Beatles - Help: The first album I ever bought - at a garage sale, for 25 cents! I still have it and break it out every once in a while. I love the soundtrack stuff on it, and "You've got to hide your love away" will always be amazing.
Kiss - Double Platinum: I convinced my parents to buy it for me at a Target store in Fort Collins when I was seven or eight years old. I hummed the song "Beth" for them to convince them it was "mellow." Little did they know! 100,000 Years is my all time favorite Kiss tune and is probably the reason I started and still play guitar. Ace Frehley is king, of another galaxy. When I see photos of him from the '70s era Kiss, I still think he's not human. He's the heart and soul behind the band, the rest of them are tools.... Think about this: The best songs on Dynasty are Ace songs. He left the band shortly afterwards, because those fools went disco, dropped make-up and made crap music!
Pink Floyd - Meddle: So beautiful... it's one of those albums I listen to that makes me think about how good life really is if you let it be. And it ends with "Echoes," which is like a strong hit of LSD without taking LSD.
Slayer - South of Heaven: I was into Slayer way before this came out, but SOH is the one I will always be attracted to. The intro to "Ghosts of War" is soooo brutal, and then it leads into "Read Between the Lies," another incredible track. "Evangelist you claim God speaks through you, Your restless mouth full of lies gains popularity. You care not for the old that suffer, When empty pockets cry from hunger." Goosebumps...... In my opinion, South of Heaven is the best metal album ever made.
Sonic Youth - Goo: When I was in Saudi during the first Gulf War I had my mom send me this on cassette. I listened to it everyday along with Jane's Addiction's "Ritual de lo Habitual." Every song on it is good and it's the way albums should be made - as a whole piece of work. Goo, Goo, Goo ... Goo.
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique: More than 400 samples on this one, before artists were getting sued for doing such a thing. I bought this one when it came out, I was stationed at Camp Butler, Okinawa, and we would skate the half pipe on the base while listening to this and the Misfits. Beasties are legendary.
Metallica - Kill 'Em All: David Flores brought this my house when we were in 7th grade. At the time I was listening to bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Ozzy. Kill 'Em All was the fastest music I ever heard.
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath: As a young whipper snapper, the first time I heard this I was frightened. The title track literally moves and takes you on a journey through madness. IMO, Sabbath created the "gallup" riff that is emulated in so many metal songs after it.
MDC - Millions of Dead Cops: I have to thank Jeff Abbott for this one. I was into metal when he introduced this to me. It opened up a whole new world and made me think about the state of life in America and humans in general. "What makes America so straight and me so bent?" It's still one of my favorite albums of all time and gets a regular listen.
Firehose - Ragin' Full On: Ed from Ohio meets Mike Watt and love is made. This album has been in my head forever and was my soundtrack throughout my 20s. It reminds me of snowboarding, the mountains, sunny skies, fishing and laughing my ass of with my best friends.
Primus - Frizzle Fry: I think i've seen Primus more than any other band. We'd drive around to see them two nights in a row ... stage diving, crowd surfing, throwing each other over rows of people and landing on girls' heads, much to their disdain. Who doesn't get goose bumps during the song "The Toys Go Winding Down"? It's pudding time...
Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory: One of the best hip hop albums ever. I sing along to this. So chill. Fife and Q-Tip rule. "Do you know the importance of a skypageuhhh?"
Metal Church - Metal Church: Seattle represent! These guys are some of the most talented musicians you'll ever hear. I saw them open up for Megadeth in 1986. I was blown away. Goosebumps still...
Melvins - Houdini: Heavy, sludgy, demented, fast, slow ... impact! I love Buzzo and have a lot of respect for a band that's been touring for 30 years ... completely below the radar. Kurt Cobain wasn't even a fingernail on Buzzo's pinky...
The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come: I've got a soft spot for this band and still give them a listen regularly. It's good music. Period. I listened to this every night while falling asleep when I was first stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
And as an afterthought, there's a few that set the course early on: Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan (Thanks to my sister), AC/DC - Let There Be Rock, Ted Nugent - Scream Dream (Thanks again to David Flores), Van Halen - Van Halen, B-52s - B52s, The Who - Who's Next, UFO - No Place to Run (on 8-track - 1st album with Michael Schenker!), Ozzy - Diary of a Madman, DRI, there's just too many ... And yes, I realize I am dating myself with a lot of this but screw it, old school rules!