1. The Smiths | How Soon Is Now?
In the 1980's, I walked into a Record Bar record store and asked the attendant for a recommendation for a Punk album. He sold me a 45 single album and when I put the record on at home, I was pissed. This isn't Punk! But after listening, I fell in Love with the sound.
2. The Cult | She Sells Sanctuary
This song got me heavy into all The Cult albums, including Southern Death Cult and Death Cult. It's probably one of the earliest songs that got tons of people into the Alternative scene.
3. The Chameleons | Swamp Thing
Long before I became the singer and guitarist for Black Swan Lane and before Mark Burgess and I played together, I was a drummer in an Alternative band in New Mexico. Before band practice one day, our bass player put on the album Strange Times and Swamp Thing started. I remember getting chills and The Chameleons became my favorite band for years to come. Who knew we would one day collaborate on several records together...
4. The Sun And The Moon | Death Of Imagination
I was searching in a record store for additional Chameleons material and the Geffen release, The Sun And The Moon appeared in the Chameleons record slot. I bought the LP and the tape and still play it to this day. The Music is incredible and the lyrics are intellectually stimulating which can't be said for too many recordings. Years later, I got the pleasure of working with all the members of this project as well.
5. Cocteau Twins | Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops
The bass lines, the guitars, the effects and her voice. Chill bumps. Enough said.
6. Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart
The Darkness and Depression that somehow made you feel happy inside. When you first heard it, it was strange and, by the second listen, you realize it is the rawness that makes it brilliant.
7. Mazzy Star | Fade Into You
I went to see Mazzy Star with Scott Weiland of STP years ago and we wound up backstage right before interviews were taking place. I had never heard them before. Funny story - Hope, the lead vocalist had no idea who Scott was when he was flirting and she came over and sat on my lap for a bit. After hearing the concert and consequently buying So Tonight That I Might See, I realized what an amazing moment that was.
8. Red House Painters | Katy Song
I met Mark Kozelek outside the same venue as the Mazzy Star show. Again, I didn't know much about them twenty something years ago. Back then, he looked like Jesus and came across as a Musical Prophet. The Music, for the time, was out of place, but completely original and unbelievably moving. A big influence on what we do now.
9. The Beatles | Helter Skelter
So many great Beatles songs. I like the slow ones as well, like Something, off Abbey Road. I had to list this one because I used to play my Dad's White Album full blast while jamming on my pretend guitar, the Wilson tennis racket. I also learned to play the drums to Beatles albums in lieu of learning the essential rudiments.
10. Catherine Wheel | I Want To Touch You
I got a lot of speeding tickets listening to this in my sports car. When Rob Dickinson stayed over with us, I learned he is a car fanatic as well. The most underrated Alternative Rock band who also put on phenomenal live shows where the whole crowd is bouncing up and down in unison to the Driving Music. P.S. - I loved his cousin Bruce in Iron Maiden when I was 13 years old and listened to The Number Of The Beast quite a bit until my mother smashed it thinking I was becoming a satanist...