Albums of My Life

I’m sitting here this morning listening to Metallica’s …And Justice for All album and suddenly realized, “Holy shit, another album that’s 20 fuckin’ years old!!”

Anyway, that put me in mind to do this meme that I randomly happened across a week or two ago on the Onion AV Club‘s web page of all places.  (In the sidebar blogs that I rarely visit – I visit the AV Club’s page all the time and love it.  Savage Love, y’all!)

The gist of this meme is to pick one album released for each year you’ve been alive.  You can find them by going to Wikipedia and searching for [year] in music.  For example, 1988.  That’s the kind of meme I can sink my teeth into:  Music-related, somewhat autobiographical, takes some internal debate to make the choices beforehand, and can engender debate afterward.  I’m in.

Be warned:  if you’re as anal about skimming through each year’s releases as I was, this will take you a hell of a long time.
So, here we go:  Albums of my life, by TB.

1974:   Lynyrd Skynyrd, Second Helping

Yes, I’m old.  Kiss my ass.

1975:   Kiss, Alive!

One of the greatest live albums of all time, and (via my uncle) one of my earliest musical influences.  Honorable mention goes to Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album and Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.

1976:  Boston, Boston

This was one of the hardest years to pick.  I mean, really:  Zeppelin’s magnificent Presence album, Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny, Bob Seger’s Night Moves?  Not to mention Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and albums containing little obscure ditties like “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”  Just a murderer’s row of a year.

1977:   Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

Honorable mention to the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks and Clapton’s Slowhand.

1978:   Van Halen, Van Halen

No explanation needed on this one.

1979:   AC/DC, Highway to Hell

Or this one.  Although I’ll give a nod to the Bee Gees’ Greatest here, if for no other reason than it was on my parents’ record player nonstop for about this whole year when I was a kid.

1980:   AC/DC, Back in Black

This was one of the toughest choices on the board, winning narrowly over Ozzy Osbourne’s solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz

1981:   Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman

With an honorable mention going to Rush for Moving Pictures.

1982:   Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast

I suppose I have to mention that whole Thriller thing, huh?

1983:   Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas Flood

Another killer year, with awesome albums like Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil, The Police with Synchronicity, Metallica’s debut Kill ‘Em All, the classic Can’t Slow Down by Lionel Richie, and of course ZZ Top riding the Eliminator.

1984:   Prince, Purple Rain

Edging Van Halen’s MCMLXXXIV and Bryan Adams’ Reckless.

1985:   Motley Crue, Theatre of Pain

Don’t get me wrong, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required were both fantastic and huge in ’85, but this one meant more to me then and for years afterward.

1986:   Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill

Barely edging out Master of Puppets, but the Beasties dominated 1986 for me.

1987:   Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads, Tribute

This was the single hardest year to choose one album.  There were four that were deserving:  This one, Anthrax with their stellar Among the Living, George Michael’s Faith album, and of course Guns N’ Roses with Appetite for Destruction. But like Theatre of Pain, this album was a huge part of my introduction to heavy music.  I listened to my first copy of this tape so much that I broke it in about nine months.

1988:   Queensryche, Operation:  Mindcrime

Over …And Justice For All and Anthrax’s State of Euphoria. I just dig this album from front to back.

1989:   King’s X, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska

One of my favorite albums of all time wins another stellar year, beating out Faith No More, The Real Thing, Clapton’s Journeyman, and the Crue with Dr. Feelgood.

1990:   Eric Johnson, Ah Via Musicom

This one being my #1 of all time, it had to win out over another strong field including Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, the Facelift album from Alice in Chains, and Tesla’s Five Man Acoustical Jam.

1991:   Pearl Jam, Ten

Sheesh.  Three close ones in a row. Honorable mention to Van Halen, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge; Metallica, Metallica (“the Black Album”); Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II; the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik; and of course Nirvana, Nevermind

1992:   Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power

Pantera gets the nod over Tool’s Opiate EP.

1993:   Tool, Undertow

But Tool handily takes ’93.

1994:   Pantera, Far Beyond Driven

This was a very weak year – the first of several.

1995:   Opeth, Orchid

The crappiest year of them all.  Hell, the next closest was Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? I don’t like Orchid all THAT much, but it is the debut of my favoritest band ever, and so it gets the nod.

1996:   Tool, Aenema

Tool takes the prize over Pantera, The Great Southern Trendkill, Tonic with Lemon Parade, the self-titled album from Sublime, and the last rap album I liked, 2pac’s All Eyez On Me.

