Records that made you reassess your music beliefs

I have just stopped listening to Tony Williams Lifetime's Emergency and was as intrigued and absorbed by the music as the first time I heard this record. This was one record that truly changed my conception of what music was supposed to be. Just curious, what records altered your state of mind (in their own right, that is, without, er... "help") We're not talking about your five best or the ones you'd take with you to a deserted island. Indeed, some of them you may not have liked right away or still find awkward, but they may have broken seals, opened gates,... you get the gist. Try to limit it to, say, a half dozen to single out the real mind-benders (any style or category).

To me, they were - more or less in historical order:

Ten Years After, "Watt": my first TYA, indeed, one of my very first records. I always found it had "something" more than any TYA before or thereafter. Until that time, rock had meant Purple, Sabbath, Earring etc. From that time on I belonged to not even a handful of guys with different tastes than the rest of class.

Yes, "Fragile": now this is one I would take to the island with me even today. So different, yet one I loved instantly. Made me ready for Crimson, Floyd, the Canterbury lot and beyond.

Weather Report, "Sweetnighter": a serendipitous discovery, I taped this inadvertedly and was fascinated from the first notes. The advent of jazz to me. Sure, I'd heard big band stuff on the radio before, but that had never remotely inspired me. With this, I had really left my class mates' orbit.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, "Pictures at an Exhibition": I didn't know what to make of this first. Were these the guys that had done "Lucky Man"? Purists may abstain, but in the end this record led the way to classical music (and wouldn't you know it, still with Russian bias). Later, I had the opportunity to witness ELP's spectacular virtuosity live (together with Zappa, one of the best two concerts ever).

Tony Williams Lifetime, "Emergency": fascinating though not my favourite from the start. It took getting used to but this one pushed my "jazz-limit" considerably. Another electric one, but without this, I would not have made it to jazz in all its shapes and colors from bop to contemporary.

Captain Beefheart, "Trout Mask Replica": wasn't prepared for this shocking experience. I had heard the Captain with Zappa with great pleasure, this however was startling! To be honest, I hated the record. What it said, though, was: just let it in, you're never finished there is more to dicover. Lots of more or less bizarre stuff afterwards, but this was the eye-opener.

Don't we have the best of all hobbies!
What's - it dirty ? I guess I'm old, I still spell out interest in text messaging
You caught me red-handed there, TYA = Ten Years After.

Reminds me of a casual remark Bill Gates reportedly made in an interview: Too many TLA's these days. You can guess the reporter getting really nervous: do I have to know this? No escape, though, he (or she) must ask what TLA's are. Response: Three Letter Abbreviations.

BTW (= by the way), I'm old, just look at those records I mentioned.
I had heard Cecil Taylor the avant garde/free jazz pianist on many records and didn't "get it" at a concert something clicked,for me it was suddenly completely different.This concert in Yellow Springs ,Ohio was later released as the LP "Indent".Listening to this album still causes me to have a particularly odd sensitivity.Some aural deja vu type feeling.
Yes-Tales From Topographic Oceans
E.L.P-Brain Salad Surgery
Pink Floyd-Dark Side Of the Moon
Led Zeppelin-I
Frank Zappa-Apostrophe
Tom Waits-Mule Variations
Highway 61
Sgt. Pepper
Electric Ladyland
Abbey Road
Close to the Edge
Thick as a Brick
Dark Side of the Moon
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Countdown to Ecstasy
Heart Like A Wheel
Speaking in Tongues
Out of Time
In Rainbows
kinda hard to do, there are different reasons for each of these, and there are probably more I could list.

Fragile (Yes)
Madman Across the Water (Elton John)
Harvest (Neil Young)
Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin)
Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson)
Red (King Crimson)
Songbird (Eva Cassidy)
Electric Ladyland
Ziggy Stardust
The Pat Metheny Group (White)
Dire Straits
Outlandos d'Amour
Steve Tibbets - Yr
Chris Whitley - The Din of Ecstasy
Sweetnighter stuck out as a great Weather Report record for me too. You might really dig the cover of Boogie Woogie Waltz by Ayers Rock (if you can find it).

