11 Albums that formed me – a list
I Wanna Be somebody!
Let’s start of this list with the first album from shock heavy metal band W.A.S.P. came out when I attended school. 1984 if I’m not mistaken. I still remember the school yard pounding out I Wanna Be Somebody from the portable stereos of the metal heads. I was evidently ne of them since I remember having my cassette player at school at this time. I still like this album a lot. It has a raw sound to it that none of the later albums have. But not all the songs are good, they never were actually. When it came out on vinyl it was the fist side that caught my attention. L.O.V.E. Machine and B.A.D. was two of the songs that hade real hooks in them. And which rebelling youth could withstand the anti-school anthem School Daze?
I’m here doin’ time, my age is my crime.
High in High School
This is another debut album – We Reserve the right. The music is kind of like glam metal and I think they were one of the first bands in that genre. They certainly were in my world. Madam X was formed by two sisters Maxine and Roxy Petrucci, Guitar and drums. There were a bass player known as Godzilla and he was known for slamming the bass in his head to get a special sound. That was of course a way to make themselves interesting. The singer – Brett Kaiser had colored half of his hair blonde. That was of course another way to dram attention to themselves. But look at the cover. Was it really necessary to dram more attention to themselves than that? Isn’t it sexy enough? I remember thinking it was really sexy when I was in my youth.
As with W.A.S.P. above not all tracks were great but there were at least half of them that stuck immediately. High in High School was kind of a hit. And many of the other songs were also favorite tracks of mine. unfortunately this was the only album ever released by Madam X. They have disbanded and reformed a couple of times and there’s a “new” single out there since a couple of years. But I don’t think there’ll ever be an album like this again!
Stay Hungry isn’t a debut album though. It was Twisted Sisters third album and contained two real hit singles. Both We’re Not Gonna Take it and I Wanna Rock climbed the charts. I don’t think neither of them reached number 10 but for he heavy metal community this was a great victory. We had metal-music in the charts! This was an album that I totally loved from start to finish! The hit song got played a bit too much eventually but all the other songs are still very playable. Not that I have anything against the singles either but once you hear a song for a certain number of times you tend to get tired and perhaps sick of it.
I used to be proved that I knew the lyrics of this album by heart from start to finish. I don’t think i do anymore but if I hear the songs it comes right back at me. If you know you film history you might also know that the film Strangeland, or the story of it, is included on this album. Horror Teria part one “Captain Howdy” and part two “Street Justice” is essentially the story. By the way, rumors says that Strangesland 2 is in the works. Let’s keep our hopes up for that one!
Sharp Dressed Man
In 1983 I discovered this band, ZZ Top! I haven’t heard anything like it before but I have since then realized that this isnt’ the sound that ZZ Top does best. If you listen to their earlier record you will notice that the blues and the boogie is much more present. But I fell in love with this one. I especially fell in love with the track Sharp Dressed Man which was also a hit for the band. I’m not entirely sure but I thin this was ZZ Tops big break. They were big before to be sure but with Eliminator they rose beyond anything thy have been before. They became icons of the music business and the common joke about hem was that two of them had full beards whilst the third was named after one. Dusty Hill And Billy Gibbons both had one but Franks name is Beard.
There were a couple of songs on the B side that weren’t perfection but as a whole this opened my eyes to something else than Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
The Golden Greats!
The Sweets Greatest Hits album, The Golden Greats is one of my earlier memories of my mothers record collection. Because this wasn’t actually mine back then. I can’t remember why I first put it on because there’s nothing on the cover that makes me interested. But once I’ve heard it I was completely lost. My heart belonged to Sweet. I wouldn’t say that all of the great songs are on here but close enough and this is still the best Greatest Hits album I won with the Sweet, and I have a few these days.
I don’t think that Sweet was the thing though. Almost all of the greatest songs were written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and I think they might be the greatest hit writers ever. I absolutely adore their songs!
I did hear Metallica before the tragic death of Cliff Burton. In fact, I was made aware of the first album right when it came out. I listened to it on a friends Walkman for about 30 seconds before I realized that this was a band I need to get every single album with. That’s not true anymore since I more or less abandoned the band. Metallica aren’t what they used to be anymore. But this album is perfection. At least it was when it came out. I’m not sure if I would dig it as much if it came out new now. There are few songs and they’re long. I think the longest one is almost 10 minutes. It’s not that uncommon these days but in the eighties it was almost unheard of.
Country compilation de luxe!
Why does a metal head like me include a second-rate country compilation on a list like this? Well, this was another record I grew up with at home. I believe this was my fathers even though I can’t remember him listening to music once. He still claims to be totally without ability to hear if something is music or not. I think he’s exaggeration since I know he has a few favorite songs up his sleeve. Anyway. This lives with me now and even though I can’t remember the song on it I know that I will recognize them immediately when I start playing this vinyl. I do remember Dolly Parton being there though, performing Travelin’ Man. That’s probably why I still think that’s one of her best songs.
Experiences with the Devil
I know that this album, the best album with Mötley Crüe featured an other cover when it was a released on CD. It couldn’t beat the original black cover art with a big pentagram on it. This was way before Metallicas black album as well. The songs on this, as well as the cover art, differs a bit from what the band has put out before and after. Well, mostly after since this is the bands second album. It has catchy easy-to-hum melodies and great guitar parts. Mötley Crüe was always the bad boys of rock so i figure most of this is created under the influences of illegal substances. Well. I read the Heroin Diaries as well so I think I get the picture.
Rock n’ Roll Traitor
When Still Got the Blues first came out I considered Gary Moore to be a traitor. He had abandoned the hard rock genre for blues. To forgive him for this wasn’t going to be easy. I got the album anyway of course and I was completely blown away by this masterpiece. It takes a brilliant guitarist to nails the blues like Gary Moore did on this album. It may sound easy to play but it’s actually not. I recently learned that Gary Moore was a left-handed guitarist too. He played on regular guitars though so that kind of doubles the effort.
The True Master of Words
Cornelis died in 1987, before I had the chance to discover his greatness. It wasn’t so much the music – kind of folk(ish) troubadour, as the lyrics. There are examples of English lyrics in one of the compilation books I have but most of them are in Swedish. Cornelis Vreeswijk was not Swedish though. He was Dutch and remained a Dutch citizen until his death. He wrote something like 500 songs and 300 poems during his career. With that in mind it’s obvious that all the beast songs can’t possibly fit on one album (or two, or three…). I still miss some of the albums and if I couldn’t choose a deceased celebrity to hang out with for one day. It would probably be him.
All good thing must come to an end…
Possibly my first Scorpions album. Could have been blackout as well but this is the one that stuck. This is the band that invented the power ballad, made great songs with lots of dynamics and had an awesome singer. When I got this album on CD not that long ago I was surprised by how many of the songs that weren’t top-notch. All of them are good but they are not great. Of course Love you like a Hurricane was the major hit but I always fancied the anthem in Coming Home. After this I got a whole lot of Scorpions albums. The early ones were kind of experimental and didn’t have the same kind of raw musicality as this one. On the other hand, Scorpions went from being this hard to being quite soft. They got criticized for it, that they sold out after Wind of Change. I really liked that song by the way.