Beatles-Rubber Soul Cat Stevens-Tea for the Tillerman Jethro Tull-Stand Up Joni Mitchell-Court and Spark Gordon Lightfoot-Sit Down, Young Stranger Steely Dan-Aja Rolling Stones-Let It Bleed Doors-Strange Days James Taylor-Sweet Baby James
Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown Floyd - DSOTM CSNY - Deja Vu Peter, Paul and Mary - Self-Titled First LP Karla Bonoff - Self-Titled First LP Jackson Browne - For Everyman Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run Simon and Garfunkel - Bookends Van Morrison - St. Dominic's Preview Beatles - SPLHCB Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus Skynyrd - One More From the Road Linda Ronstadt - Hasten Down the Wind Dead - Workingman's Dead
Beatles - Meet the Beatles Led Zeppelin I Led Zeppelin II Led Zeppelin IV Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers Moody Blues - DOFP King Crimson - In the Court of.. The Who - Who's Next Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel Buddy Rich - Various LP's
Many things on your lists gets big hurrahs from me! Many I didn’t discover until college (e.g. Steely Dan, a favoriteband of mine to this day). BUT, if I stick to my early "pivotal" requirement, I have to +1 this:
Simon and Garfunkel - Bookends (and Wed. Morning 3 am)
My parents had ever Simon and Garfunkel album (not that many) and a relatively small range of other records (lots of Telemann and Bach). They got played over and over. My only other source of music was good FM radio from SUNY Stony Brook and WPKN Bridgeport.
Shaped me? Never cared for Porters until I tasted Winthrop's Bull's Tooth Porter. Something in it said, "THIS is what they're tying to do!" From then on I was able to appreciate porters, or at least some of them at any rate. In that sense I guess you could say Winthrop's Bull's Tooth Porter shaped me.
With music its hard to think of a single record that has done that for me. Nothing in Smells Like Teen Spirit turned me on to anything else on that album, let alone any of the other junk of that genre. Couldn't stand Kansas, which was a cheap knockoff of Foreigner. Or maybe it was the other way around. Same difference. They were all just trying to be the next Journey, or Boston, anyway.
In fact its almost exactly the opposite. There's any number of albums that I was luke warm to when they were new and then over time my appreciation has only grown. A standout in that category, Bellafonte at Carnegie Hall. Just a superb record, and recording, and performance, with all kinds of deeply human archetypal themes (that would be impossible to perform today!) and my appreciation has only grown over the years. But it hasn't shaped me. Hasn't made me want to buy more music like that. Not even more Bellafonte! The others I have just don't do it for me.
Good music is for me very much like a good book or a good movie. When its good like Fido I enjoy it. Doesn't shape me into chasing zombie movies. Once again it seems I stand alone. Oh well.
But if instead of shaped me you mean albums I really liked a whole lot, which seems to be the way people are taking it, well then we can talk.
MC, you can do what you will with the question. By "shaped" or "pivot" I mean those albums which turned me on to music, and also to those bands. E.g. Beatles -- lead to a love of the Beatles, of course, but to rock more generally and to the less straight ahead (psychedelic-style of openness) which made my tastes in Pink Floyd, Fripp, Eno, etc. later on. Or, Joni, which opened me toward more female vocals; or Tull, Simon/Garfunkel which created a taste for folk. Etc.
Rolling Stones, 1st and all till Goat's head soup Beatles Rubber Soul on (too simpy up till then) Moody Blues, original band, Mike Pinder, piano based blues, before Justin Hayword Animals, Awesome music and Eric Burdon's voice Kinks, great stuff Zombies, oh yeah Dylan, hated at first, finally listened, amazing songwriter Donovan, still terrific live Simon and Garfunkel. Mad for years when they broke up. Ian and Silvia, irresistable vocal talent Everly Bros, irresistable vocal talent and some great lyrics Doors, attitude Janis Joplin, attitude Jose Feliciano Van Morrison Fontella Bass, voice, songs, horns Otis The Mamas and the Papas
Records that turned my head around and opened new worlds.
Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult. Meet the Beatles. Peter, Paul & Mary, In the Wind. David Bowie, Aladdin Sane. Sex Pistols -- Never Mind the Bollocks. Kind of Blue. The Harder They Come soundtrack.
As I look back at my list, I can’t believe I left off Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Moody Blues, Van Morrison, CSNY...it never ends! I still feel like I’m forgetting someone.
Caravan- in the land of grey and pink Robert Wyatt- Rock bottom Magma- self titled McDonald and Giles- self titled Kevin Ayers- Whatevershebringswesing Cream- Disraely gears Edgar Broughton band- self titled Pete Brown and Piblokto- Thousand on a raft Lovecraft- Valley of the moon NIN- Pretty hate machine Pretty things- SF Sorrow Procol Harum- Shine on brightly Red hot chili peppers- blood sugar sex magik Spirit- twelve dreams of Dr. Sardonicus Tempest- self titled Supertramp- Crime of the century Zappa- Apostrophe To name a few :)
As a guitarist, stumbling across Mississippi John Hurt's 1928 recordings on Okeh Records was life altering in terms of a vibe I wanted to integrate into my playing. It became total comfort food for my soul while playing it or listening to it. Country blues and John Hurt really only make less 1% of what I listen to now as my interests are truly diverse but that was a lifechanging album for me for sure.
Silly Sisters - June Tabor & Maddy Prior et al. The Power of the Organ - Robert G. Owen, organist Fire on the Mountain - The Highwoods Stringband The Bothy Band 1975: The First Album - The Bothy Band Medieval Roots - The New York Pro Musica Historic Organs of Spain - E. Power Biggs Their Satanic Majesties Request - Rolling Stones Anthology of American Folk Music - The Harry Smith Collection The Doors - The Doors Switched-On Bach - Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind Several titles - David Munrow & The Early Music Consort of London The Dillards – Live... Almost - The Dillards Et many al.
Boston-self titled police- outlandos, ghost in the machine, all of them sex pistols- never mind bob Marley-kaya peter tosh- mama africa the smiths- meat is murder the cure- head in the door stooges- fun house roxy music- Avalon
James Taylor (Apple) Jimi (Eddie Kramer) - Axis.. 5th Dimension (Jimmy Webb) - The Magic Garden Brian Protheroe - Pinball Al Jarreau (Jay Graydon) - Jarreau Wondermints - Mind If We Make Love... Mahsvishnu - Adventures In Radioland Kevin Gilbert -The Shaming Of The True Scofield - AGoGo Ray Chen live anywhere
Pink Floyd Weather Report: Mysterious Traveler, Black Market, Heavy Weather Chick Corea: Romantic Warrior Brian Eno: Another Green World and his collaborations!! Peter Gabriel: 1-6 or 7 Led Zeppelin 1-6 Frank Zappa Talking Heads first 5 albums Kraftwerk
CCR - Chronicle Chuck Berry - Greatest Hits AC/DC - Back in BlackLed Zeppelin I G N’ R - Appetite for Destruction Neil Young - Harvest Nuggets box set Metallica - Ride the Lightning Steve Young - Seven Bridges Road The Dream Syndicate - Medicine Show
Music that opened my eyes to different directions (in order): Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends; The Who: Who’s Next; Yes: Close To The Edge; Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom; Peter Gabriel 3; Debussy’s Tonal Works- my introduction to classical; REM: Chronic Town - single-handedly saved the world from White Snake; Jane’s Addiction: Ritual de lo Habitual; Beethoven’s 9th - one of those epiphanal moments; Radiohead: OK Computer; The Shins: Oh, Inverted World; Ralph Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Sun Kil Moon: Ghosts of the Great Highway; Sufjan Stevens: Illinois; Gorecki’s 3rd
Now this is an interesting question! I’ll probably have a boring answer, but the question is fascinating.
