I keep thinking about this list every time I come home and finally decided to write it. A few summers back some friends posted the five records that shaped the way they listen to music and being back in this town does nothing but remind me of growing up. So here are what I think are the five records that really influenced everything I listened to past and present.
1. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
I cannot think of a single album that I have probably listened to as much as this one. Some of my earliest memories of not only music in my life, but just life in general are when my dad would play this album and sing along. It has always been my favorite record of all time and I can not realistically see that ever changing. It combines everything I love about music and fuses classic rock riffs, psychedelic lyrics, a sitar, and finished with arguably one of the greatest songs ever written.
2. Green Day - Dookie
This album made it's way into my possession sometime in middle school. I remember my dad owning the cassette and listening to it in the car when I was younger, but it wasn't until later when it would really opening my ears to punk music, despite the fact that it had already been almost a decade since Green Day had 'sold out.'
3. Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends
Out of all the records on this list, this is the one that has faded. The songs don't hold up anymore, but the memories that come with it will never go away. I remember hearing it for the first time in eighth grade and it opening a whole new world for me. Not only in terms of what would later be called 'emo' but also a new world of people. In a small suburban town, this album introduced me to people I still know to this day and established friendships that made high school worthwhile.
4. The Strokes - Is This It?
This was the first record I ever bought that made me feel cool. The Strokes revived rock and roll in the early 2000s and highlighted the New York scene. It was this album that inspired me to go to college in NYC, change the way I dress, grow out my hair, and countless other things that to this day I consider it one of my top ten favorite records. This was the band that made me want to find the next big thing, the next shift in music. And I'm still looking.
5. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
In my junior year of high school I downloaded this album and opened my ears to experimental music. This was not poppy and radio friendly, but in fact raw and underground. The noises that came off of this record were harsh, yet for some reason it called to me as something new and something I needed to hear more of. It led me to sounds pouring out of Brooklyn and gave me some hope that cool had not left New York and possibly would still be around when I would arrive two years later.