Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Music That Has Shaped Me

Over at Thmazing's Thutopia, Th did a post on the all important 5 albums that have shaped his view on music, I liked that a lot and thought I would do the same and on top of that add the 5 novels that have shaped how I write tomorrow.

Now neither of these list's necessarily constitute what I think are the absolute best 5 in either category but the 5 that I think have shaped my musical taste and writing style the most, maybe they are close to the same thing but not quite. Th gave links to Youtube for his, but I don't have the patience.

Duran Duran: Rio
I don't know how to describe it but their sound always appealed to me, I thought Hungry Like the Wolf was the coolest song in the world when I was 10. And the appeal is still there, my daughters middle name is RIO.

Sisters of Mercy: Floodland
These guys rock with industrial drum beats, crunching guitars and backing up the deep bass of the lead singer Andrew Eldritch is the New York Choral Society on such great tracks as "This Corrosion" and "Dominion" Besides rocking, I love the lyrics which are full of savage poetry borrowing from the likes of Percy Bysshe Shelley as well as political satire. I think "This Corrosion" could be my all-time favorite song.

Sarah Brightman: FLY
She is my favorite singer and I have always loved her versatility despite being best known as Christine in Phantom of the Opera or the funeral dirge "Time To Say Goodbye" with Andrea Bocelli. I like this album much better because it is more of a
symphonic rock album with greats such as "Ghost In The Machinery" and "How Can Heaven Love Me" and as an interesting side note, Andrew Eldritch of Sisters of Mercy did backing vocals on that last track.

The Smiths: Strangeways Here We Come
It must be remembered that this title is referring to the English Prison named Strangeways and not just the idea of a strange place. In America this might have been titled Alcatraz Here We Come. This may not be the best Smiths album but it is the one I discovered them on and it does have some great songs, "Girlfriend In A Coma" and "Stop Me If You Think You Have Heard This Before" could be one of their best.

New Order: Substance
This is a best of that also included a couple of Joy Division songs(another favorite of mine) In theory I wouldn't included a best of when it comes to the "best" al
bums but this is how I really discovered them. New Order is the defining group that really put me on the path to alternative music in high school, they were just so much better than the trash I was hearing on pop radio. I even used to get "Blue Monday" and "True Faith" played at ward dances, that was quite the accomplishment for me and the Bishop's daughter when everybody else wanted Def Lepard.

Honorable mentions:

Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Great Trip-Hop with stunning sound, I never cared for their follow-up albums as much, they need to get someone like Sarah Brightman to do guest vocals for them like Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins and Lord of the Rings soundtrack) did. "Angel" and "Teardrop" phenomenal mood music, very hard to top.

KMFDM: Nihil
I always like Industrial rock such as NIN, Front 242, and Nitzer Ebb but KMFDM is the one that really moved me and they have never been the dink sell-out that NIN is.
That and trust me, though you don't think you have heard KMFDM you have, their mu
sic has been everywhere from movie soundtracks to TV commercials and even the cool rocking techno music radio DJ's play in the background while they are talking and yet not hip enough to actually play in full. I even hear one of their songs as a sedge way music on Glenn Beck's program all the time. Classic tracks would be "Juke Joint Jezebel" "Brute" "Ultra" "Revolution" and "Beast"

Nightwish: Once
This is the definition of symphonic rock with excellent tracks like "The
Siren" "Nemo" and "Dark Chest Of Wonders" When I write within the Heroes of the Fallen pantheon this is the Nephite heroic theme music in my mind as opposed to the sinister Gadianton theme music of Rammstein.

This is a longer post than I thought, that and I realized not a one of these artists is American, (though KMFDM reside in Seattle and the female lead Lucia is American) oh well, authors and books will make up for that tomorrow.


Th. said...




Gadiantons. I can see it.

My wife brought a KMFDM album into the marriage but I'm not sure I've ever listened to it. I suppose I should.

And I'm going to guess you are . . . five years older than me. Born 1971?

David J. West said...

Nope, 1973.

And I would say it depends on the KMFDM album, some are definetly better than others and even if I like say half the songs, the others MIGHT be terrible in the sense of their message or sound or possible vulgarity-I'm curious as to which album she would bring. XTORT would be another good one or ANGST but again half the songs are excellent and the other half are terrible, its a strange dichotomy for me.

Nichole Giles said...

Interesting choices. And I don't know if I could do this same thing. My list would be way too long, and would change drastically depending on my mood.

Music is definitely a window into the soul, so it's good to know you better.


David J. West said...

Thanks Nichole. Thats the beauty of the list it only has to be 5 albums that shaped your way of thinking about music. The list of my favorites would go on like War and Peace.

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