Zappa- Hot Rats (Can't beleive this at first sounded like random honking noise)

Miles Davis- Jack Johnson

Captain Beefheart- Trout Mask Replica

King Crimson-Larks Tongues In Aspic (seemed clinical precise...way heavier than most hard rock from 73')

The Music Improvisation Company (ECM 1970, amazing display of unconventional skill and weirdness... had to move some boundaries to get this one to sink in at all)

Can- Tago Mago/Ege Bamyasi/Future Days (Big evolutionary step in psychedelic music)

Hendrix- Are You Experienced (The big bang for rock guitar)

Terje Rypdal- Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away (long slabs of electric bass, somber french horn and mellotron backdrops w/ superb narcotic electric guitar, came out long before new age and is way more real and powerful)

Nirvana- Nevermind (Thought the whole three chord garage band vein had been completely mined out... WRONG!)

Tipographica- Tipographica (If FZ's instrumental work opened the door... these guys found a couple of new rooms, amazing poop).

Massacre- Killing Time (A %$#+!!! warehouse of twisted scary mind frying bass/drum/guitar ideas.

Trettioariga Kriget (first record has cool structures, percussively way ahead of most rock stuff in 73'. Got it 'cause a catalog descibed it as astoundingly complex guitar dominated rock (it is), but it's not wankery or shred. Alot of the passages will stick in the head after a few listens. It pre-dates and dwarfs most metal stuff that fills the racks.
Moody Blues/ On the Threshold of a Dream
In the Court of the Crimson King/ King Crimson
Love/ Forever
Free/ Fire and Water
Howlin Wolf/ The London Sessions
Led Zeppelin/ I,II,III
The Beatles/ Srgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour
Chicago/ I and II
The Band/ The Brown Album
Tom Waits/ Swordfishtrombone
Miles Davis/ Pangea and Agartha
The Rolling Stones/ Beggars Banquet

These are just a handfull of recordings that changed my attitude on music for whatever reason. Some are introductions to an artist(Swordfishtrombone) and after hearing it I went out and bought other recordings of them and then looked for similar artists with similar styles.Some because the artist was treading in new and unknown territories and some because well in the case of Chicago horns can rock too and their first and second albums proved that.
John Coltrane "A Love Supreme"
Frank Zappa "Waka Jawaka", "Grand Wazoo", and "The Yellow Shark"
Captain Beefheart "troutmask replica"
Arvo Part "Tabala Rasa"
Gavin Bryars "Jesus Blood..." "the Gambler"
Marilyn Crispell trio music on ECM label (exquisite!)
The Incredible String Band "Big Ted"
Anything by Henry Cow or the Art Bears
Steven Brown and Benjamin Lew's "Tuxedo Moon"
Robert Wyatt "Ruth is Stranger than Richard"
The Soft Machine "Third" and "Fourth"
Please be honest with any of you actually listen to Trout Mask Replica?
London Calling, cus yer phoney Beatlemania has biten the dust
Tomyan...yes, I do listen to trout mask replica once in awhile...also The Bonzo Dog Band, The Fugs, Hatfield and North, Egg, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, David Sylvian, Riuchi Sakamoto, Hugh Hopper, etc.
Trout Mask Replica, honestly speaking...

Bought the LP second-hand, listened to it a few times. Hated it. Sold it. Hated myself for selling it. Bought it again from a friend in the grip of cd-mania who was selling his LPs. Listened to it a few times (one side at a time). Left it for my brother when moving to Germany. Bought the cd. Listened once to what was an abominably bland pressing. Thought it was a shame how they had massacred this interesting (hear, hear!) record. Exchanged my cd for the LP my brother still had. Played it with much better gear than before. Thought it was a forceful statement. Thought it was in any case better than some highly praised free jazz or contemporary composers' "serious" stuff I'd heard meanwhile; and - with all due respect for an otherwise great artist - certainly much better than Bluejeans and Moonbeams and similar superfluous "nothingness".

