Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
I’m going personal with this weeks top ten and giving you the most influential albums in my life. These aren’t my favorite albums but the ones that impacted me the most.
10. Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
Music for 18 Musicians really changed what I thought about music. Discovering this album at 21 at a profound impact on how I wrote, record, and listened to music. It’s so simple but it’s always beautiful and never boring. The simplicity of small changes to a simple melody line played for an hour really blew my mind. Everything I’ve done musically in the last 5 years has come out of hearing Music for 18 Musicians.
8. Brainwashed Projects – The Rise and Fall
It’s not a well known fact but I love hip-hop. Brainwashed Projects wasn’t the first hip-hop album I loved and they weren’t my favorite hip-hop group (although Pigeon John would later become my favorite) but The Rise and Fall was an album that I really dove into. I could listen to it for hours on end, dissecting the beats, the rhymes, everything about that album. It fueled my love for hip-hop.
7. Joy Electric – The White Songbook
I was already a Joy Electric fan when The White Songbook was released. I enjoyed the upbeat, sugary sythpop that Ronnie Martin was putting out. But The White Songbook was different. There was a shift in the music styling of Joy Electric and my perspective on music and in particular the science of analog synthesizers. The White Songbook was another level of musicianship and song crafting. It was Ronnie’s peak performance.
4. Rod Laver – Trying Not To Try
Trying Not to Try is still one of my favorite records to listen to. Yes, it’s “rapcore” but it had a huge impact on my life. The album is full of fantastic groves, and Rudy’s rhymes are nice. The album has a killer hip-hop feel and Trying Not to Try was the album that got me interested in rap music. Also, Joey Marchiano’s drumming on the album was and continues to be a huge influence in my playing.
3. Starflyer 59 – The Fashion Focus
Before the Fashion Focus I was a rock guy. Be it metal, punk, hardcore, alternative, or whatever, if it didn’t have loud electric guitars and banging drums I wasn’t interested. Even the first 3 Starflyer 59 record had huge guitar sounds. But the Fashion Focus introduced me to good pop music. It was a turning in my musical history (one that would see me abandon all heavy music for a period of time).
2. P.O.D. – Brown
Brown was my gateway drug into hardcore and heavy metal. The first time I heard Selah, I loved it. It was new to me. P.O.D. was a big deal in the Christian metal/hardcore scene and even though they’ve been reduced to a mainstream rapcore fad, back in the mid to late 90’s P.O.D. was a huge deal in the Christian underground scene.
1. The OC Supertones – Adventures of the OC Supertones
When I first heard Adonai, I was instantly a fan of the Supertones and the reason why this record is the number most influential record in my life is this was the album and band that really started my obsession with music. The Supertones got me to Tooth and Nail records and got me watching G-Rock, which led to punk rock and hardcore and metal and indie rock and spending days on end searching the internet for new bands and new albums. At the age of 12 my life was changed by this album.