This is slightly odd for me, because my life has two very distinct parts. I’m going to focus on the things that have shaped me in the second part. Nothing in the first part is worth focusing on, and not much in it was worth listening to (and I don't just mean the music).
Gillian Welch / Revival
Greg Brown / Slant 6 Mind
Townes Van Zandt / Rearview Mirror
Wilco / Summerteeth
Jim White / No Such Place
Beatles / Rubber Soul
Mississippi John Hurt / (can’t remember the album name)
Alligator Records / (I think it was their 20th Anniversary compilation)
Miles Davis / Kind of Blue
Derek & The Dominos / Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs
Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim / Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim
Neil Young / Harvest Moon
Rufus Wainwright / Poses
Spoon / Kill the Moonlight
Van Morrison / Astral Weeks
Bob Dylan / Time Out of Mind
There are others, but I imagine this list is already long enough nobody will read it. :)
Kate Bush - Kick Inside Graham Parker - Stick to Me Any Dylan after 1966 Roxy Music Avalon Willy DeVille - Miracle GNR Use Your Illusion 1&2 Clapton - Slowhand Van Morrison - Wavelength Willie Nile - Willie Nile The Band - The Last Waltz REM - Automatic for the People Concert for Bangledesh Against Me - New Wave Social Distortion - Sex Love Rock and Roll Elvis Costello - Get Happy Warren Zevon - Sentimental Hygene Bruce Cockburn - World of Wonders
Yes, Fragile Genesis, Foxtrot King Crimson, Court of the Crimson King Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue Dave Brubeck, Time Out The Allman Brothers, Live At the Filmore The Doors, First album Led Zeppelin, II Blood, Sweat and Tears, First album Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon, Aaron Copeland, Appalachian Spring Dmitry Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5 and all the countless stuff my dad exposed me to. He listened to everything (except Country).
This post is a joy because it is so packed with great listening ideas. I have several in different eras of my life but most have been listed above. When I was a child, six or seven years old, my parents took me to the movie theater to see Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was so enthralled by the images and music even if it didn't exactly have a narrative aimed at kids. That Christmas, in the early '70's, I received my own copy of the MGM soundtrack. I played it on our Sylvania phonograph hundreds of times; I was allowed to use the stereo from a young age. I've loved stereos and music since.
Too many to list! However here's my entry into the world of Jazz: June 1970 I bought Bitches Brew at Woolworths! At the age of 18 I perceived it to be on a higher artistic plane than the average rock alblum! And tried to get some of my peers to listen to it!
Had to be The Chipmunks Song Book back as a wee lad.
Peter and the Wolf (Bernstein version on Columbia Masterworks) probably influenced me as well as in scaring the bejeebers out of me along with the cool music. Yes, we are talking childhood nightmares there! The wolf was after me!
...then as a young man in high school DSOTM WYWH and Animals by Pink Floyd. Also “The Yes Album” and “Genesis Live” and “This is the Moody Blues”. Not to mention “The White Album”. Also DSMIOTPP by Elton John. In college lots of new influences. “The Outlaws”, “Brothers and Sisters” by Allman Bros. “The Cars”, Sex Pistols “NMTBHTSP”, and Talking Heads 77. Country rock and emerging new wave was big.
Also had a lot of exposure to “The Kingston Trio” as a kid. Lots of good stuff!
Lots of great choices so far. Here's a few others worth considering:
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced Love - Forever Changes The Doors - The Doors Renaissance - Turn of the Cards Roxy Music - Siren Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones The Cure - Seventeen Seconds Talking Heads - Remain in Light XTC - English Settlement
1967-68 - The Byrds, the 45, “Hey, Mr. Spaceman”: my first purchase of music, at 7 or 8 years old, at The Grande Place in Brussels, Belgium. I was the youngest of 4, didn’t have my own record player at the time, but by God I was gonna keep up with my older siblings.
