I remember getting a new cd (or burning a copy) and literally listening to it on repeat for months. There was a certain ritual to it, sometimes I might not even like it on the first listen, but I always went back to it, like some difficult math problem I was set on solving.
I started my own personal music collection in junior high. Before that I listened to my parents music or recorded things off the radio on my fischer price radio/recorder.
I also remember a friend of mine agreeing to tape a copy of his Presidents Of the United States of America cd for me. His parents were super Christian and he blanked out all the swear words (quite a difficult task actually). For a long time I thought that was how the songs actually sounded.
Over time we've lost this process of acquisition. I read an article awhile back about Pink Floyd fighting Itunes over separating their songs into individual tracks. I can't remember if they won or not but I do remember being really struck by the concept. Remember when you had to buy entire albums? Hell, remember when skipping a bad song on a tape meant sitting there with your finger on fast forward? Stopping the tape in the right spot became a point of pride for me.
The following is a list of five albums that made an impact on me. Why five? Quality over quantity. A concept I want to get back to in this over-processed and highly accessible online world we live in. I gave time and energy to these albums. I bought batteries so they could come with me on car trips, I kept them safe in their crystal jewel cases and when they got scratched I mourned. They became a part of my life rather than simply becoming music in the background.
There was a time where it felt like this was the only band I was listening to. As a result I don't really listen to them anymore. I've seen them live a few times and been underwhelmed, but the impact this album made on me just won't fade. I discovered them at the beginning of a short but intense friendship and I have trouble separating the two. I also remember putting "Heart Cooks Brain" on a mixtape for a boy that never reciprocated. This album carries the nostalgia of a lost of firsts and a long bout of teenage malaise.
Jesus Christ Was An Only Child
Heart Cooks Brain
This was one of the first cds I bought. I still remember signing up for a BMG music membership, poring through the catalog and making lists of cds I wanted. I can't remember if I had heard one of her songs before or simply liked the album art. I liked Bjork instantly and she is one of the few artists that I can say I still listen to. I got the chance to see her live a few years back and it felt like coming full circle.
Army of Me
I Miss You
Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
This is by far one of the best albums of the 90s. I was a short pasty white girl that was wishing fervently that someday I would grow up to look and sing like Lauryn Hill. I still remember the picture on the inside jacket and just being blown away by how beautiful she was. Everything that came out of her mouth sounded so profound.
Everything is everything
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
Weezer: the blue ablum
This was another one of my BMG purchases. I remember being struck by the cover, so simple and so young. I also wanted to play "the Sweater Song" on repeat rather than having to wait for it to come on the radio. I vacillated between crushes on the bassist and the lead singer. This cd led to purchases of all other Weezer albums until I stopped after Maladroit. Weezer is not a band that grows with you, it lingers in nostalgia world.
In the Garage
The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
A friend of mine burned this for me. It was one of those 'lets see how many songs we can fit onto one cd' mixes that was a hybrid of "At the Drive In" , "Led Zeppelin" and Ok Computer. The tracks were all jumbled up and years later when I finally heard them in order it was like re-visiting a favorite childhood story with a new perspective.
Subterranean Homesick Alien
And because this is so much better when others participate, I'm tagging IROCKSOWHAT, Little Gray Pixel, Four Eyes Rella, The Traveling Phoblogwripher and Davinia Hamilton.
What are your five?