Saturday, September 13, 2014
I just posted this same long note to Facebook and thought it might interest a few folks here. I friend that I've known since my college radio days, posted 16 albums that were influential in forming his musical identity and nominated me to do the same. These aren't necessarily my favorite albums of all time(though some are). Some introduced me to new sounds or artists.These recordings form a timeline of my musical evolution.
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust (1972)
Jethro Tull - Aqualung (1971)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975)
Genesis - Wind & Wuthering (1976)
David Bowie - Low (1977)
Brian Eno - Before & After Science (1977)
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer (1977)
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians (1978)
Brian Eno - Music for Airports (1978)
The Police - Outlandos d'Amour (1978)
Peter Gabriel - 3 (1980)
Talking Heads - Remain in Light (1980)
Bryne & Eno - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)
David Sylvian - Gone To Earth (1986)
Steve Roach - Dreamtime Return (1988)
Avett Brothers - Emotionalism (2007)
I was a high school freshman with mediocre music taste(Beatles, Elton John, Foghat), when my brother changed my life, musically. In 1974 for my 14th birthday, he gave me 4 albums - David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust, Led Zepplin I, Rod Stewart - Every Picture tells a Story and Jethro Tull - Aqualung. Bowie & Tull were very important in setting me on a path of musical discovery.
I remember listening to Pink Floyd on headphones, playing it on my parents giant RCA console stereo. It blew me away & started a love affair with prog rock. Speaking of prog, my entre to Genesis was "Wind & Wuthering" which is why it's on the list rather than "The Lamb." I won the album from a local radio station & had no idea what the music was like. 20 or 30 albums later I guess I liked that first taste.
I didn't like Bowie's "Low" album when I first heard it. But it grew on me & it was my introduction to Brian Eno. I bought Eno's "Before & After Science" just because of his association with Bowie and that lead to a lifelong obsession with all things Eno.
I picked up the Tangerine Dream album because it was used in a William Friedkin film & I liked the Tubular Bell's cut he used in The Exorcist. "Sorcerer" was probably my first all electronic album and played a big part in my love for synths.
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians is probably one of the best albums ever recorded. I was completely amazed when I heard it for the first time. Totally different from anything I'd heard before.
Eno's "Music for Airports" is crucial to my musical development because of the role ambient has played in my musical life ever since this ground breaking album.
I put the Police album on the list not because it is an all time fav of mine. It's there because of the way it changed my thinking. At the time it was released I was heavy into prog rock & I knew very little of punk or new wave. Then along comes this tight, catchy three piece and I started to realize that music could be more than 5 minute guitar solos.
PG - 3 was a sonic adventure due to Gabriel's use the Fairlight CMI sampling synth. It is another album that just blew me away.
"Remain in Light," and "Bush of Ghosts" are important because of the different sonic worlds they exposed me to.
David Sylvian - Gone to Earth is on the list cuz it's awesome. Steve Roach - Dreamtime continued my love of ambient music & expanded it even further.
The only recent recording on the list is The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism. Banjo! Who knew I could love the banjo?! It's also on the list because it represents a shift in my taste toward more "normal" music, essentially indie music, in recent years. I still listen to the old stuff and I make ambient mixes, but much of my time is spent tracking down new stuff from artists like Andrew Bird, Alt-J, Deep Sea Diver, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, The Antlers, Strand of Oaks, Phantogram, etc.
If anybody cares to share their list, please do so.