Fifteen albums

Another list request making the rounds on Facebook:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others [or not], including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you’re it!

1. Chopin by Starlight, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Carmen Dragon, conductor
Orchestrated versions of piano works are Simply Not Done these days, but these versions of Chopin’s polonaises, nocturnes, and waltzes imprinted on me as a child and stuck.

2. Days of Future Passed, The Moody Blues (with the London Festival Orchestra)
I like To Our Children’s Children’s Children better, but this was the album that got me started with the Moodies.

3. (pronounced ‘lĕh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd), Lynyrd Skynyrd
I have no explanations, or apologies.

4. Out of Time, R.E.M.
Lifes Rich Pageant is better, but this is the album that got me started toward collecting every R.E.M. CD.

5. Between the Breaks…Live, Stan Rogers
The album from where I learned “The Mary Ellen Carter,” which is the song that showed me I could sing Songs That Matter.

6. Hot August Night, Neil Diamond
Thanks Mom. No, I mean it. We sang along to most of the tracks on many nights.

7. John Denver’s Greatest Hits
Probably the one LP I wore out, ever.

8. Live Bullet, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Because I’m from Detroit, and it’s our bloody soundtrack if you’re between 35 and 60.

9. Love Over Gold, Dire Straits
Late nights, headphones blasting “Telegraph Road”

10. Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
Mom’s first Lightfoot album (bought when “Sundown” was Gord’s current hit), which is what got me started on my whole Canadian singer/songwriter devotion.

11. Tanglewood Tree, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer
There is songwriting, and then there is transcendence that I can see but cannot even touch.

12. Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
Another one from Mom’s collection.

13. Old and In the Way (Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, et al.)
The first CD I bought, about three months before I bought a CD player. But it was also one of the popular recordings on WDET’s “Arkansas Traveler” in the 1980s, so I knew it pretty well before I bought the CD.

14. Colors of the Day: The Best of Judy Collins
OK, I think I wore this LP out too. Good thing CDs came along.

15. Buckingham Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks
This was probably where I should’ve realized I was actually collecting recordings. It’s also a great album and shows what was in the future once they joined Fleetwood Mac.

I can’t say they “changed my life”—a couple of them did, but whose life can be changed fifteen times? I just went with “significant” as my criterion for adding to the list.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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