Ten albums that changed your life

MC Bad Genius

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Apr 15, 2008
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Sorry for this post turning into a bit of a long spiel, but I take lists like this VERY seriously and I almost always go into too much detail. So combine those two factors and you end up with this.

I’ve tried to order them chronologically in my life (rather than their release date). Interestingly, only one (maybe two) of these would make my Top 10 albums of all time.

James Morrison - Snappy Doo (1990)
This was the first CD I remember having that was my very own. I think I got it for my 9th birthday and it started an almost decade long love affair with jazz music. Not only was he the best trumpet player I’d ever heard, it totally blew my mind that he recorded every trumpet, trombone, saxophone and piano part on the album. James Morrisson quickly became my idol and I wanted to be a famous trumpeter like him touring the world.

Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (1986)
I came to know Bon Jovi through my two older sisters, but this was the heaviest music I had heard up to that stage in my life (haha) and I felt completely rebellious owning this album and cranking it as loud as possible. I was devastated as a 13yo not being allowed to go to their concert out at Eastern Creek.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Acme (1998)
On a school trip to Jindabyne, I was put in a room with a couple of friends and another guy I didn’t really know that well who only brought a couple of t-shirts in his bag, as he’d put his stereo and a stack of CDs in there instead. When he put on Acme, I had never heard anything like it before and was hooked on the Blues Explosion. I’ve also been in a band of some sort with that weirdo for the last 20 years (woah).

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (1999)
I remember first listening to this at the HMV at Macquarie Centre and just getting it straightaway. It was probably the first album that I owned that was of a band considered cool and would get played on JJJ. I probably burned through it over a hundred times and learnt every song on bass guitar (well, at least as good as I could play it).

James Brown - Love Power Peace: Live At The Olympia, Paris, 1971 (1992)
I managed to find a copy of this album after a couple of years searching through every record store in Sydney and the dark reaches of the still primitive internet we had back in the early 2000s. I’d listened to a lot of James Brown before, but nothing as loose and wild as this. I just wanted to be in the crowd back in 1971.

Beck - Seachange (2002)
This is probably coloured by the experience of seeing Beck live on the Seachange tour, but it was the most beautiful music I’d ever heard and the pairing of the expansive string arrangements with the heartbreaking subject matter of his long-term relationship breakdown was just so compelling to listen to.

Spoon - Kill The Moonlight (2002)
This album is simply a masterpiece. It’s chock full of great songs and every single sound on every single song is perfectly in the right place. It wasn’t until I listened to it properly on headphones that I realised how fantastic it is and I’ve always strived to record even just one song that sounds as great as every song on this album does.

Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison (1968)
Until the very moment when I brought this album home from the bargain bin in the staff sales room at the music club I worked at, I would’ve sworn black and blue I hated country music. I’m not sure what prompted me to even buy the album, but I immediately loved it and a couple of months later found out about the biopic that was due to be released. Serendipitous.

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (2005)
As a young Christian that loved music, I was always confused why Christian music sucked so hard. A friend of mine played me a couple of tracks and I immediately bought Illinois off the iTunes store. Although I’d no longer consider myself a Christian, Sufjan’s honest exploration of his own faith will be a part of my musical future until the day I die.

Philadelphia Grand Jury - Hope is For Hopers (2009)
In terms of truly being life-changing, this is probably the most impactful album on this list. We had been playing around for a few years and started to get some buzz with the our first few singles, but it wasn’t until we released Hope Is For Hopers that things started moving fast. And an album in my mind has always legitimised a band, so not only outwardly, but inwardly, this was a massive change. Without it, we never would’ve played overseas and lived in the UK for a while and I would never have even a fraction of the memories.
 

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