I brainstormed something most likely pointless the other night, as I do. My general distaste for the question of “What music do you like?” knows no bounds. The hefty answer can be picked apart for hours, something I reserve only for the friends that I know can handle this, and frankly I do not believe the usual person who is asking this question has readied themselves for such a chunk of information.
Lying there, in my sort of fury for dumb questions with even worse answers, I brought forth a much better one: “What were the first albums you remember owning?” A question that I think has a much more amusing answer. It could be something too shameful to admit (the best, honestly) or something that has greatly effected your life. I’m willing to bet that most people remember distinctly what it was, how it made them feel, the experience to actually have/own your first album aside from whatever your parents listened to at the time.
My first two albums go hand in hand and I still love them to this day. No Doubt’s ‘Tragic Kingdom‘ and Garbage’s self titled debut album.
I remember this vividly. I remember seeing the album art and thinking that the shoes were very Ronald McDonald. The rotten fruit and flies somehow all appealed to a young version of myself. My purchase had a small amount of influence from my older sister. The album made the rounds on the Top 40 radio in the year 1995, and I wanted to hear more. I asked my mom to buy it for me and she obliged. It marked the first time I had a hunger for whatever else the presented musician had to offer, and then it was clearly all downhill from there.
More music nostalgia after the cut!
As a child (aaaand there goes everyone feeling very aged!), I clearly had no frame of reference. This was the first band I remember really liking that had a female lead, with songs mostly about the woes of being a girl.
(No Doubt, ‘Don’t Speak’)
Now the tricky and typical question being what were my favorite songs from this particular album. I was super into ‘Sunday Morning‘, but ultimately I was swayed by the ever popular ‘Don’t Speak‘. I remember this song as being a definitive piece to my childhood growing up, and the music video had a huge impact on me. I was usually just listening to the album continuously, but now all of a sudden I was presented with this amazing female to put my girl adorations onto. She was lovely and full of life and purely a physical representation of everything I had absorbed through the music.
My sister’s friends were really amused with how much I loved No Doubt, so a friend of hers ever so graciously bought me my next favorite thing to obsess over: Garbage’s self-titled album.
At first I remember being a little offended at the album art. Yes, even then I was a little snobby. I thought “How could you present me with this wussy cover?! Pink feathers? Insulted!” But, I trusted my sister’s friends and their superior taste to 7 year old me, so I listened. And then I listened again. And again. There was something so much darker than my beloved No Doubt happening here. It was dirtier, it had grit and a bitter taste. It had a lot I could not comprehend at the time, but it had something that I was ultimately into. It seemed to inhabit the same category as No Doubt, but it was definitely off to the corner. Therefor, I fully embraced it and fell in love.
Aside from ‘Only Happy When It Rains‘, the music video for ‘Queer‘ sticks out like a sore thumb for my childhood. Story time! The music video for ‘Queer‘ came on ye olde Music Television station, and it was a greater feeling than seeing Miss Stefani in motion for the first time. I was completely in a trance. This woman, this Shirley Manson was a complete badass and I wanted to be just like her! She had dark-shadowed eyes and an attitude that pierced right through the television. I was firmly planted in front of the set when my sister came in to ask me “What the hell are you listening to?!”, I reply with “Garbage!”
Apparently I was gifted the album by one of my sister’s “cooler friends”, and she was not too privy to this music. She left with a totally 90′s threat of “If you ever let Mom know you have this CD, you’re dead!” and was on her way. Of course, this only made me love it more.
I’m so certain these two albums made a deep impression on me. They have a special place on my iPod and in my heart of hearts. And these answers are far more telling than “Well..I just kind of listen to everything.”
And now I pose the question for all of you: “What was the first album you remember owning?”