15 Albums

Dick: I guess it looks as if you’re reorganizing your records. What is this though? Chronological?

Rob: No…

Dick: Not alphabetical…

Rob: Nope…

Dick: What?

Rob: Autobiographical.

Dick: No fucking way.

There were several songs in my life that made a difference, but it says albums, so I am only going for full front to back joints.

1.) Huey Louis & The News – Sports

I got a little one speaker boombox for Christmas in the eighties and my first full length tape was this one. It was the first album i could sing front to back, and still can to this day. Pretty sure my brother Andrew can to, since we shared a room til i was about 13. I also had Dawn patrol by Night Ranger, but Huey got way more TV time then they did, so him and The News stick out. After these tapes, I got a bunch of blank cassettes and made my own mixes from dubbing the top 40 show with Casey Kasem and later Shadow Stevens.

2.) Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – God Fodder

It was 1991, and I was living in Berlin. This album grabbed me by the eggs. The idea of having 2 bass players, using samples and the fact that it sounded glorious in the headphones really got to me. It captured a little more angst then Nevermind did because it was more intelligent and relate-able to me. It was the first Compact Disc I owned.

3.) Operation Ivy – Self Titled

I learned a lot about punk and American music from skate videos while living in Berlin. The skate years showed me RHCP, Fugazi, Living Colour and Faith no more but this album stuck with me the most.

4.) Depeche Mode – Violator

Let’s face it. Everyone had to know at least part of this album. I loved the whole damn thing. Sad bastards.

5.) The Cure – Mixed Up

A friend was kind enough to lend me this tape on a church trip, and he never got it back. I had never heard of remixes, or extended mixes before, and Lullaby felt like it was 15 minutes long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqyM6ucLWSs

I thought The Cure was just a band that played really long, haunting and transformative music. Then I learned what was going on. I did some back tracking and really got into them. If it would have been legal I would have had the Boys Don’t Cry Silhoueete tatt’ed up already. And Killing an Arab was recorded on my 3rd birthday. *Fun Facts*

6.) RHCP – Blood Sugar Sex Magic

Back in the states to live out the rest of my teen years. I got my first car (a sweet 1983 Buick Regal). RHCP had gotten a little softer since the riots. Mother’s Milk and tracks like Higher Ground were already faves, and you couldn’t throw a dead cat without it singing “Under The Bridge”. That didn’t phase me though. Blood Sugar Sex Magic was the bands last triumph before Anthony just started with his whack limerick, i guess this rhymes styles. No heroin = bad albums.

7.) Helmet – Unsung

My dad got me my first guitar at a pawn shop, and i watched 120 minutes religiously. The first time i saw the Unsung video I lost it. I had been through Nirvana and completely rejected all metal liek Megadeath and whatever other silly patched people had sewn on to their denim jackets back in Germany. This was angry, but had a little spite in it. And lets face it, the video was nothing but normal ass dudes wearing everyday clothes and gigantic strobes. No make up. No whack shit. Just rawk. (side note, years later the only reason i even hung around to meet Wake is because kyle said they were really into helmet, and Nate was wearing a wu-tang hat. they totally lived up to it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBfygUiS50g

8.) Pearl Jam – Ten

This fucking album made me pay real attention to Seattle. It made me fall in love with the whole scene and allowed me to listen to Soundgarden, screaming trees and the rest of not so popular stuff. That being said, i didn’t love any of them as much as Pearl Jam. On a Seattle exploitation movie in the 90’s called “Singles” they had an unreal soundtrack, the b-side of which had a song called “State of Love and Trust” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqpyifeiTXM

In 2003 i found myself accidentally on a tour with Buzzcocks. When we got on the bus, i found out we were doing 50 cities, half of which was Canada and the east coast with Pearl Jam. We played all the big places, including Madison Square Garden. It was the most awesome tour I could have ever been on, and I won’t go on another one. Buzzcocks weren’t to thrilled about it because they did not really know who Pearl Jam was. But they are old. And British. SO It is in their nature not to care.

