MUSIC IS SUCH A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE I’ve almost too much to consume. Almost every waking hour is devoted to writing about, listening to or searching for the old and new. And that’s not too difficult these days, with multiple access points and instant options; I almost feel guilty. It’s a lost art – the ability to sit down and consistently consume an album end to end. Let’s be honest, we’re bombarded with singles and obsessed by social spins, so much so the concepts originally put together by artists for our listening pleasure, are no longer afforded the play-through they deserve. This constant chase for thrills; the next easy fix – it becomes cheap, disposable and diluted. That’s why vinyl remains the only true format for music as you’re forced to listen to the music as it was intended. No fast forward, no deleting songs, just pure dynamism on wax. And with most now including full downloads, who can argue with that? A lot of my collection, which is sizeable, is redundant, but as music continues to come out of the walls I’ll always have what I need. The trick is to accept we’ll never be done and strive to embrace the true values of music consumption – quality over quantity and certainly convenience, always.
The first album I bought
Pornograffiti by Extreme: It was the guitar playing of Nuno Bettencourt that sold it to me. He was the ultimate definition of cool and the songs were so damn catchy. The solo on Get The Funk Out brings a tear to my eye
The album with the greatest guitar work I’ve ever heard
Flying In A Blue Dream by Joe Satriani:
I would steal a copy of this on tape from my brother and play it over and over then put it back before he noticed it had gone. It soundtracked the drag of daily chores. The guitar play and tone is incredible and still stands as probably his greatest work
The album that introduced me to Metal –The Black Album by Metallica: It was the single The Unforgiven I think that I heard first. I had no idea Metal bands were capable of writing such spine tingling ballads. Massive drums, huge choruses and amazing solo’s, with incredible song writing that stands way above most metal acts today, its influence remains vast.
The album that introduced me to the Alternative side – Ritual de lo Habitual by Jane’s Addiction: My brother has been a huge influence on my music tastes. He gave me a tape of this when we were driving somewhere with our parents. That opening riff on Stop and then I think it was Three Days that struck the strongest chord. The best 11 minutes in Rock music, no question.
The album that sounded so weird but became so important – The Real Thing by Faith No More: This was released back in 1989. Unbelievable! I used to take the piss out of my brother for listening to it. The name sounded so odd and the music so indescribably heavy. It’s now one of the most important albums I’ve heard. Never ageing and way ahead of its time
The album I’ve mastered on air guitar – Use Your Illusion 1 by Guns N Roses: This was slated at the time and yet it’s influence has been immense. A little bomabastic compared to Appetite but you cant deny the song writing quality. And the solo’s are killer!
The album that makes me want to break stuff – A Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera: I think it was Phil Alexander who said this album makes life worth living. Now a huge testament to the ability of Dimebag Darrell, who shreds like no other! Face melting solo’s and huge great chunky Metal work outs. It’s angry and intense but incredibly affecting
The album to work out to – Death Magnetic by Metallica: A huge return to form. Crammed with massive riffs and trademark solo’s, these lengthy cuts of rocket fuelled Metal are as good as anything since the Black album. It picks up a dull half marathon on the treadmill perfectly and is just the ticket for pushing that extra mile.
The album that continues to blow me away – Dig by I Mother Earth: Probably the album that changed my life. Amazing musicianship and still undiscoverd largely to this day. From start to finish Dig has everything and I still can’t believe it isn’t as revered as it rightly should be.
What’s poured out on these pages is a reflection of my influences and a continuation of my time with one of the most innovative and criminally short-lived magazines on the market – TUNED (RIP). Below is a link to the elusive Issue 9 Tuned A.D, which never actually made it to print. Shame on you IF Publishing. Thanks for visiting.