Growing up music was part of my life. My father used to brag about how my first concert was David Bowie in November of 1972. The concert was in Charlotte and I was not going to be delivered until January of 1973. My mother would tell stories about while other parents were playing lullabies she was putting me to sleep in my crib to Led Zepplin, Stevie Wonder, and the Beatles. My father owned, well I really don’t know how many albums he owned, but it had to be in the thousands. My father was the kind of person who would literally wear albums out and then have to replace them. He had five copies of Donovan’s A Gift From a Flower to a Garden and refused to toss out the old worn copies. He saw that as a badge of honor.
My own musical journey began when I started sifting through those albums and finding the ones I liked. My personal favorites were not usually because they were sonically the best pick (although they were pretty good) nor are they albums I find great now. But they appealed to the 8 or 9 year old me. Albums by Queen, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Simon and Garfunkel really spoke to me. I really liked songs like Black Dog, Rubberband Man, Court and Spark, and I Hate Myself for Loving You. When my parents divorced it was music that gave me an escape from the reality around me.
In 1982 I discovered MTV. I was entranced by songs like The Pretenders Back on the Chaingang, John Cougar’s Hurts So Good, and Madness with Our House. I loved it all. In 1984 my mother gave me a Sony Walkman and Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, the first album that was truly my own. The first albums I purchased with my own money was Paul Simon’s Graceland and Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut. By time I was 13 I was hanging out at record shops and buying used albums and tape for a buck or two. I had a turntable before I had a television. The first band I called my own as a Gen Xer was R.E.M. and by the late 80s I was into Run DMC, the Smiths, Depeche Mode, the Beastie Boys and more. I openly cried when Kurt Cobain died and still miss him. Music is everything to me.
This blog is about music and its impact on my life. I have to admit, I am also a sucker for lists. I really like countdowns like American Top 40, the Rolling Stone 500, and others. This blog is about music and what makes music great. I have always had a goal of listening to a medalist of great albums but wanted to curate that list myself. So I combined over 100 different “best of” album lists and created a master list containing all 3200 albums that appeared at least once on one list. Over the next few years I will count down this list 25 albums each week. I will listen to the albums and post my impressions of them. About 100 words per album. I will post videos, tweet about them @mprest13 and keep a running play list on Spotify so you can listen the best two to four songs from each album. This list contains all of my personal favorite albums but also hundreds I have never heard of. I think it will be fun. Along the way I will give insight into what makes a great album and why these albums are on the list. Music is the core of my happiness and I want to celebrate its talent, diversity, and ability to connect. So join me.