I posted my list a few days ago of the Top 20 CD’s that influenced me the most. I had so much fun with that one, I thought I would do one more with a bit of a difference focus.
These are the 20 Hard Rock CD’s that hold very personal meaning to me.
* Shark Island – Law Of The Order: I discovered this band and record strictly by accident, thanks to the old Columbia House record thing that you used to find in old magazines. I had orderd some and this came as the Selection of the Month. It was one of those Send it back or we’ll charge you CD’s. Needless to say, it only took one listen and I knew it wasn’t going back. It’s remained one of my Top 10 all time CD’s to this day.
* Spread Eagle – Spread Eagle: I discovered this band thanks to Gerri Miller and her Metal Edge magazine. I was in my first year of college and always on the search for something to blast in my dorm room. This fit the bill perfectly with their brand of cave your brain in street metal meets sleaze. “Through These Eyes” is still one of the most intense power ballads I’ve ever heard. I spent the summer of 1990 working at Cedar Point where I terrorized anyone within earshot with this record!
* Gypsy Rose – Prey: I discovered this band and CD after returning back to college from my summer at Cedar Point. Much like the Shark Island CD it was love at first listen. When I first started singing in bands, there were 3 people that I tried to emulate the most: Richard Black, Michael Monroe, and the singer of this band, Michael Ross. I never could really nail his tone that well but that didn’t stop me from trying like hell! 25 years later, this is still one of the CD’s that I will listen to when I need a good kick in the ass!
* Michael Monroe – Not Fakin’ It: The second I heard the song, “Dead, Jail, Or Rock n Roll“, I knew that I had heard my ‘life song’. No song that I’ve ever heard before or since, has better summed up what my life has been about. Now, I’m working on getting a sleeve sized theme tattoo based around the song.
* Black N Blue – Without Love: I was in foster care when this CD came out. I bought it the same day that I bought Keel’s “The Final Frontier.” At at time when I was being shipped from home to home almost monthly, this record is one that was a constant in my trusty Sony Walkman. The title track is one of my Top 10 all time favorite tunes and one that I still listen to at least 3-4 times a week.
* Babylon A.D – Babylon A.D.: Another record that came out during my first year of college that I spent a ton of time blasting at full volume, often when I was stressed out by life and the rigors of school. I worked in the college planetarium as a student instructor and I would lock myself in there during the off hours and rock out to this record.
* Leatherwolf – Street Ready: Another record that was a frequent flyer on the Planetarium’s massive stereo system during the late hours. Bordering more on the metal in places, it was a record that I would scream my lungs out with to vent frustration. Sometimes having a soundproof room to do that is the best therapy one can get!
* Lizzy Borden – Visual Lies: This came near the end of my time in foster care. I had been placed in a home on the north side of Flint, where I attended Flint Northwestern High School. I was the ONLY white kid in the entire school, which was AWESOME! As you can imagine, It was a constant battle to avoid the remarks, comments, and other shit tossed my way. Once again, music and my trusty Walkman came to the rescue in the form of this record. Me Against The World, Bitch!
* Warlock – Triumph & Agony: I was introduced to this record by a kid on the school bus while living in foster care in Clarkston, MI. Another record that is full of “Me Against The World” type anthems that I used as rallying cries when it seemed the system was fucking me again.
* Chrissy Steele – Magnet To Steele: That voice! Those Looks! I became an immediate fan and postered my room in pictures of Chrissy. I’ve always been really disappointed that there was never a follow-up to this record, thought I do understand why.
* Electric Boys – Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride: Another record discovered during my stay in college. The guy across the hall from me had introduced me to funk and rap music so imagine my happiness to find a band the combined the attitude of those great funk bands with the heaviness of the hard rock that I loved so much. Another that was on the Planetarium playlist.
* Gun – Taking On The World: The title track reminds me so much of my relationship with my father. Much like the Lizzy Borden CD, this was a “FIGHT!” CD to me. I would use to hype myself up when down.
* McQueen Street – s/t: A CD that, in many ways, has the same kind of appeal that the Gypsy Rose CD had. “My Religion” is the kind of song any band should be proud to have and the songs, “Time” and “In Heaven” are two of the great unrecognized power ballads of the era.
* Roxy Blue – Want Some: While many people wrote this band off as a Van Halen clone, I personally always liked them way more than VH. The guitar playing was flawless and the rhythm section had a ton of groove. The songs have a true sense of melody and have long remained one of my favorites to rock to in the car.
* Southgang – Group Therapy: Another band that came to my attention thanks to Metal Edge and Gerri Miller. Much like the Roxy Blue record, it’s full of melodic singing over huge, nasty grooves that are great for rocking out in the car! And hell, it’s the band that catapulted Butch Walker to super stardom.
* Mitch Malloy – Mitch Malloy: Again, thanks go to Metal Edge for this record. I’ve been a Mitch Disciple since this record, following his career through his playing rock, his country side projects, and ventures into producing some really amazing artists as well. The guy is fucking ROCK STAR! I had the honor of being able to interview him last year for my radio show and it was, simply put, the highlight of my year!
* WASP – The Last Command: I had the first record by WASP but this was the one that really connected with me. Full of fist pumping anthems that I used as personal anthems for many years when I needed music to hype me up. “Widowmaker” is by far my favorite song the band has ever done and another that is in my Top 10 all time tunes.
* Warrant – Dog Eat Dog: The heaviest record that Warrant has done and by far their best, in my opinion. This was Jani in his songwriting prime writing tunes that were both personal and had a huge influence on my own songwriting style.
* Motley Crue – s/t: easily one of the most grossly underrated records that any band has ever done. John Corabi was an inspired choice for vocalist and helped write a collection of songs that simply rock from bottom to top. “Smoke The Sky” is by far one of the nastiest, phattest guitar riffs ever laid on wax.
* Tora Tora – Surprise Attack: Some of the biggest grooves ever laid down by a band are on this record. This is one of my favorite records to just rock out to. When I need something play air drums or guitar to, this is a go to favorite. This record is pure lightning in a bottle.