1997:   Fleetwood Mac, The Dance

For me, in ’97, there was this and then there was everything else.  I can’t tell you how many hours Dys and I spent singing this album on road trips.

1998:   Jonny Lang, Wander This World

An excellent and underrated album wins out over Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe.

1999:   Alison Krauss, Forget About It

My favorite Alison album wins handily.

2000:   A Perfect Circle, Mer de Noms

More cerebral and polished than its more visceral competition, The Sickness by Disturbed.

2001:   Tool, Lateralus

Ouch.  My #2 and #3 albums of all time came out on the same year, so Opeth’s Blackwater Park takes it on the chin from Tool’s masterpiece.

2002:   Opeth, Deliverance

But Opeth comes back with a vengeance over Shadows Fall’s The Art of Balance.

2003:   Thrice, The Artist in the Ambulance

Opeth could have easily gone 3-for-3 from ’01 through ’03, but as Blackwater Park missed out earlier, so Damnation does here.  Also another strong showing for Jonny Lang with Long Time Coming

2004:   Lamb of God, Ashes of the Wake

In a year of heavy hitters, I give the nod to fellow Virginians over Damageplan’s New Found Power, In Flames’ Soundtrack to Your Escape, and Shadows Fall’s The War Within.

2005:   Opeth, Ghost Reveries

The heavy stuff smashes the lightness of Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams.

2006:   Tool, 10,000 Days

Another handy win for Tool.  Closest competition was the Devin Townsend Band’s Synchestra album, and Jonny Lang’s modern-gospel-esque Turn Around.

2007:   Dark Tranquillity, Fiction

One Swedish melodic-death band ekes out a razor-slim win over another, as Gothenburg’s DT beats out the double-live album The Roundhouse Tapes from Stockholm’s Opeth.

2008:   Opeth, Watershed

Well, this is the only 2008 album I’ve bought so far.  But I have been eyeing the Blooddrunk disc from Children of Bodom.

There you have it – an album from each year of my life.  And BOY did that take a long time.  So don’t just stand there – argue with me, and/or do it yourself!


8 Responses

  1. Quite an eclectic life you’ve been leading there, TB. Great collection.

    Is that a nice way of saying “You have no fucking clue which end is up, do you?” 😉

    Thanks for the compliment, man.

  2. Hahahahaha. Come on, you know me, Mr. Subtle. “You have no fucking clue which end is up, do you?” Comes out like this,

    “Huh. Interesting.”

    I know I make it hard, but if you read between the lines the message is there.

    It actually makes a lot of sense. It sticks pretty well on the harder side with a few growth spurts thrown in.

    Yep, exactly what you’d expect from me.

  3. I might have to do this one too, but like you said, it’ll take a while.

    Scary thing…I own almost all of your life’s music. 🙂

    Given your blogs that I’ve read so far, I’m not surprised – we could probably sit around a CD player for an afternoon and have a really good time BS’ing about music.

  4. Nice list and a lot of memories. After a 15 year break I am really falling back in love with Metallica again. Now that I am running, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Seek and Destroy, Blackened…great songs to run to…the list is endless.

    That is advantage over swimming I guess.

    I wan’t a fan until I saw them live in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. The same for Pantera…what an eye opening show that was!

    I’m getting back into Metallica too – the whole Napster thing really soured me on them, especially when they freely admit to Hetfield dubbing all of Lars’ LPs in the day, and Burton constantly driving around with a “Misfits” dub in the car stereo. But I’ve mellowed a bit in the last few years.

    I’m pissed – I had tickets to Pantera’s last tour, having never seen them before, when the city council forced the promoter to cancel the (outdoor) show for fear of noise/alcohol complaints. Six months later, no more Pantera. Grrrr.

  5. I am now humming Metallica in my head. Hmm. It’s good music for cleaning and I have an entire bedroom to clean out, vacuum and scrub the carpet of today. Might have to bust out the Metallica to get it done.


    MASTER of carpets, I’ll clean you UUUPPPPP!!


  6. I should say as a total aside that I’m GLAD I didn’t have to do 1973. Even without “Innervisions,” choosing between “Houses of the Holy” and “Pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” would have SUCKED.

  7. I did it!

    Your list was awesome! Don’t be shy, link it! Or here, I’ll do it for you.

    And as I told Heather, I actually have my original list that I whittled down to make the blog – holler if you’re interested and I can email it out.

  8. this would take me for. ev. er.

    howsabout i just delete your 1974 and call it my own.

    Oh sure, rub it in. 😀

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