At the risk of dating myself, dinosaur that I am, the next few posts on this blog will feature records that shaped my youth, early teen years, and into my twenties. Although I obviously listened to music before age nine, the idea of a "record" - a set of songs in a certain order played from track one to track twelve or whatever - hadn't really affected me in any cognizant way. I mostly listened to top 40 hits, Casey Kasem on Saturday mornings, and Ray Lynch's Deep Breakfast cassette tapes my mother and father owned. I admit there was a small, miniscule, infinitesimal Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer phase too.
Anyway. Here are 10 records that shaped my youth from ages nine to twelve (not in chronological order). Remember: I was young. Trust me, it gets better. Depending on your definition of "better."
1. Metallica - Metallica
I've lost a lot of fanboyishness for Metallica in the ensuing years, but even now, occasionally, when "Sad But True" comes on the radio, I turn the volume up and rock.
2. Steelheart - Steelheart
The first of many hair-metal bands that I loved. Steelheart, you stole my heart and how I longed to sing as high as Miljenko Matjevic.
3. Warrant - Cherry Pie
How many times did I listen to the title track, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and "I Saw Red?" Enough to wear our the cassette tape Yeah, the cassette tape.
4. Garth Brooks - No Fences
My only foray into modern country. A friend lent me this and, though at first I hated it, I grew to like that "thunder rolls" song and the "friends in low places" thing.
5. Boston - Boston
I still love this record and I think it's up there with classic rock records, proving that not everything I listened to when I was ten or eleven was absolutely hilarious.
6. Faith No More - The Real Thing
Again, "Epic" is still a great song, mainly for how ridiculous it is. "You want it all but you can't have it," is still relevant today...Sorry, I can barely control my own laughter.
7. Mr. Big - Lean Into It
And here it is. One of the lowest of the lowlights. I wore this cassette tape out too. My cousin once asked me what I was listening to and I told her it was Mr. Big and she said have I ever heard of Danzig.
8. Roxette - Look Sharp!
Pure fun. My sister and I danced like crazy kids to this record. Eventually we put sticky tape over where the tabs had been and recorded our own songs over the record.
9. Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory
Huge Billy the Kid fan growing up. So, of course, I loved this record. Cowboys, outlaws, shootouts, lawlessness, bombastic guitar solos.
10. Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
I still secretly like this record, but I guess that's not a secret anymore. Whatever. This record is cool and you know it.
Though I no longer listen to or even own most of these records, at the time, these were the songs that coursed through my veins and poured out my eyes. I knew all the words, I knew some of the chords, I wore out the tapes, I imagined myself on stage playing these songs.
What records did you listen to at this age and how embarrassing is it now?