Your Life in Albums

I came up with an idea a few days ago on the Jabberboard called “Your Life in Albums”, in which you list one album per year of your life from 7th grade up to the current day. The album doesn’t need to define your life, but should probably be your favorite album of that year, or an album that you have fond memories of, or an album that you listened to extensively.

Ideally, the album picked should have been released during that year. However, an album released previously that you only encountered for the first time would also be acceptable.

7th – 1989-1990 – Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood
I believe this was the first cassette I went out and purchased by myself. I was young, nerdy, and not a musician at this point. Motley Crue had the coolest videos at the time, and they were also the quintessential rock band, dirty and slightly dangerous. Also, their videos almost always had hot girls in them. This is the only album I can think really remember as a non-musician, i.e., I don’t really think about the music or structure, just the songs as a whole.

8th – 1990-1991 – Skid Row – Skid Row
I spent a great deal of this summer in my dad’s shop fixing and cleaning farm equipment, and this album played non-stop for basically the entire summer. This was the year I bought my first electric bass, and the rest is history.

9th – 1991-1992 – Metallica – The Black Album
I remember that at this point I was already listening to heavier stuff, and most of early ’91 was Kill ‘Em All, Justice, and Faith No More’s “The Real Thing” This album basically never left my tape deck for six months. As mentioned before, I also read the Dragonlance Chronicles while listening to this album over and over again, and the two are forever linked.

10th – 1992-1993 – White Zombie – La Sexorcisto/Faith No More – Angel Dust
This was one of the tougher years to figure out; I spent the last half of my 9th grade year and the first half of my 10th grade year dressed completely in black and hating the world, but in my fuzzy memory, by spring of 10th grade I was all about the grunge. Part of this is probably due to the effect of Lollapalooza ’92 that summer (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and on the second stage, Tool and Rage Against The Machine). I had to pick two for this year, as much as I listened to the new “grunge” stuff at home, I started driving in the summer of ’93, and White Zombie and Faith No More were the only things in my car that entire summer.

11th – 1993-1994 – Alice In Chains – Dirt
Put on this album, and I instantly go back to January ’94, -20 degrees, driving around in my friends 1972 Delta 88, looking for a party out in the middle of nowhere. That pretty much sums up that entire year for me. A very close second would be Morphine’s Cure For Pain, which I played constantly at the gift shop where I worked.

12th – 1994-1995 – Primus – Pork Soda
I first started getting into Primus a few years earlier, but this album was the soundtrack to my senior year.

Freshman – 1995-1996 – Morphine – Yes
The college years start getting much more difficult, although I remember this album getting extremely heavy dorm room airplay.

Sophmore – 1996-1997 – Jaco Pastorius – The Birthday Concert
In the spring of ’96, I first heard a recording of bass legend Jaco Pastorius, and spent the next few years trying to sound exactly like him. It was also at this point I started becoming a real jazz snob, mainly listening to big band and 60’s era hard bop. I basically stopped buying new albums.

Junior – 1997-1998 – Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius
A continuation of my woodshedding. My girlfriend at the time was into a lot of indie rock which I HATED, so I started listening almost entirely to solo jazz bass records.

Senior – 1998-1999 – Various Artists – Pure Funk
The summer before my senior year, I joined a band which would later become the Neighborhood Flash. We played entirely covers as the house band of Karl’s Coffee, and it was some of the best times of my college life. We played almost the entire Pure Funk compilation, as well as the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack. Just thinking about those shows makes me feel hungover.

Super Senior – 1999-2000 – Bob Curnow Big Band – Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
I was in the top jazz ensemble at this point, which was five hours of rehearsal a week, plus the four hours a day I spent practicing. On top of this, I was finishing up my Biology major classes, and deciding what to do with my life. One of the decisions I made was ending a four year relationship to stay in school another year, and this album is the soundtrack of that decision.

Power Senior – 2000-2001 – Powerman 5000 – Tonight The Stars Revolt!
Yes, this year put me an additional $12,000 in debt in student loans. However, it was by far my favorite year in college, filled with fun, drama, intrigue, suspense, and meeting my future wife. I listened to this album before every single jazz concert to get the energy flowing, and also to frighten my roommates. A close second would be Miles Davis’ Four and More, Disc 2, which was played during more….. subdued times.

Year Off – 2001 – WinAmp – Shuffle
I literally did nothing after I graduated other than drink beer and play Everquest. I downloaded some random tunes into WinAmp and hit shuffle.

Living at Home/Moving To The City – 2002 – Tool – Aenima
I got a job at a local music store in the spring of 2002, and I hated pretty much every second of it. I discovered at this time that I had missed quite a few decent album releases in the past 5 or 6 years, and I attempted to catch up a little. I listed to Undertow a lot in high school, so I picked up Aenima that summer, and it put me in totally the wrong mood to sell band instruments. Perfect. I also got engaged that summer, and made the big move down to the metro area in the fall.

Muffin Man/Marriage! – 2003 – Metallica – St. Anger
After working a couple of temp jobs in late 2002, and lots of job searching, I got hired on in the research kitchens of a certain large Minnesota based company that is famous for its cereals. Why this album? Because it was so tremendously hyped, and it’s all the 93X morning show talked about on my hour commute each way to work that spring. I was super excited for it. And I bought it. And it made me very, very angry. I don’t think I bought any more albums the entire year, and I just listened to old Primus albums, and a variety of classical music and various albums in order to pick out songs for my wedding that year, which was awesome.

The Music Year – 2004 – Primus – Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People
Except for a brief few months at Guitar Center, I spent most of 2004 earning money solely through playing shows and teaching lessons. Primus released this album that year, and honestly, it’s all that I remember. I also listened to a lot of Police that year.

King of the Nerds – 2005 – My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
A big year for me, musically. Neighborhood Flash wins battle of the bands, records album, breaks up. I join Rare Medium. I become assistant manager at game store. I also buy this album, which rekindles my interest in harder, faster music, and gets me to start actively searching out new bands and new albums.

Growing Up – 2006 – Clutch – Robot Hive/Exodus
I saw a video for “Burning Beard” and was hooked. I didn’t see the intro of the song, and was thinking “Who are these gods of rock!?” When I saw that it was Clutch, I freaked out. I loved “Shogun Named Marcus” in high school, and had no idea they still existed. Currenty my favorite band.

Present Day – 2007 – Mastodon – Blood Mountain
Once again, saw a video (I watch Fuse. They play videos). Same thing “Who are these hairy, frightening rock lords!?” Within three days, I had bought three albums. Blood Mountain hasn’t left my car since, and i listen through the whole thing at least twice a week. At this point in my life, this band is a perfect example of what I’d like to be playing in my own career… heavy and complex.

One Response to “Your Life in Albums”

  1. […] I mention here, Dirt was a “soundtrack of my life” album for my junior year in high school. In that […]

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