25 most influential albums in my life*

Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 25 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. 


…in autobiographical order.

madonna “cherish”
i am proud that this tape(!) was my first favorite album. however ‘the immaculate collection’ deserves a shout out.

depeche mode “101” 
i hated this album when i was young and my sister played it over…. and over…. and over… and over…. but i also remember her saying “trust me – one day you’ll get it.” and she was right.

wayne’s world soundtrack
this isn’t a particularly amazing soundtrack or anything, but it IS the first cd i ever bought, so i feel like that’s sorta significant. and it introduced me to queen, so i mean, that’s cool.

counting crows “august and everything after”
still really good, still reminds me of the summer i got it.

pearl jam “vs.”
i was all into “ten” and was like, “ohmygod i love pearl jam and eddie vedder is SO HOT!”. but vs. was different… and “elderly women behind the counter in a small town” is still the only song i could listen to endlessly on repeat.

veruca salt “american thighs”
i still listen to this album on a regular basis and i love it. a completely overlooked ’90’s gem.

belly “star”
i had a big girl crush on tanya donelly. i thought she was a genius…. i still think she might have been.

liz phair “exile in guyville”
so at this point liz phair came along (actually whip smart was the first album i got by her, and it is also fantastic) and she seemed to fill some void that no other artist ever had. that album was just PERFECT, and shocking, and it scared me but it comforted me too. i think this might be my all time favorite album, in fact.

smashing pumpkins “siamese dream”
i spent the latter part of jr. high and most of high school obsessing over billy corgan’s lyrics. but even when they were my favorite band, they were still THE WORST LIVE BAND I’VE EVER SEEN.

dave matthews band “under the table and dreaming”
ok – let me explain this. this was before dave matthews evolved into the biggest douche bag ever, and before they had all those fucking annoying drum circle fans. and i really loved this album, particularly the last song, which was so heart breaking and haunting. anyway…. yeah. dave matthews. 

the cure, basically everything
high school = cure. incidentally, “show” is probably my favorite cure album, which is weird, cuz it’s a live album. however the live version of “a night like this” (sans saxophone) is so much better. because it’s sans saxophone. what was up with the ’80’s and fucking saxophones? sorry, i happen to be watching st. elmo’s fire. rob lowe WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

beastie boys “pauls boutique”
i had never ever liked any music even remotely like the beastie boys, so this was big and therefore a significant album in my life. 

rancid “….and out come the wolves”
i discovered punk. or rather “punk”, and thus began a transformation in both identity and musical taste.

the smiths “best of the smiths”
totally not the best smiths album (not even a real album), but i think for most people around my age this was their intro to the almighty morrissey. one of my all time favorite bands, surpassing the cure (the other ’80’s brit pop heavy hitter) long, long ago. sorry robert smith, but you’re just no moz. 

death cab for cutie “we have the facts and we’re voting yes”
first death cab album i heard, significant because they have been a consistent top 5 band of mine ever since. 

pulp “different class”
wins over “this is hardcore” by a nose, probably because of the “common people”/”disco 2000” duo. and i mean – JARVIS. enough said.

saves the day “through being cool”
i. love. this. ALBUM. still so good when you are driving alone and wanna get happy and belt something out…. totally defines a period in my life.

rilo kiley “take offs and landings” 
i was at my friend’s sister’s barbeque right before this album came out and jenny lewis was there. what’s funny is i had already ordered it from barsuk and when i saw her (and blake senett) and i was like, “i think they are in that band rilo kiley.” cut to a million years later…. i still wish i had said something =(

bright eyes “fevers and mirrors”
i was big into the saddle creek thing. and i still love bright eyes. 

whiskeytown “pneumonia” 
i think this album permanently altered my taste in music. in a good way.

modest mouse “the moon and antarctica” 
it was like nothing i had ever heard, so raw at some points and so beautiful at others. and isaac brock’s lyrics are some of the all time best.

old canes “early morning hymns”
one of the most beautiful, saddest, incredible albums i have ever heard. an all-time fave.

rocky votolato “suicide medicine”
oh man. there are few albums i have been into as much i was into this one. i never understood why the whole world didn’t discover and love this album.

magnetic fields “69 love songs”
get it? get it?? anyway. i wish stephen merchant would run a “how to write perfect pop songs” workshop. “love is like a bottle of gin…. but a bottle of gin is not like love”.

okkervil river “black sheep boy”
the album that introduced me to what is the latest addition to my “all-time favorites” list. and will sheff is no dave matthews – this band is a lifer. most amazing lyrics i have ever heard, period. LISTEN TO THEM!!!!

man i just KNOW i am missing something KEY. something in between rocky and magnetic fields… i may have to amend this. but anyway, there you have it…. for now =)

*this was for one of those chain things they do on facebook, where you write a note and tag people, then they have to do it…. and so on. anyway i am never able to resist the opportunity to impose my musical opinions on others…. but at least i admit that??….