The TRUTH: Do I listen to Trout Mask Replica today? Er,... let's agree on seldom ;-)
Hmmm...haven't listened in 35 years. Maybe I'll try it again. I did buy the best of The Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band and on CD a few years ago. Listened once for nostalgia sake and had a lot of laughs. Also have the first 4 Firesign Theater albums, great headphone records.

But change my religion? Nah, I still listen to the first Byrds album and a lot of jazz I discovered in the late 60s and through the 70s. I think tastes mature more than change, in my opinion. I was excited by the Punk and New Wave movement 30 years ago because it reminded me of my garage band days of '65 through '70. I also had fun with The Fugs ("Hey fa--ot! What chew doin' in my town, Buddy?").

OK, I guess I'd have to say that The Byrds first album changed my musical tastes in a pivotal way. I was 13 and completely forgot about Herman's Hermits. Also, my first Mother of Invention album (We're Only In It For The Money) changed what I expected from an album. If I heard some intelligence in the lyric or composition, I liked it.
Yes- Tales From Topographic Oceans- Wasn't crazy about it at first but, amn did it grow on me

Crossroads movie $ soundtrack- I was into metal guitar, so I got it for the Steve Vai guitar, but it got me into UIrban and acoustic blues big time. Ry Cooder kicks butt!

Charlie Parker- The Complete Verve Recordings- Got me head over heels for Bop.

Miles Davis- Kinda Blue- Got me into mare laid back jazz and West Coast Jazz.

John Coltrane- A Love Supreme- Didn't like it at first, but I eventually learned to love it and it got me into more avant garde jazz.

The Ultra- Lounge series of CDs- Got me into exotica and mid century pop/lounge music.
Weather Report "Black Market" "Mysterious Traveler" "Heavy Weather"
Return To Forever "Romantic Warrior"
The Clash "Sandinista"
Miles "Kind Of Blue"
Yes "Fragile"
Beatles "Abbey Road"
Coltrane "A Love Supreme"
Santana "Santana" "Caravanserai"
Peter Gabriel "So"
Brubeck "Time Out"
T Heads "Remain In Light"
Pat Metheny "As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls"
Floyd "Wish You Were Here" "Meddle"
Mickey Hart "At The Edge" "Planet Drum"
Tangerine Dream "Ricochet" "Stratosfear"
Robin Trower "Bridge of Sighs"
Wes Montgomery "A Day In The Life"
Hendrix "All Along The Watchtower"
Dead "Infrared Roses"
Los Lobos "Kiko"
Jeff Beck "
Diana Krall "When I Look Into Your Eyes"
Every one of these gems has affected me either spiritually, mentally, metaphysically, or timelessly. There are others, but where to draw the line?
This is a cool thread. Why has nobody posted anything in over a year?! Reading the start made me smile. The confusion of 21st century word-reduction. However, I don’t think you need to be old in order to listen to and appreciate the records mentioned. A lot of the music I listen to was recorded before I was born, but it still manages to blow me away!
Records that made me reassess my music beliefs... well, here are some:

4 Way Street – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: I always feel like I’m actually there when I’m listening to this record. It has a charmingly familiar atmosphere which manages to touch your feelings in a very special way. At least it does with me. It’s soothing in an almost transcendental way.

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain – Yann Tiersen: I know some might say « it’s just a soundtrack », but I think it’s so much more! I love listening to Yann Tiersen’s creations. Definitely one of the things I’d take to a deserted island. Love the piano on “Comptine d'un autre été: l'après midi »

Get Behind Me Satan & White Blood Cell – The White Stripes: In my opinion these two records are like a breath of fresh air. The raw and minimalistic style plus the way they recorded the music creates a very individual atmosphere.

The Big Lebowski – Various Artists: Yes, I know it’s another soundtrack, but this is another one I’d take to the island with me. It’s a great mix! Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, Yma Sumac (amazing voice!), Nina Simone, etc. It’s an extraordinary soundtrack and record!

