The brief is this: ask a bunch of rock stars to pick ten albums that changed
their lives and explain why or what was so
cool about those records. This was a blast and turned up a ton of insights and
Listen, good general classic rock book perfect for your self or for a present
to any music fan—I’ll sign to whoever ya
want, add a message etc., whatever. The book is gorgeous, with cool larger 9
¼” x 7” format, 288 pages, full colour
throughout, tons of pictures of album covers plus rare band photography and a
foreword by Nancy Wilson.
Included are: Ian Anderson, Rod Argent, Marty Balin, Bev Bevan, Mick Box, Rick
Buckler, Clem Burke, Bun E. Carlos,
Gerald Casale, David Clayton-Thomas, Stewart Copeland, David Coverdale, Dennis
DeYoung, Thomas Dolby, K.K. Downing,
Dennis Dunaway, Roger Earl, Lita Ford, Bill Gould, Peter Koppes, Alexi Laiho,
Jake E. Lee, Ian McCulloch, Graham Parker,
Dave Pirner, Suzi Quatro, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Benmont Tench, Devin Townsend,
Mark Tremonti, James Williamson, Nancy
Wilson and James “JY” Young and many more!
As the Introduction sez (the one I sent, before the edit!):
Just a quick hello and a thank you for joining us on 10 Albums That Changed My
Life. To imagine that these great
musicians and their enthusiasm for these records is helping to educate both
young and old on the great history of rock
‘n’ roll is a satisfying thought indeed.
I must say that this has been a most pleasurable book to write—and compile:
some of these first appeared in Goldmine
magazine, where this idea first originated—because in the process of listening
to these stories, I realized how intimate
music can be to people. After hearing these folks skip and jump their way
through a list of ten records, barely
containing themselves in many cases, what they’ve done for us is pull back the
curtain and reveal something about
Odd that is it through the process of picking two fistfuls of albums they
like, but such poignant trips down memory
lane, the stories of first records ever, the tales of being on the spot when
history happens, the inspiration that had
folks pick up a set of drumsticks for the first time… if you are a successful
musician, a pro, someone who has worked
and is working in the industry, then I suppose it makes perfect sense.
All of these glowing stories made for chats that were educational and in many
cases just more than a bit magical.
Invariably, it had me scurrying over to my record racks, the CD racks, or
Spotify or youtube, for listens languid or
indeed pointed, looking for the comparison explained or the nick of a riff
admitted to or other clear forms of imitation
and instruction from one generation to the next. I hope reading these
responses has the same effect on you as a reader.
Because indeed, in the aggregate, I must say this adds up to a pretty swell
history of rock ‘n’ roll classics from a
pretty wide range of years, but with one thing in common—these records have
been around long enough to have stood the
test of time.
Which brings up a point. As time rolls on, I can imagine that future editions
and renditions of this book will find
younger generations talking about records more recent and so on and so on. But
that can’t happen without the passage of
time, and so what a lot of this inaugural book becomes is a big, bold
celebration of classic rock—which is called that
for a reason. Broadly speaking then (but only broadly), what falls out of the
exercise as somewhat of a trend is the
idea of artists from the ‘70s and ‘80s teaching us about artists and albums
from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but also in some
instances, from the ‘50s. In other words, our cast can generally be called of
a classic rock ilk, but of many, many
music disciplines (albeit mostly some form of rock). And what they are talking
about are the records that inspired them
to do what they do—and that requires them to examine their formative years.
The speakers who kindly volunteered lists represent album sales in the tens of
millions and there are fully ten
musicians here who are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most have
known the experience of gold and platinum
records on their walls and again, most pertinently, anybody who jumps at a
chance to do a list like this, they
absolutely love music. Indeed, the only thing that they just might love more
than the songs themselves is telling other
people about them. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s more than easy to get swept up
and sold by the enthusiasm on display
here, to the point where it’s mission accomplished—no matter what your age and
experience consuming music, you will be
checking these records out to find out what the fuss is all about.
And I must add that beside all the big stars, some from our cast were chosen
because they were well-respected critic
darlings and musicologists that I knew would have some interesting things to
say. There are heavy metal people,
alternative rockers, proggers, folkies, jazzers, psychedelic artists, session
musicians and those who were there in the
‘50s (of note, all are performers—we’ve not included producers or managers or
promoters or journalists here).
And then once your long trip learning the merits of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll
records of all time draws to a close, and
as you wend your way toward the end of our cornucopia of album
recommendations, you will find a handful of appendices,
two that try to make a spot of statistical sense of what just happened, and
one that adds a few highlights from the
lists we had gathered that we didn’t feel worked out to full-blown ten-record
All told, again, I hope you learn as much reading this and are filled with the
same rich sense of nostalgia as I was in
hearing these quick, compartmentalized stories. I know I have discovered quite
a few new records to enjoy deeply, to
which I otherwise had not paid enough attention or treated with the amount of
respect that it deserved. That is the
ultimate benefit I’ve gained from this exercise and I hope that by journey’s
end, you get to that place as well.
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