I like making lists. So here is a list of 15 albums that had a significant impact on my life and why.
“Abbey Road” by The Beatles
Frankly, all of The Beatles’ albums have had a profound effect on me. I came to love The Beatles in high school and they are by far my favorite band. They are musical geniuses. Their melodies and harmonies are amazing! And how they constantly changed their style over time, which is extremely hard to do. They have influenced every band that has come after them. I could never fully articulate what their music means to me. I heart The Beatles!
“Little Earthquakes” by Tori Amos
Tori Amos wrote this music as her recovery from a horrific rape. This music is hauntingly beautiful. It also helped me during a very dark time in my life. Tori is a gifted artist and proves that from tragedy can come amazing triumph and beautiful art. “Silent all these years” has become an anthem for abused women everywhere. Tori has never stayed silent and has always spoken her truth.
“Weezer” aka the Blue Album by Weezer
This came out in 1994 and sounded different than anything I had ever heard before and I LOVED IT. Here were kids that were the weirdos in high school and rock harder than all the “cool kids.” Weezer will always be one of my faves.
“Songs about Jane” by Maroon 5
I could listen to this entire album over and over again and not get sick of it. I was at a point in my life where I never thought I’d ever hear any new music again and love it. I was wrong! Unfortunately their sophomore effort wasn’t nearly as creative or meaningful.
“August and Everything After” by Counting Crows
Words cannot explain how much I love this album. Another album I could listen to from beginning to end and never get sick of it. Like “Little Earthquakes” this is a album that helped me work through some tough times. Because, ’round here, we always stand up straight. I have new favorite songs off this album every time I listen to it.
“Pieces of You” by Jewel
I hated the first single off this album, “Who will save your souls?” but when I heard “You were meant for me” for the first time, I became a Jewel fan. I’m still amazed that a homeless girl living out of her van in San Diego wrote this beautiful album. The most profound line in the title track is, “do you hate her ’cause she’s pieces of you?” Those songs still touch me.
“Stadium Arcadium” by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers Honestly, the best work done by the Chilli Peppers in their 20 year career. I could listen to both discs over and over again, ad infinitum, and they would still sound fresh and amazing. Like a fine wine, the Chilli Peppers just get better with age.
“Taking the long way” by The Dixie Chicks
I was not a Dixie Chicks fan until 2003 when they had the courage to stand up against the whole world and declare that dissent is patriotic. Their words on “Not Ready to Make nice” helped me heal the wounds I had suffered at being called every name in the book for being against the Iraq War. Five Grammys and a few years later they were proven right. Also, the song “Silent House” makes me cry every time because I think of my mother. “And I will try to connect all the pieces you left. I will carry them on and let you forget. And I’ll remember the years when your mind was clear. All the laughter and life filled up this Silent House.” Amazing.
“Tragic Kingdom” by No Doubt
My first introduction to No Doubt. Simply amazing from beginning to end. I remember seeing the video for “Just a Girl” on 120 Minutes on MTV and thinking they were like nothing I had ever heard before. This album basically defines the summer between my senior year in high school and frosh year in college.
“Time Out” by Dave Brubeck
I took an Intro to Jazz class my frosh year and this is the album I love the most from it. It reminds me of my Grandpa and his love of Jazz.
“Ropin’ the Wind” by Garth Brooks
I remember hearing “Shameless” for the first time as a 13 year old girl and knowing that I wanted to love and be loved like that. The amazing thing is, the song was written by Billy Joel. I have every song Garth ever recorded on my iPod, but this one is my favorite. Garth’s the only country music artist I unequivocally adore. I went to see him live in 1998 and besides sitting in front of some psycho people, that concert was amazing. I don’t know what it is about his music that speaks to my soul, but it does.
“Luck of the Draw” by Bonnie Raitt
Who hasn’t cried while listening to “I can’t make you love me?” Or least had their heart break a little. The whole album is genius and Raitt’s voice is to die for.
“Come on Come on” by Mary Chapin Carpenter There are so many songs I love on this album. The song “Only a Dream” reminds me of when my sister left for law school and walking into her empty room and feeling her absence so completely. Recently listening to the title track, “Come on Come on,” really spoke to me as she describes looking at pictures of her parents on their honeymoon and saying, “now you’re older than they were then that summer night.” The longing, sadness, and her melancholy in that song is something I can identify with more than I ever thought I would listening to this album over and over again in junior high.
“Erasure Pop! – The first 20 hits” by Erasure
When I feel a little down, Erasure can always lift my spirits. I love their ABBA rip offs and their original music. This album helped me get healthy as I would wake up at the butt crack of dawn and walk 3 miles around my neighborhood with this in my Walkman. Yes, I said Walkman. It was the 90s and they were cool.
“Les Miserables: The Complete Symphonic Version” Introduced to me in Junior High, the story of Les Mis and Jean Valjean has touched my life. The words in this musical are truly inspiring. And they were translated from French! I’ve seen the stage production four times and anticipate seeing it again many more times in the future.
“Take my hand, I’ll lead you to salvation. Take my love. For love is everlasting. And remember the truth that once was spoken, to love another person is to see the face of God.” Those were the last words I sang to my Mom a few hours before she passed away.