As a kid of the 70’s I was immersed in FM progressive, glam and pop rock. My parents were playing Beatles and Elton 8-tracks in the car, my older aunts, uncles and cousins we playing Queen, Stones, Bowie, and Zep and my older brother was bringing home Master or Reality and Van Halen 1 on vinyl. Here is my list of records the shaped my life:
1) Elton John: Tumble Weed Connection (1970)
My 1st favorite band was the Elton John Band and my parents took me to see the Yellow Brick Road tour when I was 5. YBR is a great double album but I think “Tumble Weed Connection” is the record that starts to shapes my thinking. There is a haunting sound to the southern civil war themed tunes on that record. The civil rights era was still a part of everyone’s psyche at the time and they. Bernie Taupin/the lyricist and Elton who wrote the melodies. used the melodies and stories of a war that almost ripped apart our country to get the listener thinking about what was going on in the US during the 60’s and 70’s.
2) Cheap Trick: In Color (1977)
After I heard “I Want You to Want Me” on the radio, I went and spent about $20 in quarters trying to win their record at an arcade at the Jersey Shore (it was actually the Brigantine Castle pier but I don’t expect too many people to get that reference… once I had won it, I took it home and cued up the tune and…huge let down! That was the day I learned the difference between studio versions and live versions. I later wore out “Live at Budakan” but “In Color” is the one I always go back to.
3) Superchunk: No Pocky for Kitty (1991)
It’s 1991, I’m 22 and I am sick of rock and roll. I don’t realize at the time that I am actually just sick of Corporate Rock and there is a whole world of Indie Rock that I don’t know about. I meet and a girl named Sophy and she has a killer recorded collection. She plays me “No Pocky for Kitty” and it rocks so much harder than the hair metal and early grunge being played on the radio.
My advice to anyone who is unhappy with their life…meet a girl with a better record collection than you and marry her! Worked for me!
4) Slade: Slayed? (1972)
This record skips when you listen to it. I don’t know why. I bought it many times and it always skips no matter how clean the copy is. Oh, and your feet start to hurt after the fist side. Books and plates fall off shelves, neighbors complain, pets retreat to the basement. I haven’t figured it out yet. Great record though!
5) Manowar: Louder Than Hell (1996)
These guys are gods! I mean like actual Greek gods that are still roaming the earth. They must be the offspring of the Titans that ruled the earth before the gods of Olympus sliced Kronos to bits and banished him to Tartarus. I see no other explanation because the fire in this record is scorching! The mind it took to write these lyrics; the amount of practicing it took to play these leads..I can’t even begin to comprehend. The stuff on this record is like rare earth metal, or like a 4.5 billion year old meteorite that finds its way to the surface of the earth. I will leave you with a bit of rare earth Metal:
“STRIKE! While the iron is hot! Steel is strongest, so say we all! And…if we all…we’re not brothers of metal, would we fall? NO!