Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Things I Think | Dan's Top Albums

"10 of my all time favorite albums, in no particular order. Albums that really made an impact and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then. Post the cover, no need to explain."

That was the task. Thanks to a Facebook tag I joined in on the fun. I've really enjoyed reading people's lists. I opted just to post and not tag anyone, for fear of rejection primarily but also... you're welcome.

You could read this so many ways, so I want to start out by telling you how I chose and what part resonated with me. "Albums that really made an impact" was the key for me. So before you jump on me for including Silverchair in a top 10 albums list, please remember that it's one of a hell of a long list. I'll do a proper top 10 at some point as I did with the top ten songs here.

Here in this edition of TITs, I'm going to give a little background on what made that album so important to me.

So, it's day 10 and those following from FB are wondering what the last album in the list will be I assume. Or you saw the preview image so you already know, but without further delay:

Nirvana - Nevermind

This album came out when I was 12/13, so I wasn't ready for it just yet. But a couple years later as I went into High School I was all over it. This sound was unlike anything I'd known before, and it was so raw. I, like so many, remember seeing the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and just feeling that energy, and the way it made me feel was something I couldn't really put my finger on. I still feel that when I listen to it today.





Silverchair - Frogstomp

In 1995 a kid my age, also named Daniel, on the other side of the world wrote a song with his friends and entered a contest that secured them a number one hit in Australia. "Tomorrow"  ROCKS. I was so impressed that it was possible, this album really hit home to me that anything is possible. I learned it all in my early days of playing guitar.

Pearl Jam - Ten

A masterpiece that would be in my actual top ten greatest albums ever made list if this was that. Grunge, alternative, whatever you want to label it is a theme among this list. My formative years were in High School musically. What I listen to today is primarily made up of what came out in the nineties. I remember (poorly) playing "Black" at a talent show with my friends and band. Heavy song for teenagers! Pearl Jam remains one of only 4-5 bands that are must buy for me when they release new music or tour.

Alice in Chains - MTV Unplugged

Kids these days will never know the joy of MTV Unplugged. Pearl Jam, Clapton, STP, SRV, and many more were some of the most incredible offerings on this station when it was actually about music. Alice In Chains is at their absolute peak when stripped down. The way that Layne and Jerry harmonize has never been replicated IMO, and it's a damn shame Layne's life fell to drugs because the music Jerry has continued to make is all great but that haunting voice of Layne is dearly missed. I realized how kick ass an acoustic guitar could sound when played well on this one. Still in heavy rotation today, and always will be. I prefer this album to any studio AIC.

Tool - Aenima

I clearly remember flipping through the CD jacket trying to understand what I was looking at, there was so much thought put into the artwork. It's no surprise Tool continue to be a musical enigma as we wait another 10,000 days for their next record. This album kicks in with Stinkfist like nothing I've ever experienced and takes you on a journey from start to finish. Clearly thought out, nothing out of place. No track left behind. Everything with a purpose. This was my discovery of Maynard, and I've been a fan of all his projects every since. I actually think Lateralus is a better album than this one but Aenima was more important in my discovery of all things MJK.

Sevendust - Home

I was in High School the first time I heard Sevendust. My friend Cullen showed me their debut CD and I was like WHOA I don't get this at all, I'll pass. I wasn't ready. In fact, the first time I owned this album I sold it to Pure Pop thinking it wasn't for me. Fast forward to a couple months later, and in the midst of a crazy time in life it suddenly clicked. I caught them live twice in short time, and was HOOKED. There isn't a better live band out there, I promise. They still own the stage 20 years later. I've seen them 20 or so times and it never gets old. They never made a big radio splash, so they still live life much like most of us. They are great dudes, and this album is a crusher. Turn it up to 11 and throw yourself into a wall kinda music. This is the album that got me through all sorts of darkness in my life, it's always my outlet. 7D is like my therapy.  Their music has saved me, I honestly don't know what I would have done without it.

Green Day - Dookie

One of my very first compact discs, I got this from my friend Courtney in 8th grade? Maybe 7th I can't recall but it was all over the radio and my first exposure to "punk." I loved how fast and quick the songs were. Fun, poppy, and full of ridiculousness. I wore this one out and have bought it a few times before digital came into life. Woodstock 94 was a big deal for me, and this was one of the bands I recall most vividly. It was muddy!

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

Trent Reznor and NIN quickly became a favorite of mine like many when we heard "Closer" or saw it on MTV,. Those controversial lyrics and my teenage brain were a match made in hell. I've been following Trent's work ever since. This album has been many things to me over the years, but it remains a go-to. It's brilliant from start to finish, and lyrically is some of the most powerful, disturbing, and sexual stuff I've ever heard even today. I'll buy anything Trent does, it rarely disappoints.

Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

Continuing in the theme of music from High School, this album is still often played at home. They have never come close to matching the brilliance of this in my eyes. My friend Chris had a band that often covered the pumpkins and that was some of my early exposure to it. The sound of Billy Corgan's and James Iha's guitars on this album are so rad. The tone is one of my favorites, I've never been able to recreate it as I'd like to but I've sure tried. Full of hits as it is, my favorite track is "Mayonaise" and you should check it out in the spotify playlist linked below.

Metallica - Metallica (The Black Album)

Haters gonna hate, but this album is fucking magical. I've yet to find a record that sounds as good, it's masterfully produced (maybe even overso) and I've heard it so many times, often I hear new things or nuance depending on volume, location etc.. June 10, 1994 will be the day for me that will always be the most important time in my musical life when Metallica came to my hometown of little Essex Junction, Vermont and TORE IT APART. From then on, I was changed. I've never looked back. I don't know when I first owned this album, or the order in which I progressed through their catalog but despite it's popularity or when "they sold out, man" it remains a regular listen for me among their catalog. For many fans this was the end for them, but for me and many it was just the beginning. I have bought this in various formats probably ten times. The riffs are still some of the best I've ever heard, and fun as hell to play. I never got good enough to solo like Kirk but Metallica have been a very important band to me throughout my life. I suspect, at 38 years old they always will be.
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So there you have it, ten of my top albums. All have made a huge impact on me, but to leave it at ten, most of which were made over the course of 3-4 years, is a bit of a shame. So to that end, here are fifteen more. I'll write more about these another time perhaps. I've included some of the standout tracks for me in this playlist. 

Collective Soul - self titled
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand the Weather
The Cranberries - No Need to Argue
Tom Petty - Wildflowers
Gov't Mule - Dose
Stone Temple Pilots - Core
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Jimi Hendrix - The Ultimate Experience
Pink Floyd - The Darkside of the Moon
Guns n' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Weezer - self titled (The Blue Album)
Rage Against the Machine - self titled
Dr. Dre - The Chronic
Led Zeppelin - 4
Dave Matthews Band - Before These Crowded Streets

If you don't use Facebook, or haven't done this what were your favorites? 

Music is life \m/



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