Monday, July 24, 2006

Changed, or possibly damaged

Play it: 10 Albums that changed my life

Andrew Careaga over at bloggedy blog is celebrating having 100,000 visitors at his blog by compiling his list of the top 100 albums that has changed his life. He's counting them down ten at a time and not just simply listing his faves, as bad albums can have an affect as well (as he points out with his early selection of Hotel California by The Eagles.)

While he's doing this, he's invited several frequenters of his blog to submit their own, and I've done just that.

10 albums that changed my life (a perspective from growing up in the tiniest of towns w/o an older sibling.)

1. Bootsy Collins - Bootsy? Player of the Year/This Boot is Made for Fonk-N
Won these albums at the fair one year as an 11-year old. The former had cutout star-sunglasses in the album sleeve, while the latter had an 'unfinished' comic book, making it fairly easy to get into for an 11-year old (and once in, mind fully blown.) To this day, I still have trouble distinguishing the two... they're the same album to me.
Live video of "Bootzilla" from 1978

2. Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
This album is responsible for turning me from a music buyer, to a music gorger. Saw them live every single time they came to Seattle (except once when they came twice w/in three months one year.) No such thing as a casual Robert Pollard fan.
Video for "I Am a Scientist"

3. Nick Drake - Pink Moon (Fruit Tree Box Set)
After my band went on hiatus back in '95, I would lock myself in my room for days at a time and pour through Drake's catalogue, finding reasons to carry on playing (and living.) One would think depressing songs make you more depressed, but I've never found that to be true.
VW Cabriolet commercial featuring "Pink Moon"

4. Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City
Had a neighbor who had these on vinyl, but wasn't until later when The Posies covered "Feel" and "I Am the Cosmos" that I got this 2-on-1 CD and helped me realize why I liked The Posies and The Replacements so much.
Video of Big Star performing "When My Baby's Beside Me" (05/21/2006) featuring Ken and Jon of the Posies.

5. Prince - Dirty Mind
What's a youngster to do after finding Bootsy? Hearing "I Wanna Be Your Lover" on a K-Tel compilation led me to buy this follow-up album, which was a revelation musically and helped bring forth (along with Showtime on cable) a sexually awakening of sorts. Led to me buying everything from the Purple one and his entourage, that is until Lovesexy... couldn't be seen buying something that album cover.
Great video of Prince performing "Head" on the Dirty Mind Tour, 1980.

6. INXS - Shabooh Shoobah
Bookend tracks "The One Thing" and "Don't Change" still have to be two of the most played tracks of my early teens. Asked for a keyboard for my birthday and learned to play nearly every song on the album. High on this list due to the later discovery of a video tape in my dad's posession featuring my mother stripping to "The One Thing." Hearing that song now brings back the oddest mix of memories (he says shaking head in wonder.) Here's "The One Thing" music video which I'm watching to help wash my memory - still dig the pomegranate imagery. And "Don't Change" video as well.

7. Kenny Rogers - Ten Years of Gold
On 8-track... growing up in a small town in a family that listened to Country, Bluegrass and Big Band exclusively, you had to grab hold of anything you could, and this was the one album in my father's collection that I found myself listening to. Rogers re-recorded several tracks from this First Edition days for it, and those were the ones that stuck with me, specifically the song "Just Checked In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," which opened my ears to more interesting things.
Groovy video for "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"

8. Tom Waits - Nighthawks at the Diner
Ahh... my beat phase in college - Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and listening to Tom Waits. Can't imagining owning just one Waits album, but this one is one I still recommend. Still find myself quoting lyrics from this when I'm in a stereotypical diner, like "the coffee was just too weak to defend itself..."
Video of Waits doing "Nighthawks at the Diner" acappella

9. Steely Dan - Katie Lied
Late high school through college I was a Dan Fan. As someone playing Jazz saxaphone, listening to rock, and reading a lot of literature at the time, Steely Dan was a perfect fit. Once again led to owning every album.
Video of the Dan performing "Black Friday" live

10. Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Ok... I liked to dance a lot in High School (insert amateur break-dancer confessional here,) but it wasn't until I heard "Burning Down the House" that I found my own style of wreckless abandon. David Byrne spoke directly to my inner geek-freak, which I found easier to let fly with Talking Heads playing.
Classic "Burning Down the House" video

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drake leLane said...

10 Albums that changed my life

* "Bootzilla" - Bootsy Collins
* "Tractor Rape Chain" - Guided By Voices
* "Pink Moon" - Nick Drake
* "When My Baby's Beside Me" - Big Star
* "Partyup" - Prince
* "The One Thing (LP Version)" - INXS
* "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" - Kenny Rogers & The First...
* "Eggs And Sausage (In A Cadillac With Susan Michelson)" - Tom Waits
* "Doctor Wu" - Steely Dan
* "Burning Down The House" - Talking Heads

Andrew said...

Interesting list. Eclectic influences. I remember that Kenny Rogers/First Edition album, and that song "Just Dropped In" was (at the time) pretty controversial. Speaking in Tongues is a classic.

I'll link to this and a bunch of other top 10s later today and/or tomorrow.

AC @ bloggedy blog

drake leLane said...

Thanks for the kind comment... like your list so far, it's certainly not a reflection of 'favorites' but a couple would make the list, I'm sure.

And thanks for inviting me to participate... it's been a fun exercise, and I look forward to seeing the rest of your list.

Robert 0f The Radish said...

All of your picks, although they did not make my own list (@ yahoo Radish), have had huge impacts on my life as well, with the exception of the Kenny Rogers and Bootsy Collins. The video for "Don't Change" made me want to be a rock star at the time, but when I see it today they look like kids in their parents garage!
Still a great song and album. And The Swing was underrated.
Your selection make for a fine playlist as well.

Courtney said...

Very cool list. LOVE the bootsy pick.

drake leLane said...

Yes, The Swing was underrated! "I Send a Message" just popped up in another playlist I was making last night (Miami Vice - Season 1) and I had to go back and listen to the whole album again ;)

You know it's weird... if I were to make the list today, it would be so much different (I'd add Os Mutantes and couple others) but Shabooh Shoobah would remain for sure (if for no other reason then seeing my mother strip to "The One Thing.")

Oh, and Bootsy stays ("Yabbadabbadooozabubba!")