9.) Weezer – Blue Album

Sonic Bliss. This album was the best thing I had ever heard, and still ranks up there. Quirky weird and honest.

10.) The Roots – Illadelph Halflife

I was at a record store in the Northtown Mall where my former high school GF Jessica was working. She would hook us up with promo posters from time to time and one time she let me have a record. It was Illadelph. Now mind you I was in Kentucky growing up, then Germany, and then ended up in Missouri. So I was really missing a lot of the hip-hop as it was developing just because it was not in my markets. I watched BET in the afternoons and caught Das-Efx, Naughty By Nature, and some other things, and I had been listening to those naughty Dance goodies like Bell Biv Devoe, Heavy D, and stuff like that but really didn’t own anything i identified with.

But real hip-hop was shown to me on this album. I listened to it constantly. Black Thought was the first emcee I ever put on a pedestal for his craft. I am not sure if the factor of them being a band made a big difference on me or not. All i know was this was that real shit. I kept the album. I have lost a lot of personal items in my travels and can’t find some shit I wish I still had, but this LP made it with me. It has now been signed by everyone on the album, including Rahzel. Its the prize of my record collection. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIMP8W1e_yA

11.) Cake – Fashion Nugget

aka The Divorce Album. I will admit it. I have taken some risks in my life. One was getting married super young. She was my GF in high school, and after and when she graduated we gots the married. Not 4 months later she had cheated on me with a minor and was not good at hiding it. I had to move into a place that was less than desirable, and eventually back to Kentucky to get mey shit together. This album was the one that had all the makings of a perfect divorce album. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egmMMzt28g8

12.) Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die

Say whatever you want about Sean Combs, this album was the only reason he was born. Even after hearing tons of Tupac, Scarface and other talented smart rappers try to do it, BIG had it on lock with this album. The skits were tolerable, the production flawless and the emotion was either genuine, or Christopher Wallace was opne hell of an actor. This also turned me on to Method Man, and thus began my remaining tears of hip-hop scrutiny.

—- And Then I Met Kyle —-

Though we have not spoken in years, his impact on my musical taste is unmistakeable. He turned me onto tons of new music, I would have never found myself. Failure, Hum, Orange 9mm, Alkaline Trio (early shit), Haste and much more. I can honestly say thenrxt two albums I found through him or with him.

13.) DJ Shadow – Endtroducing

This album is the pinnacle. The reason I put guitars out of my mind and just wanted to produce. The reason I still buy vinyl. The reason I pick apart every beat I hear. The reason all you whack producers should fucking hang it up. I have met a lot of famous people, but if I ever met Shadow, I don’t think I would be able to hold myself together. The raw grit from this album and the pain it sounds like has yet to be matched.

14.) Deftones – Around The Fur

One of the only rock bands i will pay to go see. Adrenaline is the album he introduced me to while we were waiting for Around The Fur to come out, but once it did, we filled the halls of Kentwood with it. Pretty much if you knew this album, it separated you from all the Rage and Tool kids.

15.) Foo-Fighters – The Color & The Shape

Dave Grohl. I had known him as the guy behind the Chaka kit in Nirvana’s first album, but with Kurt’s suicide the other guys kind of dwindled. Until this album. Dave decided “fuck it, I am going to arrange, compose and play every part and every instrument on these tracks by myself” and fucking nailed it.

Now Matthew Sweet did that sort of thing in the 90’s on 100% Fun, which i liked a lot, and had a lot of respect for. But after the first time I heard Everlong, i sank. That song was the best power ballad-ish kind of song i had heard ever. I want this played at my wedding AND my funeral.

Foo-Fighters came to town when i first moved here with Weezer as the openers. Best concert of my life. I sang along for hours, and I am not the kind of guy that does those things.

—- Honorable Mentions —-

Mos Def – Black On Both Sides

Wu-Tang – Enter the 36 Chambers

Failure – Fantastic Planet

Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event

Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders


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