Z – My Morning Jacket: An alternative, psychedelic, folk rock album with a very experimental jam-session-touch to it. One of my favourites which reminds me of a new interpretation of the psychedelic 60s : )

Debut – Björk: The first time I listened to this record was at a friend’s house and it was unlike any record I had ever heard. I know it is not everybody’s cup of tea, but I think it is worth trying it. Btw, the track “Venus as a boy” is in Luc Besson’s film “Léon:The Professional” ;-)

Dark side of the moon – Pink Floyd: One of the all-time greatest with an especially intriguing listening experience. Whilst listening to this you tend to forget where you are, because the music just grips you. Phenomenal! Another one for the island.

Horses – Patti Smith: This is the first Patti Smith album I ever listened to and the first one I bought as well. It captured my full attention from the first second onward. Classic!

Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike – Gogol Bordello: Gogol Bordello is a band that came as a complete surprise to me. The first time I saw them was at a festival in Switzerland and the people in the audience became their adoring slaves. In my opinion one of the greatest and diverse punk records ever made. A great mélange of punk and gypsy music with an occult touch to it. Amazing! This band definitely made me reassess my music beliefs!

And for something completely different... Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and Dvořák’s 9th Symphony also blew my mind. I’m not all that into classical music really (maybe, because I’ve never spent all that much time looking into what there is...), but these two are great! Hope they also count as records : )

Okay, this is far too long. Sorry! Seems I can’t stop talking (or writing) about music. For all the music geeks out there, I can absolutely recommend! It’s amazing and broadens your horizon of artists more than you’d expect. At least it did (and still does!) for me. You should check it out!

Love & Peace!
Seems lots of these threads sit for a while until somebody new checks them out. Plus it also seems like alot of us Agoners have real lives and don't sit around hour after hour waiting to post...

In no particular order but this one first just because it just happened..

Frank Sinatra Duets I & II--I was NEVER a fan of the chairman, however on a recent trip to Florida, the rental car had an XM/Sirius SAT radio. I found Margaritaville, the Jimmy Buffet station, and heard a version of "Mack the knife" of Jimmy with Sinatra. I went to the internet looking for it, and found it only on this disk. These duets with stars ranging from Tony Bennett to Chrisse Hynde to Lena Horne to Willie Nelson to Linda Ronstadt to Lena Horne opened me up to Ol' Blue Eyes.

"Cosmos Factory"---CCR--Heard it at a friends house in 1972 maybe '73. Don't know what the revelation was exactly, other than it opened me up to start asking people more about what they were listening to and buy on word of mouth.

"Freak Out"-- Frank Zappa-- well what can I say, it was the early seventies and, well--"Help, I'm a Rock"!

"Umma Gumma"--Pink Floyd-- Two times, the first time in the early seventies, see above. And just recently again with my Maggie 3.6's. The studio disc is one of the most incredible recordings ever made. The tracks in the meadow with the kingfisher... you ARE THERE!

"Telarc Multi-channel SACD sampler"--Yeah,weird, but wow! Made me only want to buy multi-channell music! I don't know why this stuff didn't catch on. Maybe it was ahead of the affordable technology.

"Rust Never Sleeps"--Neil Young--I had Neil albums, but he was just "there" before this one. Once I actually "listened" to what he was puttin' down, he became "Mr. Soul", still is!

