boyfriend who gave me The Wall also started my life-long love of the Chili Peppers. My favourite album is probably Blood Sugar Sex Magic, but this was the one that started it all. Shirtless men with tattoos and long hair never looked as good to me before or since.
The Dresden Dolls – The Dresden Dolls (April 2004)
An online friend sent me Coin Operated Boy because he thought it was something I’d be into. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but repeated listening had me hunting down more Dresden Dolls tracks. I bought the album after finding and adoring Girl Anachronism (my two song rule – if I enjoy two songs from any one album, I will buy the CD), and even though it frightened Ed, the album quickly became a household favourite. The Dresden Dolls were like nothing I’d ever listened to before, and I love them passionately. So much good.
Various Artists – Survival of the Fattest (March 1996)
This one is all Ed. The Fat Wreck compilations are some of the finest punk albums out there, and each one could have made this list. My love of Rise Against, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Lagwagon, Strung Out, No Use For a Name, Hi-Standard, WIZO, etc can all be traced back to this album.
Sugar – Copper Blue (September 1992)
I think this one came from Matt. Hadn’t really listened to much indie rock before, but this album introduced me to a genre I hadn’t known existed.
Nirvana – Nevermind (September 1991)
My angst truly blossomed with this album – it got me through my breakup with the Pink Floyd/RHCP guy. I spent many, many angry hours in the computer lab at school listening to this album at ridiculous volumes, typing my teenage angst bullshit (sadly without a body count) into my diary (these are the posts that I am still to embarrassed to share, even though I have them all).
I have an extremely soft spot for Canadian indie Celtic folk, and this was the album that started it all. This album got me into Great Big Sea as well, but while I don’t listen to much GBS these days I will always love the Captain.
Soul Coughing – Ruby Vroom (September 1994)
Remember when Much Music used to play videos that weren’t mainstream? I swear it happened once or twice, because it’s how I got into Captain Tractor, Soul Coughing AND Me Mom & Morgentaler.
Various Artists – Jet Set Radio Soundtrack (November 2000)
My not-so-secret adoration of Japanese video game pop music stems completely from this game and its insidious music.
Original Broadway Cast – RENT (August 1996)
Looking back at all the albums I played over and over and over again, I kind of feel sorry for Brooks. Not that I regretted the music, but I know that Broadway show tunes aren’t necessarily everybody’s thing – and so deep was my love that I *made* it everybody’s thing, whether they wanted it or not.
Guns n’ Roses – Use Your Illusion I & II (September 1991)
Sometimes you just need it loud and filthy.
The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing (May 2008)
I know this album just came out, but it is fantastic and has made me realize that not everything I listen to has to be dark or angry or political or vegetarian. Sometimes, you just need things to be fun.
Bright happy French Canadian ska. What’s not to love?
Live – Mental Jewelry (December 1991)
I don’t remember how I came about this album, but it’s always been one I considered “mine” – I discovered it, I listened to it obsessively, I introduced other people to it. It broadened the scope of my angst – suddenly there was more to worry about than sex; I had *issues*. Deep ones. Existential ones. Pain lies on the riverside, indeed.
I actually had to put some thought into this meme, and it reminded me of things I haven’t listened to in a while. I think it’s time to rip some of my old CDs and cruise around town listening to my version of classical music.