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Love at first listen...
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:05 pm
An answer to the 'forever' thread...
Which albums have you fallen for on the first listen? I mean fall hard... none of that 'hey, check it out, this is a cool album!' stuff.
It's only happened twice for me, that I can recall.
The first was Wilco's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot'. I remember, I was 14 years old, was sick to death of the stuff I had been listening to (I was on a primarily Tina Turner streak for some time), and I remember my mom wanting me to clean my room that day. Being my father's daughter (as those who know me, know I really am), I needed to listen to music as I cleaned...but all I had were those Tina Turner CDs...and that one weird record that Dad had left on my dresser a couple weeks earlier with the Marina Towers on the cover. So, I popped it into my CD player, and...well...I didn't get my room cleaned, but all I knew is that when I listened to YHF it felt as though I had known it all of my life, although I'd never heard anything like it before. By "Heavy Metal Drummer" I was completely sold...and, as it's probably obvious, I haven't looked back since.
The second time I had picked up an album from my dad's collection that I had avoided listening to for years. 'Heartbreaker' by Ryan Adams. I didn't want to be a Ryan Adams fan. His behavior bothered me, and I thought that with all of the records he put out, surely they can't all be good. But, I decided to take a chance and as soon as the record was over all I could think was "wow...that's why people like him." It was such a perfect record! I was not, however, as inclined to delve into the rest of his catalog as quickly as I did with Wilco.
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:50 pm
Great topic, Rosie.
Beatles - Abbey Road. First listen was on a poorly recorded cassette from a skipping record. Still blew my mind though. When Jake got his forst CD player we laid on the floor with the speakers on either side of our heads and lost our minds to the majesty of Abbey Road.
The Smiths - Queen is Dead. I was leery of the Smiths at first as I was a midwestern teenager going to high school in the middle of a corn field (literally), but Queen is Dead quickly turned me around. Mozzer's witticism is in fine form and NOBODY can touch Johnny Marr.
Stone Roses - Stone Roses. Heard the single "Made of Stone" on WLAV's Clam Bake, Hosted by Steve Aldridge, in Grand Rapids in the summer of 1989. Went to Vinyl Solution the next day and bought the album that'd listen to every day for the next year or so. Still one of my favorites.
The The - Mind Bomb. As a confirmed Marr fan, I jumped in head first to the first band he joined outright immediately after the Smiths. I'd followed his daliances as a studio musician and his tour and two recordings in the Pretenders, but Mind Bomb was the first album that he'd had so much musical influence over. Jake and I saw the The in Detroit on this tour and the show still stands as one of the best sounding live events I've ever seen. The rafter shook when they played "Good Morning Beautiful." Awesome.
Guns N' Roses - Apettite For Destruction. I am among those who openly mock Axl today, but this album just kicks so much ass. I remember seeing stoners in my school wearing the concert t-shirt with the now banned album graphic and being freaked out. The music was so perfectly rockin' and dangerous how coule I NOT be taken in?
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique. Originally written off as a novelty act, I was late to hear the B-Boys' follow-up to License to Ill. I think it was a year or more after it's release that I finally heard it and couldn't believe the sound collage they'd creaeted sampling all my favorite bands. The production of this album still astonishes me.
Neil Young - Decade. This album more than maybe any other changed my life. Yes, it's a sinles and b-sides collection and not an album, per se, but this collection of songs is absolutely necessary to any music fan's collection. If you happen to be a college student living basically alone and broke in an attic apartment...all the better.
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:20 pm
oh jeez! the list is rather long for me, but i will shorten it down to some of the essentials.
edie brickell and new bohemians - ghost of a dog. this is the first album that got me hooked onto really good music and it's here that i can trace back to all the music i listened to since and that i listen to today. this album was a springboard for so many other albums. the phrasing, the lyrics, the music, and the guitar. i hadn't heard anything like it before and really haven't heard anything like it since. the solo in 10,000 angels is probably kenny's best.
the sundays - reading, writing, and arithmetic. this one grabbed me from the first listen and hasn't let go since. i constantly play this cd still to this day. the sound and the lyrics collide to create this wonderful world of colorful characters and amazing places. harriet wheeler not only looks great, but she also has an amazing set of pipes.
abra moore - strangest places. i got this back in the summer of 97 and i have been playing it ever since. seeing the colorform video for four leaf clover was the bait and i bought the whole thing hook, line, and sinker. there isn't a bad track on here. she really showed herself to be quite different from all the rest of the female singers out there at the time. channeling at times both tom petty and paul mccartney. this album includes one of the finest lines ever written.
