Sunday Brunch 1: What was the first album you ever loved?

Superunknown by Soundgarden. When I was 16, I started really caring about music: a late start compared to T4B’s resident child prodigy. Soundgarden was the first band that blew my mind, and that’s pretty silly since it was 2009: over a decade after they broke up and nearly fifteen years after grunge stopped being vogue. I didn’t care. Superunknown rocked in 1994, rocked in 2009 when I found it, and it still rocks in 2014. I’ve probably listened to that album 75 or more times, and I can still listen to it now. Black hole sun, indeed.

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2.  “Vertigo” was one of the two songs  I would take my dad’s iPod for so I could listen to it on repeat (the other was the Hawaii Five-O theme).  When I finally got my own iPod, I had the whole album on there, and I progressed to listening to that entire album on repeat.  Something about that album made me love it.  I do not know if it was the songwriting or something else, but that album was my jam for a good two years.

Blast Tyrant by Clutch. Before I entered middle school, I never listened to music, ever. When I hit the sixth grade, this album was one of the very first albums I ever listened to, and I instantly fell in love with it. I’d have a different favorite song every week, as the album was really easy to listen to. I loved the heavy riffs on many of the songs, and hearing the heavy guitars was a crucial turning point leading me to venture further into the genre. This led me to discover many of my current favorite bands and songs.

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2 Responses

  1. Raimause August 1, 2014 / 10:52 PM

    Until around two years ago, I never really got the concept of an album. I would go onto grooveshark or Spotify and just listen to the songs I liked. So, the first album that made me realize the point of an album was Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues. Fleet Foxes is a modern folk band, with lots of vocal harmonizing inspired by the Beach Boys. Their sound isn’t much like the Beach Boys though.

    Anyway, a friend sent me one of their songs and the rest just clicked. I really liked them, and knew most (but not all) of the songs from Helplessness Blues before I sat down and listened to the whole album as it was presented. The songs kinda follow a certain theme, and certain references to other songs pop up through them occasionally. So, that was the first album I ever loved and the one that made me start listening to albums at all.

    Another close contender would be Radical Face – Ghost. It is a concept album, and I liked a lot of the songs on it, but don’t care for some of the last ones. It was a hard choice between Helplessness Blues and Ghost, but I chose Helplessness Blues because I really like almost every song on it and listen to them often today. Also, Ghost was probably one of the second or third albums I listened to once I started listening to albums at all, after Helplessness Blues.

    • Brandon August 2, 2014 / 1:40 PM

      Thanks for the insightful response, Raimause! The album concept is somewhat of an odd one to promote in the 21st century since isolated singles are so much easier to find than they were in our parents’ and grandparents’ days. Plus, many people argue that newer genres like EDM aren’t really suited to albums as others like rock because there is no longer the need to fill up a physical medium. So you see a lot of dudes like Skrillex releasing EPs to get big, and hey, why not?

      We still like albums a lot, though, because you can do so much with the extra time when it comes to developing themes. It makes for a more consistent listening experience and they’re great for long travel in the car, plane, or train. Or even just chilling out, really. Singles are where the party’s at.

      The way you got into albums is much like the stories of other people I know. I found the song Burden in My Hand by Soundgarden on Pandora by random chance and I really loved it. Alex’s story above is also like that, too.

      Oh, and thanks for the recommendations. They’re going on our to-listen list now.

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