Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Well, Andrew, you ask for it, you get it...

Andrew is in the middle of posting his “100 Albums That Changed My Life” posts. I believe his countdown is at about 61 at this point. So far, except for the punk stuff (not bad, just unfamiliar) we have fairly similar tastes. Anyway, I had told him that I would get him a list of my Top Ten. One hundred is a daunting task, even for Andrew, but ten is somewhat more manageable. At least in this case, I’m trying to narrow it down rather than come up with enough material... So the deal, as I understand it, is to list 10 albums that have had an impact on my life (good OR bad) and a brief blurb as to why. I’ve managed to get the list together, finally, and here it is (in no particular order):

1. Billion Dollar Babies Alice Cooper, 1973
I never actually owned this album--it was the property of the neighbor girl, Johnna, who lived up the road from us when we moved to the country in the summer of 1973. She was a couple of years older than me and therefore oh, so much cooler. She introduced me, via songs like “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, to the wide world of music that lay outside the realm of the Jackson 5, the Osmonds, and those little hotties the DeFranco Family. This was truly my “coming of age” album.

2. Peter, Paul and Mary Peter, Paul and Mary, 1962
No, I wasn’t musically aware when this record came out, even though I was alive. I grew up with this album in the house. I can’t really remember if my parents played it all that much, but once I was old enough to develop a bit of musical taste, I played it quite often. In fact, I "borrowed” it from my parents years ago, and never quite got around to returning it. If you’re reading this, Mom and Dad, it’s still safe and in its same pristine condition that it was when you lent it to me. (The cover’s a bit worn with age, though...) Anyway, it’s a great reminder of childhood and a bit of a simpler time...

3. Cat Scratch Fever Ted Nugent, 1977
When I was in high school (I guess I would’ve been a junior at this time), my brother was a freshman and determined to become a rock star. To that end, he got Mom and Dad to buy him a bass guitar so he could learn to play. (The theory, I think, was that the bass would be easier as it had fewer strings.) His bedroom and mine shared a wall, and in the evenings he would don his massive stereo headphones, plug in the bass, stick Nugent on the record player, and “teach” himself bass by playing the title track over and over again, while singing along. The result for me was hearing only the bass line (played as well as you might expect) and my brother’s off-key rendition of the song. That was enough to put me off Nugent for years...

4. Live Bullet Bob Seger, 1976
This album seemed to form the “ambience soundtrack” for my dating life in college. “Turn the Page” was makeout music (although the lyrics are not romantic at all, the sax solo was very nice...), and Katmandu was a primo party tune. There just wasn’t a bad song on the record, IMO. Of course, being all tied up in the good memories of being out on my own for the first time probably has a part to play in that...

5. Love Songs Beatles, 1977
This is actually the only Beatles album I ever bought. I never needed to buy more; everyone else always had their copies going. I actually bought the album to get myself better acquainted with the Beatles. Of course there were the TV appearances and everyone playing their music, but I wanted to explore the lyrics a bit more, and this record came with a book of the lyrics to the songs on the album. Bonus! My favorite song on the album is “Norwegian Wood”, if for no other reason than the guitar licks that are so blatantly Beatle.

6. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles, 1967
One of my fondest memories of my first year in college is going to see the movie version of this album (yes, the one with the BeeGees) at the theater in downtown Richmond with a bunch of girls from the dorm. We liked it so much that we hid in our seats once the film was over so that we could stay for the second showing as well. The girl who lived in the next dorm room over owned the album, and we’d play it over and over. One of my best memories is the morning that we sneaked into her room (she liked to oversleep), put the album on at full force, cued up to that rooster crow in “Good Morning, Good Morning”. Very funny!

7. She’s So Unusual Cyndi Lauper, 1983
I just LOVE Cyndi Lauper! This album has always just spoken to the fun, playful side of me that I hope never grows up. I wanted to be Cyndi then, and still do to some degree. I longed for the courage to dye my hair pink and dress in bustiers and crinolines and dance around in the streets. I have learned to embrace my playful side, and realize that, although you can’t go dancing around in your crinolines all the time, it’s OK to kick up your heels now and again.

8. Joshua Tree U2, 1987
I didn’t buy this album until just a couple of years ago, but I’ve included it because the Joshua Tree tour was my first exposure to the genius of U2. My then roommate invited me to come with her to the concert, and I almost didn’t go. I didn’t really know who U2 was, and didn’t want to spend the money for the ticket. I ended up having the greatest time. I sat right next to the sound booth and watched the guys working the computers nearly as much as I watched the stage. And that moment when Bono got ticked off at his own playing and handed his guitar to a guy in the crowd saying something along the lines of, “Here, maybe you can play it better than I can.” Then the guy started playing and several thousand fans starting cheering him on--well, that’s not something that can be easily duplicated. What a story that guy has to tell his kids! Anyway, that started my love affair with U2.

9. Sanctuary Twila Paris, 1991
This is the first Christian CD I ever bought. Maybe it was the orchestral accompaniments, maybe it was the lyrics that spoke to me in a very unique way, or maybe it was the fact that Twila sings in my range, so the songs were very easy to sing along to. In fact, I still have several of the accompaniment tapes to the songs, that I used to use in church solos. Anyway, this CD was instrumental in my early spiritual formation.

10. Poièma Michael Card, 1994
Michael Card remains to this day one of my all-time favorite Christian artists. His lyrics are deep and the instrumentation is incredible. I discovered this album at about the time that I was rediscovering the artist in me that I had repressed for so long. The lyrics of “The Poem of Your Life” especially spoke to me in this context, as in the following: So look in the mirror and pray for the grace / to tear off the mask, see the art of your face / open your earlids to hear the sweet song / of each moment that passes and pray to prolong / your time in the ball of the dance of your days / your canvas of colors of moments ablaze / with all that is holy / with the joy and the strife / with the rhythm and rhyme of the poem of your life. That’s what it’s all about, yes?

Update: Links appear to be fixed now...

posted by #Debi at 10:19 PM | permalink | 0 comments


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Hi, I'm Debi. Once in a while I have a thought and I like to write it down before it goes away. This is where I write it.

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