"it's a mighty, mighty, mighty fine day to play
but three chords is all i have say...."
r.e.m. - automatic for the people. when i got this back in 1992 i wore the tape out pretty much. i was blown away by how good it was and am blown away by how good it has stood over the test of time. out of time which came before it hasn't fared quite as well. i really love the songs on automatic as they contain some of my favorite r.e.m. songs ever.
liz phair - whitechocolatespaceegg. another album that came out during the hey day of the female singer movement of the 90's. this is another one though that stands out above all the others. i really love big tall man and it's weird lyrics with the big anthem like chorus. this is a big record in terms of production, but it manages to retain liz's singular playing and wit. uncle alverez is a real gem.
patty griffin - flaming red. local girl makes big rock record for the majors. this was a huge contrast from her debut. the songs are heavier and have more production to them. it is a showcase for patty's true talents. on this record and the subsequent record silver bell patty shows that she can be the female version of nirvana (not courtney love thankfully). tony is a song that you start singing along to before you release what she is singing.
"hey tony what's so cool about dying?
think i might do a little dying today.
looked in the mirror and saw that little fa**ot staring back
pulled out a gun and blew himself away."
and most recently:
juliana hatfield - in exile deo. this is a big album for me, as it's one of a handful of recent albums that i still play to this day. it's been two years and i haven't tired of it yet. i love her playing on this and the songs. they have such a range to them. and juliana tears it up on the guitar on the track don't let me down.
sorry for the long post.
Re: Love at first listen...
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:55 pm
BloodshotBaby wrote:the first was Wilco's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot'. I remember, I was 14 years old
this makes me feel tremendously old.
on topic, off the top of my head:
jeremy enigk - return of the frog queen
having been a pretty big sunny day real estate fan, i sought out his solo album as soon as it came out (i was on vacation visiting relatives in MN and i'm pretty sure i ended up snagging it at the mall of america) but nothing prepared me for how much i loved that record. it's the only record i can ever remember buying and listening to all the way through twice right away without doing anything else besides listening. i just laid there in bed at my aunt and uncle's house soaking it all in. i remember putting it at #1 on my year end list at the college station i was with at the time and my music director being really surprised because my radio show was mostly punk and ska stuff at the time, but i told him it was far and away the best thing i had heard that year. i was the only one that voted for it, but it still ranked pretty high on our year end countdown because it was #1 on my list. (the cardigans band on the moon
was the concensus #1 at the station that year, just FYI)
belle and sebastian - if you're feeling sinister
i listened to it at one of those listening stations at borders and was just floored with how beautiful it was. i bought it on the spot and never looked back, picking up almost the entirety of their back catalog in the process (EPs too... didn't wait for push barman to open old wounds
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:13 pm
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People. I got it from Amazon on a whim after hearing "Stars and Sons." When I bought it, I was living in the New Jersey mountains, in late spring when the world just feels like a happier place. I went outside, laid in the woods, and listened in pure rapture.
The Beatles - Abbey Road. I have to admit, I was anti-Beatles growing up (based solely on ignorance, and also it seemed like the "punk" way to be, since I was very much a "punk" back then). It took me until 16 to first really listen to the Beatles. It was after a long night of partying, my friend put it on and I instantly fell in love with "Something." But it was hearing "You Never Give Me Your Money," to this day my favorite Beatles song, that got me going.
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. I was a junior in high school when I bought it because a bandmate recommended it. My favorite album ever, the only one I still listen to 5+ times a week, 8 years later.
Sublime - Sublime. The first album I ever really loved, and listened to endlessly.
Radiohead - OK Computer. It took me a times hearing "Karma Police" and "Paranoid Android" before I decided I wanted to pick up the album, but "Subterranean Homesick Alien" completely did it for me. By "Let Down," I was done.
There are probably a few more, but those are the definitive albums in my life. Maybe my top five favorites of all-time, actually.
Re: Love at first listen...
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:35 pm
thinsafetypin wrote:this makes me feel tremendously old.
-Never Mind The Bullocks
Growing up in a small Midwestern town has its drawbacks. One of them was the idea that The Sex Pistols were some kind of talentless freaks that peed on the audience (got that impression from a Mad magazine parody, actually). For years, I read about their exploits in music magazines but was to afraid of buying the album. A high school friend got hired to work overnights at the local radio station and took advantage of the Program Director not locking his office door at night. In there were thousands of never-played mint condition promotional albums, to which my friend would raid and take home to review. Roxy Music, Lou Reed, and the obligatory classic rock albums found their way to his home and subsequently onto a blank Maxell cassette.
