Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of 15 More Albums

After I posted some more Top 15 lists from friends, I heard from more of my blogging pals, ATV readers, and friends who weighed in with their lists.

First up is my good pal Mel from Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Your Boyfriend. Yesterday was a busy day in Mel-Land - Mel announced that her blog is going on hiatus. Boo! Hiss! Boo! I guess I'll have to keep in touch with her more in the real world to keep up on all of the dirt. No problem there. Mel gets huge amounts of friend points for having Tom Petty's Wildflowers on her list. You should all have Wildflowers on your list.... Without any further ado, here's Mel!

No particular order and completely random, WITH my favorite song from each album. They all have certain particular reasons why they "changed my life," but good stuff nonetheless. How 'bout that?

Toadies - Rubberneck

1. Toadies - Rubberneck - "Tyler"
2. Janis Ian - Between the Lines - "At Seventeen"
3. Garbage - Version 2.0 - "You Look So Fine" (OMG, Shirley Manson I want to eat you up when you sing this to me!)
4. Olive - Extra Virgin - "You Are Nothing"
5. The Cure - Disintegration - "Pictures of You"
6. No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom - "End on This" (This is my theme song).
7. Tom Petty - Wildflowers - "Wake Up Time" (Editor's note: My favorite Wildflowers track varies from day to day. Today, it's this one.)
8. Carole King - Tapestry - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (Moms used to play this record Saturday morning when it was designated "Cleaning Day").
9. Moloko - Statues - "Over and Over"
10. The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land - "Breathe"
11. Fugees - The Score - "Ready or Not"
12. Stone Temple Pilots - Core - "Creep"
13. Basement Jaxx - ANY album... really. But the banjo house on Crazy Itch Radio completely changed my love of world music (as in, now I love love it). "Hey U"
14. Michael Jackson - Bad - "Smooth Criminal"
15. Mickey Mouse Disco - "Welcome to Rio" I still have this album. In fact, the only RECORD that I own. It's a kid thing.

My rock and roll bro Kevin:

Kev chimes in with his 15, complete with explanation, and a unique twist - listed alphabetically:

Okay, I'm in for the top 15 albums. Here are the first 15 that came to mind.

In alphabetical order:

AC/DC - Powerage

1. AC/DC - Powerage
The best album of their catalog. They haven't rocked as hard and been as much fun ever since.

2. Allman Brothers Band - Live at the Fillmore East
A band on the brink of busting into the big time that is tight, hungry and loose enough to make one of the greatest live albums ever.

3. Dan Baird - Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired
What could have been the 4th Georgia Satellites album is the high point of his solo career.

4. ELO - A New World Record
Before the ship became bloated on Out of the Blue, it floated along beautifully with this
incredibly produced album that is ELO's best overall effort.

5. Ian Hunter - Ian Hunter
His first solo album following Mott the Hoople is one of the most complete and well-rounded in his career. Contains the original "Once Bitten Twice Shy."

6. Jason and the Scorchers - Thunder and Fire
Their most commercial album which should have put them over the top died when their label was sold the week the album came out. Lots of Warner Hodges and more rock and roll than you would expect.

7. Joe Jackson - Big World
Joe goes from angry young man to world observer with great success. A variety of songs and styles that all work and show his immense talent.

8. Los Lobos - The Neighborhood
One of America's most talented bands pulls it all together with a degree of lyrical and musical maturity that they continues to grow.

9. Lou Reed - New York
Brilliant observations, great storytelling and great rock and roll.

10. Smithereens - Especially for You
A total breath of fresh air at the time that still holds up after 20 years. "Blood and Roses" has one of the best bass lines in rock history.

11. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
New wave and punk were breaking and this group was very different from anyone. "Take Me to the River" put them over but there are many other great songs here as well.

12. Johnny Winter - Captured Live
One of the greatest rock/blues players ever steps out and shows why he was once the best in the business. Unbelievable dexterity and feel on guitar and a great voice too.

