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The 15 Albums That Changed My Life

By February 18, 2009March 30th, 2014No Comments

This was originally posted as a note my Facebook…inspired by a meme brought to my attention by Al Yukna.  It was alot of fun…and thought that it deserved archiving here as well.

I’m putting them in order of “when I first discovered them” because “life context” is important.

01) Michael Jackson – Thriller
The coolest thing that a third grader had ever heard. It was ubiquitous.

02) Prince – Purple Rain
Manuel Sampedro’s sister took him and I to see it at the Strand Theater in Dundalk…and we were only eleven (that shit was rated R). I was physically moved (pun intended) by Apollonia…and Prince’s music. Later, I discovered how truly remarkable a musician he is.

03) Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys
Eighth grade – the combination of beats, the three different voices, and the sexual innuendo were enough to keep that tape in my knock-off Walkman at all times.

04) Follow the Leader – Eric B. and Rakim
Freshman year. Ryan Heidel. Learning to wrestle. Black Russell hoodie. Sup. THIS is hip-hop.

05) The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Summer before Sophomore Year. PT Flaggs. Tony Pegas. Black and white-clad lunacy ensures.

06) Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
The “Thriller” of its genre. They sold out the frickin’ Rose Bowl and put out a live double album.

07) Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Got to Calvert Hall. Toned down the black cladness…but still brought the two-step. They didn’t have Pink Floyd in my house growing up. Learned to play guitar in order to play “Wish You Were Here”. Thank fucking God for that song. I still play my guitar virtually every day.

08) Dave Matthews Band – Remember Two Things
This would be number one. Without it, I wouldn’t have given a fuck about the internet. Could you imagine me if I would have stayed in graduate school? Oh no. I owe this album everything. I named my frickin’ first born after it. That shit is devotion, man.

09) Sasha + John Digweed – Northern Exposure Vol 2
This album was an escape when I was miserable in graduate school. I would come home, go up in the spare room in Canton, crank this, and dance in my chair while designing and building websites on the side. This album literally made my engagement happen. And we even saw Digweed in Ibiza. Insane.

10) Thievery Corporation – Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi
Mike B spinning “The Blue One” and “The Red One” provided the soundtrack to my life in the years after college. Adam, Leon, Chip. Music was a part of everything that we did. And it was pretty cool when I walked into Gr8 for the “I’m still in grad school…but I’m looking to get out” interview, this album was playing. It was either fate…or I was seduced by the devil.

11) Cafe Del Mar – Volumen Cinco
Bought it at a record shop in Ibiza on the recommendation of the dood in the shop. Perfect record for what it is and represents. Madonna named it her favorite album of ’98. Nik and I share the love for this album. It’s “ours” if you will.

12) Nuyorican Soul – Nuyorican Soul
The world’s best house producers collaborate with the world’s best jazz and latin musicians to create the magnus opus of house music. I am still a firm believer in latin and deep house. That shit is spiritual. Body and Soul in Central Park. That actually happened.

13) John Mayer – Inside Wants Out
Acoustic guitar has been a constant in my life since “Wish You Were Here”. This dood breathes new life into the instrument. Dave Matthews’ playing gave me a similar reaction…”what the fuck is he playing? i gotta learn that!”

14) Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
Didn’t discover the whole album until I really understood music. It may be one of the best pieces ever written (and performed). Truly a work of musical genius.

15) Doves – The Last Broadcast
Hadn’t gotten excited about a new band in a long, long time when I heard this. It blew me away. Three doods did this? Sulfur Man, literally, could be my favorite song of all times. That is not a lie.

Hope the descriptions weren’t too self-indulgent…but I really enjoyed doing this

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