10 (or so) Life-Changing Albums

There’s a fad going around Facebook, as social media fads are known to do. This one asks us to list, one day at a time, the top ten albums that changed our lives.

Naturally, a couple of my Facebook followers asked me to create a list. I knew, however, it was highly improbable I would remember to add to the list on a daily basis. I have to many figurative plates spinning these days.

I did, however, agree to write a single post containing all the records in question. Now seems like as good a time as any.

Part of the game is to say nothing about the albums in question and simply post the cover. I’m not fond of that. I’m big on the “why” in music, as much as I appreciate the “what.” So I will offer a single sentence about each album. Two, tops.

I’ve also allowed myself to name more than one album by an artist a couple of times. Hey … my blog, my rules.

And without further ado (and in no particular order) …

1. Stevie Wonder, Innervisions and Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On: Two albums that truly put the “soul” into Soul music.

2. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue and Star People: My favorite albums from a music icon. He taught me both what jazz is and what it can be.

3. Genesis, Seconds Out: Established my love for live music.

4. King Crimson, Discipline: Changed forever the way I saw music forever.

5. Frank Zappa, One Size Fits All: The pinnacle of musicianship in small rock band form.

6. Beach Boys, Pet Sounds: Everything you need to know about writing pop music in one album

7. XTC, Skylarking: Cynicism raised to the highest possible artistic level. Plus, “Dear God.”

8. Soundgarden, Superunknown: Pound for Pound, THE album of the Grunge era, as far as I’m concerned.

9. Aimee Mann, Bachelor No. 2: Misery, dysfunction, and pathos put perfectly to music.

10. Steven Wilson, The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories): The sum of one man’s influences combined with immense creativity, with a layer of heartbreak. Simply PERFECT.

Of course, this list could be completely different by this time next week. That’s the beauty of music: if offers you plenty of opportunities to change your mind!

What’s on your list?


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  1. This may say more about me than it does about music or the arts in general. But I could easily name my ten favorite albums, not so sure if I could call any of them life-changing. I’d have to think about that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sure. Understood. But for me just don’t know if any were life-changing. Maybe a small handful in that they impacted something I did like playing guitar. But as to life-changing (marriage, moving somewhere, having kids, going to school), no. Not in any conscious way anyhow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In sort-of order of appearance in my life… these are life-changers- not favorites.

    1) Nine Beethoven Symphonies – NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini conducting.

    2 Rite Of Spring- Igor Stravinsky

    3 Meet The Beatles.

    4 A Love Supreme – Coltrane

    5 Inner Mounting Flame – Mahavishnu Orchestra

    6 Stand Up- Jethro Tull

    7 Happy Jack/ A Quick One – The Who

    8 Islands – King Crimson

    9 John Barleycorn Must Die – Traffic

    10 Maggot Brain – Funkadelic

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One Size Fits All — Good one, dude. “My Sofa” is incredibly soulful and will inevitably stand hairs on end. Skylarking is wonderous as well, though I’m not sure if I feel next-level cynicism from it. Also tasty is Bachelor, Pet Sounds and Innervisions. Nice list.

    Liked by 1 person

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