13. X - Under the Big Black Sun
Life in Los Angeles through the eyes of a poetic and drunk punk rock chick. Add one kick-ass band including the great John Doe on bass and vocals and this is a thing of dark beauty.

14. Warren Zevon - Sentimental Hygiene
His 1987 comeback album following a stint in rehab shows he hasn't lost a thing. One of his best albums in its entirety.

15. ZZ Top - The Best of
First put out in the late 70s, it captured every essential moment to that point. It doesn't get any better than this.

Joshua Jesty of Clevo locals thisisexploding (R.I.P.) and also the head jester guiding the good ship of all things Joshua Jesty:

Jesty goes in-depth describing his favorite albums and gives a nod to Spin Doctors (a favorite of mine as well...Up For Grabs, mmmmmm,) and also a very unexpected nod to Van Halen. Unfortunately, he also pads his list with three albums that he plays on. I guess I'll forgive that sinful move....

here we go, cause everyone else is doing it and you know I can't help myself from caving to peer pressure.

here's 15 records that affected me in the order I remember them.

The Monkees - Headquarters

1. Headquarters - The Monkees
when I was a kid I was nuts for the monkees. This shaped an awful lot for me. Since I watched the TV show everyday my parents started telling me the time in Monkee shows as is "hey dad, how long is this car drive going to take?" "2 monkees shows". Also, I remember feeling very betrayed whenever the whole group wasn't working as a unit. There were a few shows where Mike Nesmith just didn't show up and I can remember being disappointed every time one of those episodes came on. My parents had put a record player in my room at some point when I was 5 or 6 and I remember not really knowing why they had did this. Then one day while staying at my grandmas I noticed a stack of 3 records sitting by the front door. My aunt Jill had left them for me and they were what else but monkees records. I was jumping for joy when I brought them home and I remember spending most of my quiet playtime (time where I had to leave my parents alone that was designated as such) listening to those records and just laying on my bed singing along. I remember "shades of gray" coming on and being so taken with the mood of the song. I suppose that's not so bad for being 5 or 6. Years later when I found out they weren't really that real of a band it took me a few weeks to forgive them. When they reunited and put out a new TV special in the 90's I was hooked to that set like no one else.

2. Van Halen - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Van Halen in general marked a big turn for me as far as having a band that I liked, and that was mine. It wasn't in my parents collection, it wasn't the beatles, it wasn't whatever was on the radio station my parents played. It was my band, and I fully embraced it. This was the first record of theirs, and the next few records listed on this list were all records (or cassette tapes I should say) that I would listen to from start to finish while playing my NES that I bought with my own paper boy money. I played Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior while listening to these three tapes over and over and over and the smell of the carpeting in the room and the feeling of just sitting playing a boring old RPG that I was enthralled with crosses my senses every time I hear one of these records. When it comes to Van Halen I was so into them that at one point I could tell you every one of there releases and every song on every release in the order it was put out. I was a nut and most likely got into guitar as a result of hearing Eddie Van Halen rip it up.

3. The Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Fortunately for me I was saved from Van Halen as a result of this band and the counting crows. I often tell people that when I first heard Mr. Jones I was immediately turned off from the idea of what a guitar could do and turned on to the idea of what a song and particularly lyrics could do. However I never owned August and Everything After, but I did have Pocket Full of Kryptonite. I know most people find "two princes" to be an old hat one hit wonder type of deal, but to me it was a revelation. I loved hearing a song like that and just feeling good about everything as a result of the chord progression and the drums. The whole record was great. One time I jumped out from behind a tree and surprised the lead singer Chris something... and I shook his hand and just felt like I had honored the teen in me who listened to pocket full of kryptonite for a year straight (while playing video games)

4. Def Leppard - Hysteria
In the years since this record came out I learned to listen to EVERYTHING that Mutt Lange (the producer of this record) has done because I am just a nut for his production and writing. It truly is some of the most consistent pop music ever created. When I found out he wrote a song for Britney Spears, I listened to it, when I found out he wrote most of the songs for Shania Twain I listened. Bryan Adams, hell yes. When I found out he wrote a song for Nickelback, I listened, but I did pop a blood vessel. But I listened. This was a record that I loved from start to finish. I remember laying on my bed falling asleep and creating music videos for the songs in my head (one of my favorite pastimes from about 11-now). The sonic landscape of the record was so fulfilling. I suppose I wasn't fully aware of how carnal the songs were (As with most van halen stuff) but I just loved the overall sound and feel of the record.

5. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
After I moved to Olmsted Falls, my dad willed me his first CD player about 3 months before christmas. What this meant was that I had a CD player but no CDs to play. So I sorted through some of the records my dad had and found this CD as well as the Crash Test Dummies "God Shuffled his Feet". If Spin Doctors and Counting Crows didn't fully knock me off the macho male rock of Van Halen then this was the straw that broke the camels back. Her complete honesty and sometimes very simple production made for a record that I couldn't put down. I felt guilty when I listened to "Me and a Gun" just because I was of the gender that inspired that song, "Tear in your hand" "Happy Phantom" "Silent All the Years" "Crucify" all would get stuck in my head. I was deeply into Tori Amos for several years and while I haven't been paying attention to her that much in recent times I respect her songwriting skills and I still can't understand half of what she's singing about since this first record.

6. the Police - Message in a Box
Yeah, it's not a record as it is a Box Set but it was one of the first CDs my parents got me for christmas and to me it felt like my new band. It was mine, all the other kids liked Nirvana and STP and smashing pumpkins and here I was with my collection of everything the Police ever did. I loved the overall view of all there recordings. Some good, some bad, some just silly little songs. I loved that every song they did always had all three members. I often times would fall asleep to "Every Breath you Take" and found it completely surprising that one day I was in school and I couldn't get "wrapped around your finger" out of my head. I also took the song "It's alright for you" and changed the lyrics to all the answers for a geography quiz and aced it. I spent many days and nights in my room listening to all these songs, making up music videos, picturing myself in a band that could play as good as the Police and make songs as memorable. Maybe not every thing they put out is grade A and I've grown to accept that, but this was a huge step in my musical growth

7. Talking Heads - Sand in the Vasoline
this is a two disc greatest hits collection. While I love the talking heads more and more I really only liked half of this collection at first. They were another band that for some reason I thought were completely mine during high school when no one else in my grade would like them. I really liked a lot off quotes that david byrne has fired off, one of them being that guitar should be without distortion and highly percussive. I think as a result of this I took out using any distortion on my guitar for the remainder of my high school days and played nothing but acoustic for the first year and a half of Love Screams existence. and come on, you can't beat "once in a lifetime". Try to do so and your head will explode.

7. For Squirrels - Example
this was the last big record of my high school life. My friend Jess turned me on to these guys, and I might have gotten a little lost in the whole aspect of most of the band being dead, but I also couldn't help but appreciate how inconsistent yet good the whole record was. I mean you have a few big loud screamy songs that sound like the world is falling apart, and then you have these nice little ditties that sound like REM knock offs, accept better to me. Then there's Disenchanted. An epic masterwork from a band that I wish would've been able to put out many more records. In high school my band Remain Standing covered at least 8 out of 10 of the songs on this record. Maybe we did them all at least once. But we always did Disenchanted, and still to this day I can't get over the feeling that comes over me when I hear the end of that song. I don't think Remain Standing ever re created it perfectly, and it's a song that is always worth hearing. go listen to it now is what I'm saying.

8. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
I remember hearing this record coming out of a friends room at Berklee. You know what, I might not have even known him at the time. I just walked in the room cause I was immediately taken and said "who is this?". I burned half the record on my mini disc player and eventually got my own copy. These guys changed the game for me in many ways. "For Me this is Heaven" still kicks me in the heart every time I hear it. When I came back from college a reformed version of Remain Standing covered at least 8 songs off this record over the course of a summer. I can't even tell how it played a crucial role in my songwriting or life, I just know that it affected me