1972 - Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Trilogy”: ok, definitely not my style now, but it was my first lp (as a Record Club of America member).
1973 - Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon”: My family stayed for a week at the beach in Bethany Beach, Delaware. The condo had a record player and one lp. We listened to it a lot! I think this may have been the same week I experienced my first serious kiss, and my first beer; the kiss was great, the beer was awful - a Colt malt liquor, and warm to boot.
1975 - Jeff Beck, “Blow by Blow”: It would take me about 30 years to recognize it, but this was a harbinger of my future passion for jazz.
1977-78 - Elvis Costello, “My Aim is True”; The Cars, “The Cars”,; Bruce Springsteen, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”: A collective delivery from disco hell.
1978 - Mighty Joe Young: Not an lp, but my intro to chicago blues, freshman year (at a frat party of all places!), and definitely life-changing.
1989 - Lyle Lovett, “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band”: Was in grad school, and saw him perform “Here I Am” off that lp on Austin City Lights. Jazz, blues, country and even a little rock all in one place. Opened my eyes not just to the possibilities of country, but bluegrass and roots music more broadly.
1991 - Bonnie Raitt, “Luck of the Draw”: didn’t really happen until 1995, but “Something to Talk About” off that lp became a little bit of a soundtrack of my life as I wooed my future wife (the love of my life)
1996-99 - Bob Marley, “Legend”: Ok, so this was released in 1984, but as my soon-to-be wife (1999) and I blended our 5 children into one family, this CD played frequently on the cd player in the 7-seat Mitsubishi Montero (nicknamed “the beast”) that we hauled the kids around in - much dancing in seats ensued whenever we put it on: “No woman, no cry....”
2013 - Pachelbel, “Canon”: This was the piece my ex-wife and I listened to frequently at lamaze class when she was pregnant with my oldest son in 1984-85. We played it at the celebration of his life after he died in June, 2013.
Jimmy Reed The Troggs Paul Revere & the Raiders The Animals James Gang - Rides Again The Band - II The Brandenburg Concertos - Rampal Beatles - White Album Who's Next Tull - Aqualung Hendrix - Smash Hits CSNY - Deja Vu Miles - Kind of Blue Stones - through '72 Pink Floyd - through '77 The Crusaders Spirit - 12 Dreams Weather Report - Black Market the list goes on and on.......
Grand Funk 'Closer to home'Supertramp 'Crime of the Century'Beatles 'Sgt Pepper'Van Morrison 'Veedon Fleece'Joni Mitchell 'Blue'Beach Boys 'Pet sounds'Klaatu 'EST'Aretha Franklin's greatest hitsSinatra 'September of my years'Cloud Cult 'The meaning of 8'The Shins 'Whincing the night away'Hendrix 'Rainbow Bridge soundtrack & first album'Tull 'Aqualung'Wishbone Ash ‘Argus’Stones 'Flowers'
Allman Brothers - Live at Fillmore East Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman CSN&Y - Deja Vu Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees John Mayall - The Beano Album Derek and the Dominos - Layla Steve Miller - Brave New World Pink Floyd - The Wall Grand Funk Railroad - Closer toHome Supertramp - Crime of the Century Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Thanks for your note - yes, it’s not something you recover from, but something you survive.
Re Bonnie Raitt, yeah, she first hit my radar with “Give it up”, in 1972; my sister had it, and I would “borrow” it from time to time.
Re Lyle Lovett, have remained a huge fan - my wife and I try to see him every year at Wolf Trap (great outdoor venue near DC). This year we also had tix to Lovett with John Hiatt at the Strathmore before Covid put the kebosh on it. What a bummer. If you’ve never seen him live, you should do it. Great band - he often would have both Leland Sklar and Russ Kunkel playing with his large band; great musicianship.