Tuesday, July 11, 2017

50 Albums that Influenced Me (Disc Three)

by Germar Derron

(find "Disc Two" here)

For a former music major-saxophone player-producer-audio engineer-songwriter-label intern-artist manager, I barely write about, talk about, or even think about music. Maybe I'm bitter. Did I just say "former?" WOW. This list covers the 50 albums that mattered most in my life. 

To make the list, I had to have acquired the full album through some legitimate means. So, very few post-2008 albums make the list because: 1) do CDs still exist?; 2) are there "record" stores?; and 3) Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora. These albums are not necessarily my favorites. And many of my favorite artists and most of my favorite songs are missing. The "then" and "now" scores depict how my feelings have changed with time. Those two scores combined determined the album's overall rank.

29. Eminem, The Slim Shady LP (1999) I got around to this well after we knew all about Mr. Mathers. Initially, I thought it was awkward and corny. But my producer friends that pushed from their trunks at the let out got it. And when my tough times got tougher, I got it too. Then: 6.5 + Now: 9.7 = 16.2

28. Ginuwine, 100% Ginuwine (1999) As a kid, I was Michael (who G covers here). As a teen, I was Ginuwine. He was shirtless and dripping and taped to my wall. Maybe more importantly, Timbaland produces here and throughout this list. Then: 9.7 + Now: 6.5 = 16.2

27. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway (2004) I bought it. I tossed and turned, night after night, thinking of "buildings with a hundred floors, swinging 'round revolving doors." I know we all pretend to not like pop, but somebody's listening. And the production and songwriting here is top notch. Then: 9.5 + Now: 7 = 16.5

26. The Killers, Hot Fuss (2004) How did these guys ever go faux indie? Why are they so big in England? It's probably the fake British accent. Brandon Flowers' ego ruined what should have been the defining band of a generation. Then: 9 + Now: 7.5 = 16.5

25. New Edition, Home Again (1996) Years later, post-breakup, solo failures and successes the boys were back--and arguably better. The best of the 80s, destroyed the 90s. "NE harmonize." And for the first time anywhere, all six men showed up and left their egos at home. Just don't ask about the tour. Then: 8 + Now: 8.5 = 16.5

24. Fugees, The Score (1996) I didn't get serious about hip-hop until I heard The Score. When east coast lovers debated Nas, Jay, and Big, I shouted, "L-Boogie." Then: 10 + Now: 7 = 17

23.  New Edition, Heartbreak (1988) The boys became men, and proved that they could do it, while Bobby B was busy breaking records. My family performed "Can You Stand the Rain" twice; I was Johnny Gill. This album is the soundtrack of their careers. Then: 8 + Now: 9 = 17

22. Sam Cooke, Greatest Hits (1998) He's the most underrated artist on this list. I bought this album for my mom. Then, I bought it for myself. I can't write about it now, without feeling a tug at my heartstrings. Then: 9 + Now: 8 = 17

21.  Green Day, American Idiot (2004) People say that if you listen hard enough here, you can hear them go POP. I say, flawless production, world class engineering, and the year's best songwriting. This is their masterpiece, and a gift to us. They grew up, and got punished for it. Then: 8.5 + Now: 8.7 = 17.2

20.  The Wiz (soundtrack) (1978) And now I present to you the soundtrack of my life. I only had a few lines, and four roles, but The Wiz is where this all began. I still dream of being cast as the Scarecrow or Lion in somebody's production. #youcantwin Then: 8.3 + Now: 9 = 17.3

                                        COME BACK FOR DISCS 4 and 5


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