“List 10 albums that made a lasting impression on you as a TEENAGER, but only one per band/artist.”
That was the challenge. It was way harder than I anticipated and my first list had over 30 albums. I went mostly with bands prior to what I would consider the beginning of grunge, albums before Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, which changed rock forever, but we’ve heard enough about Nirvana’s major label debut so let’s skip Seattle for this list.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
In an era where Poison, Slaughter, Cinderella, Warrant, Ratt, and Kix ruled the world one band stood out. Guns N’ Roses. They were before grunge yet still had big hair but yet weren’t a hair band. They were dirty, drunk, and didn’t seem to care about fame. This album sold over 18 million copies and is still one of the largest selling debuts of any band and the 23rd best selling album of all time.*
Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker
This album is older than I expect, it came out in January of 1990 and NOTHING sounded like this at the time. The Black Crowes were stuck somewhere between oldies and blues and really are the only band of their era to be instantly added to Classic Rock radio stations even though the members were way younger than the other bands. The went on to release a live album with Jimmy Page forever cementing their place in rock royalty but their debut to me was raw, bluesy, dirty, and had great catchy songs yet were an oddly sexual band.
Motley Crue – Decade of Decadence
I felt guilty liking a “Greatest Hits” album but Motley Crue always sounded way better to me when you played the hits in a row. I loved “Theatre of Pain” but there are just too many songs on there I’d skip over. I had my first kiss to this album in the back of a hatchback Mustang.
Rolling Stones – Flashpoint
This is all my Dad’s fault. He was the first one I knew that had a kick-ass home stereo system brand new from Radio Shack. For like 5 years in the 80’s Radio Shack was cool, they totally suck now but that’s a different blog. This stereo would go on to be the beginning of my DJ career but I remember my Father coming home with a live Stones album and pointing out all the intricacies you could heard on this recording that most bands couldn’t pull off in a million years. They were The Rolling Stones. Plus the artwork was so simple it was genius.
Black Sabbath – We Sold Our Soul For Rock N’ Roll
Honestly it was Faith No More’s cover of War Pigs that originally drew me further into Sabbath’s library, other than that my only other exposure was someone in my class had a “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” t-shirt and it was just so….evil, I loved it. Off to Black Sabbath I went. I never knew anything could be so dark and scary. It wasn’t about getting girls, or drinking alcohol, or David Lee Roth split kicks, it was songs about Satan and war and pot and demons. Plus the simplicity of Iommi’s guitar work was mind numbing. How was he the first one to put the cords of “Iron Man” together? Seemed so simple yet natural like those chords always went together.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
My high school ended every dance with Stairway to Heaven. To slow dance you HAD to know the song front to back. The only way to do that was to get the album and listen to it over and over and over. Which I did. For me there were 2 paths out of the 70’s: Black Sabbath on the left and Led Zeppelin on the right, I took both paths.
AC/DC – The Razors Edge
Friends of mine made fun of me in college because AC/DC was looked down upon. They were into Pink Floyd & Bob Dylan. Real music snobs. AC/DC was music hicks listened to while they drank cheap beer in pickup trucks. I didn’t care. Music doesn’t have to be deep to good. The band nailed it out of the park in 1991 with an album I’d put in the top 3 of the Brian Johnson era AC/DC.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle, Vol 1.
I have no idea how the love for CCR started, just one day it did. Me and all my friends would still be up when the sun would rise and I always equate that memory to the soundtrack of Creednece. Learn the G, C, Am & D chords and you can play any CCR song on the guitar but in 100 years wouldn’t be able to write a song as good as John Fogerty did.
Metallica – Ride The Lighting
The Black Album was beyond amazing but I still to this day remember the very first time I ever heard Metallica, my pot smoking skateboarding cousins played me “One” in their upstairs attic-bedroom and my fragile little mind was warped forever. Darkness. Imprisoning me. All that I see. Absolute horror. For some reason I ran through 2 copies of this on cassette. Time marches on.
Anthrax – Attack of The Killer B’s
This album was funny, it was well produced, and the music was awesome. I never considered Anthrax “thrash” but rather just a great rock band. Still one of my favorites. Every summer my friends and I would go camping and we always stocked up on D batteries because we had to have our boombox and Anthrax was always in the mix. Back then to memorize lyrics you couldn’t watch it on YouTube or look up the lyrics on Google, you’d listen to it a thousand times and tried to decipher the best you could.