This Saturday, April 18th, is Record Store Day! For those of you unaware of the holday, allow me to explain. Record Sore Day is an annual event that was founded in 2007 that celebrates independent record stores. Stores across the world celebrate by holding meet and greets for fans, special performances by artists, and reissues of special cd’s and vinyls. So I thought in the spirit of the holiday I’d share a personal list of albums that make me greatful for Record Store Day! Be sure to check out recordstoreday.com to find participating stores near you!
1. Back to Black by Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was one of those rare talents who comes out with something so amazing, it impacts listeners at all ages. I remember picking up this album in the begining of 7th grade and it totally changed my opinion on soul and R&B music. Some of my favorite songs are on this album. The standout tracks for me on the album were “Me and Mr. Jones”, “Some Unholy War”, and “Wake Up Alone.” Amy was truly a beautiful singer and artists, and you can hear her pain and suffering throughout the album; which only made her real life seem more tragic.
2. Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails
I could probably write a 7 page paper with sources, in MLA format, describing my love and respect for Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor’s project debuted this album all the way back in 1989, and I’m still playing it on rotation today. This album makes me feel isolated, anxious, and amped up. It’s industrial synth-pop sound gives the album a new-wave dancey vibe; albiet an angry dancey vibe. This album is also great because it gave us hits like “Head Like a Hole” and “Terrible Lie.”
3. … Baby One More Time by Britney Spears
Do I really need to explain how/why this album is so important? Ms. Britney Spears invaded our radios and televisions in 1999 with the smash single “Baby One More Time”, showing audiences everywhere that catholic school girls are HOT, and more importantly, that Spears was a force to be reckoned with. Full disclosure, as a young lad I forced my mother to videotape my “music videos” complete with choreography. I had a video for every song on the album. These tapes are locked somewhere far, far, away.. never to be seen by mortals ever again.
4. Love. Angel. Music. Baby by Gwen Stefani
I grew up a huge ska fan, and a huge No Doubt fan. I was skeptical about how Gwen would transition to pop music, but all of my fears were reassured after picking up this album. The electropop album was full of bangers such as “Hollaback Girl”, “Rich Girls”, and my personal favorite “Luxurious.” Gwen Stefani, an icon in her own right, brought me to a magical, kawaii-filled world with this album. Whats special about this album is that, in my opinion, there was no filler songs. Every song could’ve been a successful radio single if released. It’s so rare to find such substance in a genre full of over-used beats and shallow lyrics.
5. Doggystle by Snoop Dogg
If there was ever an album that could make you cooler after listening to it, this would be that one. As a young suburban dwelling scumbag I ventured out of the world of heavy metal and rock to discover the legend that is Snoop Dogg. If the album cover wasn’t enough to get you sold, the songs will. This is the album that gave us hits like “Gin and Juice”, which I’m pretty sure everyone in the english speaking world knows. A few other tracks worth listening to are “Lodi Dodi”, “Doggy Dogg World”, and “Pump Pump”. Whether you’re lighting up with a few friends, or riding solo on your way to work, this album is garanteed to bring out your inner G.
6. Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson
Oh Marilyn Manson, what can I say about you and this album? I caught the feels hard for Marilyn Manson when I was 12 and picked up this album in an attempt to up my goth street cred. Little did I know that this album would go on to not only be one of my favorites of all time; it became a outlet for me. I was angry, my parents divorced, and I started a new private school. I spent many nights curled up under my covers listening to “The Beautiful People”, and wondering when Marilyn and I would meet and get married (still waiting on it!). Aside from “Beautiful People”, Antichrist Superstar also spawned hits such as “Tourniquet”, “Irresponsible Hate Anthem”, and my personal favorite “Angel With the Scabbed Wings.” This album, if anything, taught me that I really wasn’t born with enough middle fingers.
7. Insomiac by Green Day
One of the most under-rated Green Day albums in my opinion, Insomiac did not recieve as much commercial success as the bands other albums; but it did have some of the best songs Green Day has ever written. The day I got my first bass I immediately went home and learned to play Brain Stew. My friends and I assembled and covered the shit out of that song. My apologies to my parents, and theirs, for having to hear a bunch of teenagers pretend to be rockstars. Whats cool about this album is how clever it can be. In “Walking Contradiction” Billie Joe croons “”I’m a smart ass, but I’m playing dumb”, the whole song is about how easily and fickle people, and life, can be! Wise words Billie Joe Armstrong… wise words..
8. Little Machines by Lights
The most recent release by Canadian synth-pop singer Lights made the list because of how impactful and beautiful this album is. In the album, Lights reflects and laments about the struggle of being together with someone when you’re both constantly touring, staying relevant and fresh as an artist, and growing up without getting old. The first single released “Up We Go” is a certified fun banger. But the album also has tracks such as “Oil and Water”, describing the difficulties of making a long distance relationship work. The best track in my opinion, is “Running with the Boys.” If this wasn’t enough to get you to listen, the album recently won ‘Pop Album of the Year’ at the 2015 JUNO Awards.