Tuesday, March 03, 2009
15 Albums that Influenced My Life
1.) CAN- FUTURE DAYS
Lots of these albums come from an era when I was young wild and free, to quote my friend the Pope. I was working at WSHU-FM in Fairfield Connecticut as Music Director when Can's "Ege Bamyasi" came in. Music from another planet.
But THIS ONE. Cosmic, rhythmic, pulsating, vague, and lots of long tracks. Damo’s last album with Can before he went Jehovah, a Desert Island disc and your education is not complete until you heard it. Recorded on 4 track, with the incredible Holger Czukay at his peak.
2) SOFT MACHINE-THIRD
Yeah their first 2 were more fun, but this one opened my mind to jazz and electronica fusion. . A double LP, one song per side, Robert Wyatt's best tune"Moon in June", a medley of past Soft Machine songs woven into an ode to the act of making love, orgasm, and afterglow. Played this on my last show at WSHU in 1975,and after the needle dropped our party retreated to the radio station parking lot where we all got stoned.
3) DAVID BOWIE-ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
When Glam rock peaked, this was before punk rock in the days of denim and country rock. I was considered weird for liking this fag music. The top 40 junkies at early WSHU all thought that Bowie and Lou Reed would NEVER have hit records. Boy did I prove them wrong.
4) BEACH BOYS-PET SOUNDS
My brother Michael had this and he went off to college. I liked the surfing stuff but really didn't enjoy this at first. As my summer went on and I dove deeper I realized how Brian Wilson just wasn't made for his time. He was too far ahead. In the days when tracks were recorded live with the group.
5) FROU FROU-DETAILS
Surprise a CD from the 21st century! This electronic duo with Imogen Heap is still one of my favorite CD's, and keeps on giving. A recording that always gets better and better.
6) NEU!-(NEU"S FIRST)
At WSHU this crazy cat named Major Tom came around and got me on to the Billingsgate records mailing list and this came in -EXTREMELY MINIMAL, especially for 1972! Tom got axed for having records sent to his house, but this record changed the way I listened to "rock".
7) VELVET UNDERGROUND-WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT
I'd heard their stuff on WYBC in the late 60's but I picked this up as a cutout when my friend Gary recommended it. When I took it home and put the headphones on, I dropped the needle down on side 2 and lay down in my bed. It scared the CRAP out of me! Once Gary and I were listening to this in the dark watching a strobe candle and my dad busted in and dragged us out into the bright hallway to check us for tracks!
8) BEATLES-MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
Of course I grew up with the Beatles and my little friends and I used to play broomsticks along to their albums and pretend we were the Beatles. And yes Sgt. Peppers was weird, but THIS one had 'I am the Walrus" still my favorite all time Beatle song. Technically not an album in Britain, but a good one here. And a wonderful booklet and cover.
9) HAWKWIND-IN SEARCH OF SPACE
Pre Lemmy Hawkwind, but right at that moment when us pot smoking hipsters in the USA knew that rock and roll was coming back, and space rock was leading the way. Myself, Gary and Wynn attended a Young Christian Student’s retreat in upstate Connecticut where we went to an anti-drug lecture. We proceeded to skip out, and retreat to my room where we put on side 2-"Master of the Universe". The 3 of us felt like we were on a launchpad taking off.
10) THE WHO-TOMMY
OK not their best record, but a damn good one despite what Nervo says and a sentimental fave because I got this for my 16th birthday. An expensive triple album, I think Mom and Dad spent big bucks-$14. Not the first "Rock Opera" but grandiose, pretentious, and one that made the Who superstars. Listen to Keith Moon's drumming!
11) ROXY MUSIC-COUNTRY LIFE
Again, not their best, but meaningful to me because I bought this for my girlfriend in Boston and it sounded WAY different than anything else in 1974. And two almost naked babes on the cover! This was right before the band went disco.
12) JULEE CRUISE-FLOATING INTO THE NIGHT
I was so into David Lynch and Twin Peaks on TV and this 1989 CD by Lynch, Badalamenti and Cruise helped slow music down away from the frantic 80's into the 90's.Dreamy, Cosmic, Lush, and Delicious.
13) ENO-HERE COME THE WARM JETS
With Hawkwinds rhythm section, members of Roxy, Robert Fripp and Chris Spedding. Eno's rockinist and punkiest release-paved the way for the noise of the late 70's. When I played "Baby's on Fire" on my radio show "Syncopated Pandemonium" in 1974 the phones lit up.
14) RAMONES -LEAVE HOME
You thought I would've picked their first, but this one I used to torture unsuspecting customers and Chuck from the classical section at Wherehouse records in Oakland California in 1977. I put it up on the 'Classical Records" wall in the back of the store so Chuck complained to my boss (Marc Mendelson). He was talking to the wrong guy.
15) ROBERT WYATT-ROCK BOTTOM
My final for my senior year in college, I played this constantly, and was midway through track 3, a frantic Mongezi Feza trumpet solo when I swallowed a peanut butter cracker that had glass in it. I had to spend a few nights at Yale-NewHaven Hospital so they could operate and pull the sliver of glass that was stuck down my throat. Ah...fond memories