9. Love Scream - More Songs about the Reproductive Cycle
this record and every official record I've put out has affected me in a big way. Even though I made a few records with Remain Standing and even put out a solo record I just didn't feel like I had made a record. You know, I heard other friends records and they just didn't sound real to me, not like the ones that I heard on the radio. With More Songs... I really think we set out to make a real sounding record and we pretty much got there. When I hit college I just found my voice through writing in practice rooms alone all night but I couldn't finish the deal. I could write the songs, the hooks, and all of that, but having Kaler, Owen and Dan with me to take the songs from just songs to events was an amazing experience. My life musically wouldn't be nearly what it is today it I hadn't had the fortune of having these guys in my life. I often go on about how it broke my heart when we broke up to the nth degree, and it did. But several years later when we were all in a room that was fully stocked with instruments we looked at each other and kind of asked "should we play something together?" and we all answered "no, there's no point". And really, I think on the positive side of that statement there was no point cause we had already affected each other and done what we were ultimately supposed to do. It wasn't selling out shea stadium, but it was growing immensely as a writer and performer and a person. I remember many nights of laughter, a lot of silly inside jokes, and a lot of head butting which ultimately lead to some of the best musical experiences of my life at that point. I remember arguing about artwork from 10pm till 6am and taking the train out to work at 8am. I remember opening the box with the CDs. All the train rides to Riches house to record vocals. I remember getting back from Cleveland at 1am and having Owen great me and running to our room that we shared and just rolling around in our beds laughing hysterically about how famous we were going to be as a result of this record. They felt like my brothers then, and they still feel that way now.

10. the Afghan Whigs - 1966
I remember hearing the single off of this record on WBWC and just realizing that it was mine. I envied the fact that 1965 had been written and that I wasn't the writer of it. I listened to that record non stop and pictured a rock opera about a lonely vampire. I also bought "Reinhold Messner" by Ben Folds, but my dad stole the CD from me. Still this record holds up every time I come back across it. And even after the end of Love Scream, hearing these songs made me feel alright and gave me hope that I could make big bombastic pop like this at some point.

11. this is exploding - Until the Next Red Light
making this record was another huge point in my musical life. We wrote and rehearsed and existed for a year and a half before we got in the studio to do this. A little side note, one of my happiest memories about the demo record that we made was when Dan came over and I just got in his car and we drove around listening to the mixes, just going all over the place and having those songs hit my ears. I couldn't believe I was a part of the music coming out of those speakers. By the time we made Until the Next Red Light I felt like we were beyond ready to make a record. It went by pretty quickly and there were some rough moments, like Nick being booted out by the end of the recording process, and I also remember having a horrible first day of vocal recording, which led me to waking up early every morning before the session, taking a jog, and eating nothing but carrots and vocally warming up before each session. I was also proud of the fact that I broke a condenser mic while recording this record by singing to powerfully (I feat I had managed to pull off while recording the Love Scream record as well). For me the record is bittersweet, since it's a essentially a compilation of about 3 or 4 of the best songs we had from our early days together and 6 songs that were basically written shortly after and deal pretty exclusively with the matter of my fathers passing. In that sense it's a very somber record and at times its hard to listen to for me. But for the first time in my life the feeling that would well up in me when I heard songs like "disenchanted" would also well up in me when I heard a song like "Mourning". I knew I was doing something that was unique and impossible for me to replicate with this is exploding. Where Love Scream would take my songs and make them into something bigger and better, this is exploding would essentially walk into a room with each other, plug in, say hi, and then crank out these amazing riffs and textures and structures and I just have no idea where any of them came from. I used to bring in riffs to help us along if we were short on ideas, but for a few years it just felt like we were never short on inspiration. These guys also become brothers to me, and I do miss the music we made as I know that while I can write another Love Scream song (and sometimes I feel I do) I feel that I will never write another this is exploding song, as I can't without the sonic friction of the other guys distinct voices thrashing violently against mine and composing something truly different from what I could ever imagine alone. It was a wild record to make, and it didn't take that long either which was nice.

