by Maria Savva
Being asked to choose five albums that shaped me is virtually impossible for me. I was recently asked to list ten all time favourite albums on Facebook, and that was hard enough. There are perhaps at least 100 albums that are my all time favourites and probably many more. However, I was thrilled to be invited to this awesome blog, so I will do my best to list five albums that have had a great influence on me as a music fan.
I was a teenager in the ‘80s, and at that time singles were more important to teenagers than albums in the UK. I think this probably led to me having such a diverse taste in music.
It was a very exciting time for music, although I may be biased as I was a teenager then! There was a lot of creativity; bands were trying different approaches to music. I followed the music charts – the Top 40 on “Top of The Pops” obsessively, and was able to tell you from week to week which single was at which number in the charts, how many places they had risen/fallen and which singles were new entries, etc. I also bought “Smash Hits” magazine every week.
In my early teens, I would say that pop music was most important to me. Bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Toyah, Eurythmics, The Human league, Culture Club… you get the picture. Anyway, if I had to pick an album to sum up that era for me, I’d probably go for Duran Duran’s “Rio”.
Around the same time, I was also developing a love for Motown and Soul music and also some Electro/hip hop. My favourites included Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson, and I was addicted to the show “Soul Train” that was on TV at the time.
If I had to pick an album that influenced my love for this type of music, I would choose Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. The great thing about that album is that it contains songs that are pop, soul, funk, rock; an eclectic mix that reflected my music tastes at the time.
In my late teens I developed a love for rock music, mainly because of bands like Bon Jovi. I think they were the first rock band I became hooked on, and they were also the first band I saw live in concert. After seeing them perform live, I began to seek out more live music. So I suppose I should pick Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” as my next album.
Getting hooked on Rock and discovering all the great bands popular at the time, including Thunder, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Whitesnake, Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cult, Rage Against The Machine, etc., led me to read magazines such as “Kerrang” and “Metal Hammer”, and this made me interested in finding out about other rock music from the past that influenced all my favourite musicians, leading to my love of blues/classic rock.
At the same time as my obsession with rock music was developing, I was also a big fan of indie/alternative/Grunge; bands such as Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Radiohead, R.E.M., The Verve, Pearl Jam, Nirvana. I think I’ll choose Pearl Jam’s “Ten” as the next album that shaped me. The passion that Eddie Vedder always put into live performances was something that I always appreciated.
My other favourite music is Heavy Metal and that was also something I discovered in my late teens. The first metal band I saw live was Anthrax. I am, therefore, going to pick “Among The Living” as the album that shaped my love for metal. Falling in love with Anthrax led to me discovering other bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth, etc.
As you can probably tell from the above, there are many more albums that have influenced and shaped my love for music over the years and I could probably write a novel-length feature about it.
(this is a more recent live version)