When we played Bullocks
for the first time, I was floored at how it was a legitimately great rock album. Regardless of how their image was portrayed in the press, the record boasted twelve stellar songs that competed (and destroyed in many cases) anything labeled as a "straight" rock album. Slowly, I stopped buying things like Scorpions, Motley Crue, etc., as it opened up a whole new world.
My friend also fell in love: So taken with Bullocks
, He spray painted "God Save The Queen" on the hood of his '69 Buick Electra
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:16 pm
i'm right along with you guys. especially when i get up from the chair and hear my knees pop.
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:38 pm
these are great stories.
I'm going to have to go with a relatively recent one, when I became somewhat obsessed with the group Pinback. This was a few years ago; I was in my early 20s, and Pinback's Summer in Abbadon had just come out. I'd heard older songs a few times on this internet station I used to listen to, and had enjoyed them enough to sustain a passing interest in the band and perk up whenever they came on this station. But nothing really blew me away, per se.
So keep in mind I was old enough to have my musical tastes pretty well solidified; I'd been heavy into music for over a decade, and I knew more or less what sounds I liked and what sounds I didn't.
I was volunteering late on night at KALX, the radio station for UC Berkeley, possibly a little high, working on organizing the station's extensive music collection (this may sound boring, but I'm talking a metric shitload of music [one of the biggest collections around], while possibly a little high, with easy access to a nearby record player and CD player listening station.)
So I see this new Pinback CD in the New Releases section and pop it in the player. Immediately, the first song, "Non Photo-Blue," stops me in my fucking tracks. This is the sound I've been looking for! You know, it's like I had a built-in taste for this song and this band and I was just waiting to discover them. The polished production, hushed vocals, repetitive rhythm, rolling melody, tight yet simple guitar part and bassline: It was just what I didn't even know I was looking for. It immediately felt as comfortable as a longtime friend. My brain knew what kind of music it liked, even if it coudln't always elucidate it, but this was IT, to a tee.
That's what's so exciting about music -- you never know what new music's gonna give you that rush. The love at first sight rush. Like you've been waiting all along for it to just walk into your life and when it does it's like getting smacked by a semi.
The rest of the CD is pretty damn good, as is the rest of Pinback's catalog, but I'll never forget that love-at-first-sight moment. Now just waiting patiently for another...
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:53 pm
Criminy, now that I've had time to chew on this, an hour at least-I've come up with an extensive list.
The ones that stick out the strongest:
Joseph Arthur-Come to Where I'm From-I don't even know how to explain how hard this one hit me when I first put it in my cd player. A guy I'd met had just given me a copy and as I drove home late that night "In the Sun" came on and my heart jumped and I felt woozy(though that could have been the rum I'd been drinking earlier), but I fell in love with that album and it's still in my top five best albums ever.
The Wrens- Meadowlands- I think I own three or four copies of this. One was the original burned copy I made my friend Aaron bring to me at Beat Kitchen one night after a debate 5 of us were having about the album. I called him on the phone and told him he had to bring me a copy before he showed up. Took it home and listened to it hours later and was blown away. A few months later I had the pleasure of meeting the band at their first show in 7 years. The drummer was the only member I hadn't met yet and came from behind the stage saying to the others " Oh man, we were going to give a shout out to Charli and dedicate a song to her". At the time they knew me from the CMJ board and how much I loved them and talked them up. My then bf and I stood there with jaws hanging, him saying "uhh this IS Charli". He(Jerry Wren) then gave me a free copy of one of the Limited editons that night.
Anyways, "happy" still gives me chills and I've aspired to sing the damn song live some day.
T.Rex-Electric Warrior-Those who know me know I don't need to go into many details here.
Rickie Lee Jones-Self Titled- Still my go to album when I need a pick me up or even when I'm down. The album soothes my soul. She's always been my favorite singer, and though I'm not keen on the direction she's taken as of late-this album can never be topped.
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:36 pm
Wow, there's no way I can list all of the albums, but here are a few:
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
XO and Either/Or
Meat is Murder and The Queen is Dead
The Velvet Underground and Nico
Nevermind and In Utero
Boys and Girls in America
Just today, I listened to Feist's new one for the first time and fell in love with it.