12. Peter Gabriel - US
the ultimate record to listen to after things fall apart. At least it was for me. I can't even put my finger on it, cause I loved this record back in college too, but it just kept coming back and letting me bury my head in it whenever I needed it

13. Weezer - Pinkerton
This one is obvious because I covered it twice, at two different but similar times in my life when things were coming to an end and things were beginning all over again. Every song on here is wonderful and a bit dark and honest and abrasive, which is what I think makes for great rock music. honest and abrasive, maybe only because of the honesty itself. These guys had a vision for the sound, and it's just perfect execution in my mind. I'm glad I've been able to study and attempt to emulate these songs as much as I have.

14. Joshua Jesty - Finally, Joshua Jesty is making a record with a short title, and the title of the record is "Girl"
So yes, I've been talking a lot about my own records but they were the ones that affected me the most, and I've heard the songs on Love Scream, this is exploding, and my own solo records more then you will listen to any 3 or 4 records in your life I guarantee it. This record feels like my first true solo record and to me it is the most honest and abrasive record I could have made ever. It has a few moments that feel like "Disenchanted" moments to me, it has a few moments that feel like the poppy goodness of "two princes" or "1965" to me. It was recorded in my little home studio (wherever home was) for the better part of 2 years, with a trip to south carolina and a bunch of mixing in Boston for good measure. It has gone through at least a dozen revisions tracking wise, and I have been very blessed in the sense that a lot of things with the record came together at the last minute and I managed to gather up and include a majority of the people that have affected me personally and musically in the past decade or so and get them to be a part of the record (even if in a small way). It's not necessarily a record that will top the charts or make me big in Japan, though I wouldn't mind it. But I hope that one day if someone who has no bias towards me listens to the record they will give it a full listen and say "that sounds like a record that had to be made". If one person does that then I feel like I will have achieved what I wanted to with this record. Then the next one can be my big pop sell out record. For now, this record will go down as my way of stating that loss is gain, and that might be one of the few lessons worth learning and holding onto throughout life.

15. the dismemberment plan - Emergency and I
as well as the flaming lips, but must more specifically with the Dismemberment plan, I was smacked upside the head with all these new possibilities of what a pop song could do and what it could be. Simply amazing. I'm very glad I was dragged to a show against my will in Boston, and it will stand as one of the best shows I've ever seen. They never gave it 100% in Cleveland.... peeh.

Jose Feliciano from Sensory Overload:

I am always changing what music I like so this is very difficult, just shooting from the hip in no order here are my 15 or so. I am sure I might think of others on another day but these are the ones I thought of today. I had explanations for why I chose what I chose but stupid facebook did not want save the first one so here is the lazy one.

Jawbreaker - Dear You

15. Jawbreaker - Dear You
14. Sublime 40 Oz to Freedom
13. Bouncing Souls- Maniacal Laughter
12. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
13. Greenday - 1039 Slappy Smoothed Out Hours
12. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Don't Know How To Party
11. Frank Sinatra - The Sinatra Christmas Album
10. Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
09. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
08. The Pixies - Death to The Pixies
07. Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
06. Dre. Dre - The Chronic
05. DJ Shadow - Entroducing
04. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
03. At The Drive In - In Casino Out
02. The Roots - Things Fall Apart
01. Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss

  • alexa

    @mel my mom played tapestry when it was cleaning day too!

  • TJ

    I’ve done a couple different drafts of this one, and this is the one I finally decided on and posted to my site.

    1. American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi
    2. Eve 6 – Horrorscope
    3. Rent: Original Broadway Cast Recording
    4. The Calling – Camino Palmero
    5. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
    6. Dashboard Confessional – The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
    7. The Who – Tommy
    8. Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
    9. Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds
    10. The Beatles – Rubber Soul
    11. Gin Blossoms – New Miserable Experience
    12. Matchbox 20 – Mad Season
    13. Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up The Girl
    14. Creed – Human Clay
    15. Ronnie Day – The Album

    Some good, some REALLY good, and some that can only be described by “hey, I was like, 12”.


    PS: When you get a chance, can you update the link on your sidebar so it goes to my new page?

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  • Gail

    Great post! Mine is at
    though I still haven’t had time to really elaborate on my choices.

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