When I was growing up, I wasn’t really a huge fan of music. My mom was going through a phase in life where she listened to pretty much nothing but nonstop Christian music and when I would visit my dad, he mostly just listened to ’90s Country. I didn’t have a particular affinity to either at the time (though I had not yet formed the burning hatred that I have developed for both genres now), but they also didn’t interest me; I was much more at home running through the forgotten dragon worlds in Spyro: Year of the Dragon or crushing my best friend Kade Speir on Crash Team Racing.
But one day, everything changed when my dad put together a mixtape for me of old Rock tracks including artists like Bryan Adams, ZZ Top, Don Henley, and most importantly to me, Aerosmith. From the moment I heard the opening wistful lick of their rather obscure mid-’00s track “Girls of Summer,” I was hooked. And from then on, I went though a phase of great musical discovery from the death of Michael Jackson (thus my exposure to all of his music) to Guitar Hero to Rolling Stone magazine to, ultimately, my first iPod gifted to me by my grandparents. During that 10-year period of time I’ve heard too many albums to count and have curated my own musical taste through countless hours of listening. The albums listed below (by artist in alphabetical order) are at the top of the heap and are the reason that my passion for music burns just as brightly today as it did when I got my first CD.
Alvvays – Alvvays (2014)
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (1975)
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973)
Green Day – American Idiot (2004)
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Nobuo Uematsu – Distant Worlds II (2010)
Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017)
The Strokes – Is This It? (2001)
U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)