1. Del Shannon | Runaway
When I was little my sister and I had a plastic Fisher Price Turntable in our room down the basement. One of the LPs we had was a compilation of early 60's hits. Runaway was track #2 and I played it obsessively. When I listen to it now it sounds like my Musical DNA.
2. Pete Rock & CL Smooth | They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
Growing up I was probably the only kid in my town without Cable TV, so whenever I went over someone's house all I wanted to do was watch MTV. I used to have my neighbors dub me a VHS of Yo! MTV Raps every week and T.R.O.Y. was the song I virtually erased from the tape from rewinding it so many times. I still think it's one of the Greatest Things Ever Recorded.
3. The Beatles | A Day In The Life
I was always obsessed with Music, but somehow naive about being an actual Music fan. I didn't have a Stereo or albums of my own 'til later, so when my brother and I got a Sega CD Game System for Christmas I wanted to use it to play Music. My dad installed Car Stereos for a living so he always had a sampling of whatever the current format was. We had two CDs in the house: Sgt. Pepper & The White Album so I took them and sat listening through the TV. When I heard A Day In The Life it had the same effect on me as T.R.O.Y in that it sounded like more than just a song. This is when I decided I wanted to make Records.
4. David Bowie | Five Years
After discovering The Beatles I decided I wanted to be be able to listen to Music on my own. One of my aunts gave me an old Stereo and my dad hooked it up to some used car speakers. I still didn't have money for CDs though, so I dug up the old Fisher Price turntable and started going through everyone's piles of old Vinyl. My dad had a copy of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, I had no idea who David Bowie was, but thought the name was funny so took it. A lot of people laugh when I tell them that this was the first record I had a genuine Emotional response to since I guess it's legacy is a kind of Plastic Theatricality. For me though, I've always had a hard time connecting with people and the idea of acting out Emotions instead of feeling them was more relateable. When he sang I never thought I'd need so many people... It seemed like a kind of standoffish Loneliness that I could understand.
5. The Smashing Pumpkins | Drown (Singles Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Riding home on the bus one day I was doing that awkward pre-teen thing where you pick on the girl you like and stole the CD this girl was showing her friend. It was a copy of Siamese Dream. When I got home and listened I could not believe the Sound of the Guitars. I gave the girl back her album the next day, but that weekend had my sister drive me up to the Record Store several towns over and looked for anything by the band. They had a bootleg called The Lost Songs that was a collection of B-sides and it was all I listened to for months. I didn't know about the Singles Soundtrack, I just thought this was some perfect song that somehow didn't make the record.
6. Cocteau Twins | Cherry-Coloured Funk (Mark Clifford Mix)
I fell out of love with Smashing Pumpkins almost as quickly as I got into them, but it was through an interview with Billy Corgan that I discovered my favorite band. After reading something where he mentioned the Cocteau Twins I went back to the Record Store, but all they had was an EP called Otherness. I didn't know it at the time, but it was a collection of Cocteau Twins tracks remixed by Mark Clifford of Seefeel. It was my first exposure to Music that was genuinely Abstract; just Texture and only the suggestion of Language. A lot of the Music I had listened to up to that point was very driven by personalities, something I had a hard time seeing in myself, so this was an important turning point as to what I thought an Artist could be.
7. Rollerskate Skinny | Speed To My Side
Back at the Record Store again I heard the older guys who worked behind the counter playing this album. I got a lot of the Elitist Record Store clerk disdain that's become such a cliché when I asked what it was, but in the end went home with a copy. I've talked a few times about how Seek Magic was meant to capture the feeling of a certain moment in my Youth and Rollerskate Skinny was the Soundtrack to that time.
8. Aphex Twin | Flim
Somebody gave me the Come To Daddy EP in High School with the vibe that I should check out the Title Track, but the rest was throwaway. It played kind of the opposite for me. I liked the title track OK, but when Flim came on I completely flipped. The beginning of an Obsession.
9. New Order | Temptation
I always loved New Order, but gained a new level of Appreciation for them the first time I actually heard this record in a club. I was playing in a band that I hated. We were grouped in with the Dance/Punk thing that was happening at the time so played a lot of shows at Dance nights with DJs. It was my first time being out at clubs and I mostly stood around feeling out of place and hating the Music. One night Temptation came on and it just cut through my shitty attitude. I still don't understand what makes New Order so different from so many similar artists, but they're some kind of a Once In A Lifetime thing.
10. The B-52's | Give Me Back My Man
My older daughter plays this song at home constantly, but I still love it. The breakdown with the Shangri-Las Seagulls gets me every time.