What were you listening to when you were 5? 10? 15? 20? 25? 30? 35? 40? 45? 50? I asked myself this question the other day ’cause I was bored and needed something to post today, and it was kind of enlightening, and taxing, to say the least. Heck, I can barely remember what happened yesterday much less what happened 40 years ago. But after a little time things started coming into view. A lot of memories of listening to CW MC Call’s song Convoy on my parents stereo, my father playing John Phillip Sousa and Johnny Cash, my sister and her Beach Boys obsession. But the albums and bands that shaped and molded me into the music geek I am today are below. Of course there were and are so much more than I have listed below these are the ones that stood out for me as I took a trip in the way back machine. If you have time, try this yourself. It’s pretty fun and more than a little enlightening.
AGE 5: Oh, probably THE MONKEES first album. It was either that, or the Beatles “Red” compilation. I’m not sure of the age, I was very young, but I vividly remember being in my cousins basement and being blown away by Love Me Do.
AGE 10: ELTON JOHN: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY: Again, I have a very vivid memory of seeing and hearing this record for the first time. I’m in another cousin’s room, he’s not there, and I stumble across this record, which just has the most disturbing, erotic and downright weird cover art imaginable. The music isn’t so weird, of course, but it still sounds fantastic. I still play Elton’s music to this day, albeit not too often and definitely nothing after this, which came out in 1975.
AGE 15: THE THE (Soul Mining), NEW ORDER (Power, Corruption and Lies), GANG OF FOUR (Entertainment), THE CLASH (London Calling): The floodgates open! My ears are introduced to the strange new sounds of punk, post punk and new wave. All my beloved ‘70’s bands seemed irrelevant and ancient. I can pinpoint this period in my life as the beginning of my total immersion and total obsession into pop music. A wonderfully fruitful period to be alive.
AGE 20: PRIMAL SCREAM (Screamadelica), POP WILL EAT ITSELF (Cure For Sanity): The college year. Notice that’s not plural. I partied a little too much, and got a full time job at a newspaper and have been doing it now for well over 20 years. I got into alternative dance music in a big way, and was introduced to some fantastic bands through my buddy Dave. James Brown, Funkadelic, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Happy Mondays, etc, but the two big ones for me were Primal Scream and Pop Will Eat Itself. These were bands that blended psychedelic rock with house music and provided the soundtrack to my life back then. Still do, actually.
AGE 25: BOO RADLEYS, GIANT STEPS: Nothing, and mean nothing, has affected the way I listen to music more than this album. It is a sprawling, psychedelic masterpiece blending the Beatles, The Beach Boys, dub and My Bloody Valentine. I talk about it all the time and it remains my absolute favorite album of all time. Period.
AGE 35: Married, have a 2 year old kid, not too much time or money to be buying records. This lasted 3 years, then I started to rebuild and rediscover by visiting the bargain bins at the plethora (then) of used record stores. At age 38 I rediscovered the joys of record buying again. In 2005-2006 I discovered so many great albums and bands it was sick. My Morning Jacket’s Z, Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born, Mercury Rev’s Deserter’s Songs, The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Nick Lowe’s Jesus Of Cool…just so many. Rediscovering things I missed and all the newer, brilliant stuff that was coming out around that time. It was my 1967! Heck, I even started this blog!
AGE 40: Longtime friend and ornery commenter Phil Fountain introduced me to the many obscurities of 1960’s music at this point. John Prine (Bruised Orange), Bob Dylan (John Wesley Harding), The Zombies (Odyssey and Oravcle), Love (Forever Changes), 13th Floor Elevators (Psychedelic Sounds of), are all mainstays of my collection now.
AGE 44: Now! Django Django: A couple of years where I thought everything was shit and then back to devouring every thing I can: music magazines, biographies, new bands/old bands, just everything. I’m an addict again, and damn proud of it!