Monday, April 02, 2018

Ten Albums that changed my life

In no particular order, here are ten albums that really stayed with me and changed my life.

1. Heart of a Saturday Night, Tom Waits

Reminds me of driving all night with my perfidious boyfriend, Kevin Krieger to New Orleans. And late nights as a bartender and dreams of living in New York and my life long love of talking to taxi drivers. Based on Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours of the Night.

2. Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, The Pogues

Another great album that I listened to over and over and over. As a half Irish-American, I feel a connection to Ireland (even though I had never been there when I got this album). The songs that I love the most are Dirty Old Town, the Sickbed of Cuchaillan, and A Man You Don't Meet Everyday. I once sang Dirty Old Town with the Irish Quick Response Force in Liberia on Saint Patrick's Day.

3. Tupelo Honey, Van Morrison

In my hippie days, I dreamed of a man who would love me and play Tupelo Honey to me on his guitar. We'd get dance to Moonshine Whiskey and You're My Woman and I'd wear flowers in my hair. I still dream of this. :) I can't believe I agree with Bob Dylan but yes, "Tupelo Honey' has always existed and that Morrison was merely the vessel and the earthly vehicle for it"

4. Green, REM

Lying on the beach in Surfside, South Carolina with this in my walkman in 1988. Conjuring up memories of lying in the backseat of my parent's car and coming home late on a summer night and the sound of the crickets and cicadas. Drowsy hot southern nights. Best songs Orange Crush, You are the Everything, I remember California, The Wrong Child....

5. Outlandos d'Amour, The Police

My favorite band of all time. Buying this album and listening to it over and over. Stings voice, Stewarts propulsive drumming, and Andys guitar. Beautiful Blonde British boys. I'm SO LONELY. SO LONELY. Singing this into my college boyfriend Nick's answer machine. Still the best album ever. Can't Stand Losing You might be the only song I still know all the words to- next to you! Roxanne! 

6. Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy

Oh learning about how different the world is from the eyes of black people as a privileged young white girl in South Carolina. Listening to "911 is a joke" and watching Flava Flav dance blew my mind. There was not a party in 1990 where we didn't play this album and dance. Fight the Power and Rosie Perez dancing inspired so many lame dance moves of my predominantly white group of friends. Sigh. 

1984 was when I discovered this album. My father bought it for me as a cassette and I listened to it on my little boom box in my bedroom in the dark over and over again. The hazy romantic guitar and the clear voice of Bono calling to my teenage life. Wire, A Sort of Homecoming, and Bad are my favorites. 

8. Paul's Boutique, Beastie Boys

I love this album so much, the clown princes of Hip Hop. I had a huge crush on Ad Rock. SHAKE YOUR RUMP! An electric blast of coolness and New York for a girl from South Carolina. I'm just a beatnik chick wearing my smock but I wanted so much to be a New Yorker.

9. American Beauty, The Grateful Dead

Ah my Deadhead days in the early 90s in South Carolina. But the music and the lyrics of Box of Rain, and Sugar Magnolia, and Brokedown Palace still make me feel optimistic and hopeful and like putting on my hippie skirt and doing some circle spinning. 

10. La Revancha del Tango, Gotan Project

I discovered this album at a Borders in the early 2000s, I think and it changed my life. I love tango, have desires to learn how to dance tango, and have been to see Gotan Project in concert which was amazing.. Tríptico, Santa María (del Buen Ayre), Una Música Brutal - so evocative and haunting and powerful. One day I'll tango. 

Honorable Mentions: 
The Police Regatta de Blanc
U2 Joshua Tree
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Van Morrison Astral Week
The Beatles Rubber Soul
Neil Young Harvest 
So Peter Gabriel
Lauryn Hill “the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” 
Kate Bush Hounds of Love
REM Life’s Rich Pageant
Tom Waits Rain Dog
The Smiths Strangeways here we come
The Smiths The Queen is Dead
New Order Substance 1987
Marvin Gaye What’s Going on
Blur Park life
Belle and Sebastian The Boy with the Arab Strap
The B52s - The B52s
Bjork Debut
kd lang ingenue
Sinead o connor the lion and the cobra
Crowded House: Crowded House
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine
Steely Dan: A Decade ofSteely Dan