I convinced Anna Maria to also name her life changing albums. These are so fun to read!
I fail at math..but here’s fifteen albums anyway.
1. [David Bowie ”Hunky Dory”]
I got this one in the eighties and didn’t get what Bowie was trying to do at first it just seemed odd. It grew on me and my lifelong obsession with him began. He appealed to me since he was using so many different roles for his song, and the theatricality was intriguing, the melodies seemed easy but that high note in “Life on Mars?” is nigh on impossible to hit unless you’re a young Bowie. He made his songs seem easy, but they are incredibly complex. I spent hour trying to analyse the lyrics, but they remained elusive, just like Bowie himself. That was part of his appeal.
2. [Kate Bush “The Dreaming”]
My dad got me this for my birthday in 1985, since “Hounds of love” was delayed. A delayed Kate Bush album, how familiar that seems now. This was Kate’s weirdest album easily, so I didn’t like it at first. But then it felt like a black and white world turning into Technicolor overnight. The woman with the high voice and the odd soundscapes opened a new world to me. Then I got “Hounds of Love” and that really cemented my love of Kate.
3. [Prince “Purple Rain”]
I saw the video for “When Doves Cry” and fell in instant teenage fan love. I saw the film and the songs were so amazingly fresh and alive. It didn’t seem like any one kind of music, and all of the different styles fit together so well. The title track used to make me cry. It still does. He made several good albums in the eighties but this is special to me.
4. [Sinead O’Connor “The Lion and the Cobra”]
The video for “Troy” floored me in a supermarket in 1987. Almost literally the strength of singer’s vocals made me tremble. The debut album was so strong and vulnerable at the same time. Sinead’s erratic yet fascinating career has made little sense. But neither does life.
5. [Danielle Dax “Inky Bloaters”]
Playful and scary as hell. This far too little known singer had a great impact on me.
6. [Maria McKee “Maria McKee”]
I first heard McKee sing on the soundtrack to the pop action film ”Streets of Fire” that starred Willem Dafoe as a villain and Diane Lane as a singer. McKee’s lovelorn “Never be you” was just heartbreaking. Her career with Lone Justice was good, but she really broke hearts on her debut solo album. Her vocals and songs were amazingly tender and raw. I’ve loved her music ever since.
7. [Pixies “Doolittle”]
Jagged, spiky and fun. Everyone says they love it so why shouldn’t I? Especially since it’s true.
8. [P.J Harvey “Dry”]
Her searing honesty and strong songs won me over. I predicted she’d be around for a long time. Sometimes I get it right.
9. [Stina Nordenstam “Memories of a Color”]
The sound of silence beautifully ripped from journal entries. I saw her live and she only played for fifteen minutes, but she made them count.
10. [Tori Amos, “Little Earthquakes”]
“I’ve been here, silent all these years”. Honesty and great songs with whimsical touches.
11. [Nick Cave “Tender Prey”]
I was obsessed with “The Mercy seat” a song of a murderer waiting to die. Its primal howl was contrasted by some of the other songs. Cave painted it black, but had a morbid sense of humour that I liked.
12. [Dresden Dolls “Dresden Dolls”]
I saw a picture of the duo and thought, “I hope they sound as good as they look” They did. Amanda Palmer’s vocals were great and expressive and Brian Viglione kept the rhythm tight.
13. [Veda Hille “Spine”]
“This is I am so beautiful and fierce”. And she was.
14. [Allison Crowe “Secrets”]
What a voice she has. And how well she uses it here and on her other albums.
15. [Jill Tracy” Diabolical Streak”]
She is a femme fatale with a lovely smoky voice and a dark cabaret style that’s all her own.