Andrew, of Air Pollution and currently holed up in some Parisian archive or getting yelled at for not ordering his pain choco correctly, tagged me with this meme:

Think of 15 albums 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 wasu, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including moi. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you’re it!

Not bad enough that I had to agonize over the definition of the list, I had to come up with 15!  Anyway, here it goes, fifteen albums that changed my life, in chronological order that I heard them:

  1. Roxy Music, Country Life (All I want is you)
  2. Cocteau Twins, Treasure (Lorelei)
  3. Joy Division, Closer (non-album track Love with tear us apart)
  4. X, More fun in the New World (New World)
  5. Smiths, Hatful of Hollow (This Charming Man)
  6. Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Ballad of Mack the Knife)
  7. Thelonious Monk, Thelonious Himself (Round Midnight)
  8. Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (This ain’t no picnic)
  9. My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (to here knows when)
  10. Mzwakhe Mbuli, Resistance is Defence (post prison interview)
  11. Spacemen 3, Perfect Prescription (Walking with Jesus)
  12. Sigur Ros, Svefn-g-Englar (Svefn-g-Englar)
  13. William Parker, Raining on the Moon (Corn Mothers Dance–on different album, but with Leena Conquest)
  14. La Bottine Souriante, Traversee de l’Atlantique
  15. Pete Seeger, Abiyoyo (Abiyoyo)

Perhaps a few comments are in order.  Playing music for a long time, many of the picks are  musical as much as lyrical, if not more.  That’s probably why they spread out so well chronologically–they correspond to a different periods in which I explored new styles of music.   Some albums I like more don’t appear.  One album that got bumped was Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden (which would have been #6), because I decided Sven-n-Englar was more important, and for more negative reasons.  The latter sounds like the former, which is ironic.  But the process of finding Svefn-g-Englar was grueling in 1999, but something that I was accustomed to, given the nature of imports.  I found this kind of fandom rewarding–scrounging for an obscure recording based on a five line review in a third rate magazine.  But several years later, when everyone’s grandmother listened to the band, my efforts seemed less worthwhile or unique, so I gave it up.  Now it’s easier to download.  I would have never found my favorite album from last year by the means I used to employ.

Now, who to tag?  Brandon, because he’s a good sport.  Geek Lethal and Johno and everyone one else and Ministry of Minor Perfidy, because he needs to post soon.   Joel, out of curiosity.  And I’m going to tag back Andrew with a meme of my own:

Name five to ten books, albums or films that used to mean a lot to you, but that you have matured out of. Tag as many people as you want.

[ETA] I’ve added a few YouTube clips so that the selections don’t remain obscure.