And Yes, I agree --Vivaldi Four Seasons--Classical is always like the movie soundtrack to one's life, and for some reason this one never gets old.

and lastly,
"Steppenwolf LIVE"--The first "rock" LP I ever heard. I was at a friends house right after his brother got back from Woodstock. I was at an album store the next day. Oddly enough, I buy most of my new stereo electronics from the son of the guy who owned that record store--Record Rama-- in Etna, Pa.
While I was in 9th grade The Jimi Hendrix Experience released ARE YOU EXPERIENCED. I can list many other records that had a profound influence on me but this was incredible. Yes with THE YES ALBUM is somewhere in line behind Hendrix and his group.
Just listened to Ten Years After "Watt". Cool sound! Although it's from 1970 (golly, that's 39 years ago!), it's got an amazing feeling to it. Okay, 'although' sounds a bit negative come to think of it... but I hope you know what I mean :)
I would say that recently Allan Taylor blew me away! I also like to listen to Leonard Cohen, Joe Dassin (who, for some reason, is never mentioned on Audiogon). Lara Fabian's voice is also enchanting.

I mentioned all the names above, because I normally listen to heavy metal stuff, but these artists (and the quality of their recordings) made me reassess my music beliefs.
My case is a bit reversed. I have always been a huge avant/out fan, both in the jazz and classical idioms. When I first heard Francois Couperin's "Music for Viols" performed by Jordi Savall I reassessed linear harmony in classical music. Now I am a huge baroque fan spanning the spectrum.
And now for something completely different. This is beyond belief, Larajs just found out we're next-door neighbours. To be sure, that is not same block in the center of the big city neighbours, but actually adjoining houses in the same street in a quiet Frankfurt suburb neighbours. Extraordinary place, the 'goN.

Perhaps a topic for a thread: Find your nearest Audiogoner.
And now for something completely different. This is beyond belief, Larajs just found out we're next-door neighbours.
now that *is* amazing!
Like for Sit, for me this kind of album is Pearl Jam´s "Ten", it was the first CD I bought (after very careful consideration as it was truly expensive considering the era (post-Soviet collapse of economy and political system) and now after having it re-released and remastered it still stands out (magnificent MTV unplugged now also finally released on DVD). there have been others (and I hope there will be in future as well) that have made my musical tastes very eclectic (from the Tribe called Quest to Marc de Clive-Lowe to Arvo Pärt).
greetings from asbury park nj, the wild, the innocent and the E street shuffle, born to run, after the gold rush, harvest, blond on blond, highway 61, blood on the tracks, tea for the tillerman, teaser and the firecat, catch bull at four, can't buy a thrill, Deja vu, centerfield, who's next, tommy, bridge over troubled water, etc
Todd Rundgren once had a well publicized spat with John Lennon when Rundgren claimed his work was superior to The Beatles'. I thought "What an ass". Twenty years later, I heard TR's "Nearly Human" and I started exploring his catalog more closely. Now, I believe he's right. I know that's a minority position, but that record started me toward that conclusion.

Lindsey Buckingham's recent "Live At Bass Hall" caused me to re-evaluate Fleetwood Mac and LB's solo work. I used to like 'em a lot, now I'd place this work on my short list of great RnR.

Coleman Hawkins "Body And Soul" introduced me to the beauty of classic jazz and Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite" set off the Ellington is a genius light bulb for me.

I'd also add:

"The Showmen" greatest hits cd. This collection connected the dots for me between doo wop and rock n roll. I now have a large doo wop collection, too.

and Zachary Richard's "Women In The Room" which jump started my interest in Zydeco.


PS I'm relieved to hear that Larajs is in Frankfurt. My wife's e-mail is Laurajs and I thought she was a closet A-goner, posting behind my back.
a trifecta of moody blues albums; days of future past, on the threshold of a dream and in search of a lost chord.what i heard on these lps a decade after they were recorded was so beyond anything my in my age group was listening to. when listening to lost chord i would always read the back of the album cover and read about all these instruments these guys were playing.
I was 14 and heard "Moving Pictures" by Rush for the first time.

The level of musicianship on this particular album never ceases to amaze me. It still gives me goosebumps every time I hear those opening chords to "Tom Sawyer", the ultimate prog-rock anthem.

Depeche Mode's "Violator"-dark lyrics mixed with some incredible music to make what I consider the perfect noir pop album. Never to be duplicated by anyone, and the creative and commercial apotheosis for this band. Love 'em or hate 'em. they haven't been around for 29 years for nothing.