Wednesday, 30 December 2009

What are three records that changed and/or inspired your life?

We are doing a post for the blog

"What are three records that changed and/or inspired your life?"

Along with the post it will also be printed as a small black & white zine and given away for free at the next out of step on the 25th.

So if you want to get involved please do so.

So need replies a.s.a.p please via

Send pics here

Or on here.

We will need the following to do this
  • Name
  • Age
  • Where you're from
  • Picture of your fine self
  • The three records with a statement of why for each one. (you don't have to this)
The closing date is 20th January


James Nash London

Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister

This was a pure early teens curiosity purchase that completely changed the way I thought about music. Already totally bored and disillusioned by the Kerrang / NME outlook on the condition of music alongside my immediate surroundings of dumb West Midlands greebo squallor; If you’re Feeling Sinister hit me from an angle that actually made sense in terms of its position in culture and society. Both thematically and in its sound, it set itself apart. In that sense it always felt like it worked conceptually, and so it cant get tired because it’s correct. It was a bitter and strong-willed little wimp of an album searching for something better, just like me at the time.

Fog – Fog

The first solo album by Andrew Broder – based around the mix of guitar pieces and some of the most strange and ethereal turntablism you’ll ever hear, its a wonderfully baffling album sprinkled with scattered moments of indie pop genius, including a high contender for my favourite song ever; ‘Pneumonia’. This album set a pattern for me being into a string of idiosyncratic solo pop acts; Cass McCombs, Mark Kozelek, Why? Will Oldham, Chad Vangaalen, Destroyer amongst others. The kind of thing thats so different within its realm it always begs the question; “Who ever told you that it was ok to do this like you do?”.

Fugazi – The Argument

The most mature and fully realised in the sterling Fugazi cannon, I guess I see this as an idealistic blueprint of everything a great album or great band should aspire to be. Both thematically and in its construction, it is challenging, tight, interesting, fun, introspective, defying of convention and continually searching for something better. It is a fucking beautiful beast of a record. It is a cultural milestone in terms of its ancestry, the music that it has inspired, and that which it will continue to.

James Nash

Sam Regan
Stockton USA

Owls self titled- These 8 songs are some of the best songs I have ever heard. They are a little mathy, but not in the over the top tera melos tappy kind of way in that the songs still groove so fucking hard.

Kickball's Everything is a Miracle Nothing is a Miracle - For about four months of my sophmore year of highschool, this was all I listened to. It is the best music to sing your heart out

Abe Vigoda's Skeleton - It's just so fun, especially live.


Sion Ford, I'm 17 and from Barry, South Wales, UK.

1. Arcade Fire - Funeral

One of the first albums I ever bought and after stumbling upon the video of them performing "Wake Up" live, I was hooked. Honestly became one of my favourite songs of all time, and I think "Funeral" itself is one of the few records I have that falls into the coveted "favourite" category. This album really opened my eyes to music that wasn't in the pop industry's spotlight and I owe it thanks cause I wouldn't have the music collection I have today if I'd never come across it. I think the band also helped my liking of this album, because at the time of discovery, they seemed to me to be one of the few bands who genuinely cared about their music and who gave it all. I would say it's immensely better than "Neon Bible", but it's always harder the second time.

2. Bloc Party - Another Weekend In the City

Although technically not a physically or officially released album, after I bought "A Weekend In the City", I read about the collection of B-sides which had been put together to make a fan's album. After listening to it, I was left wondering why Bloc Party had left songs like "England" and "Atonement" off the album, and kept tracks like "Where Is Home?" on. Some of the tracks off "Another Weekend In the City" eclipse some of the songs off "A Weekend In the City", and after wasting my money on "Intimacy", I would gladly have paid double the amount for "Intimacy" for this, an unreleased, unofficial collection of songs that, for reasons that surpass me, were left off what was arguably Bloc Party's best album.

3. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon

As clichéd as it may be to put down this, one of the most iconic albums in the history of music, I'm still going to do it because I think that if you really enjoy today's [good] music, you owe it to this album. It's a phase that everyone should go through because it is one of the best produced and best written albums you'll come across, as well as the fact that it's still phenomenally popular today. True, I was introduced to the Floyd by my parents, but I think safe to say, in the history of my days, it was one of the nicest and best things they've done for me. Both of my parents had this record when they were my age, and I know they both share the same love for it. This record is without a doubt, one that I could quite happily listen to without feeling the need to skip any track; they all feed off each other. By my standards, this is the complete record.


Lee Evans, 26

Cannock Wood, Staffordshire

Weezer – Self-titled “The Blue Album” (1994 Geffen)

The self-titled debut album normally referred to as The Blue Album, was a inspiration to me and millions of others not only for it’s sheer enthusiasm but for the sense of humour. Although they looked like 50’s sci-fi geeks on the cover of the album, they weren’t nerds at all. They were smart enough to create that image and that’s something that appealed to me as a 12 year old when I first discovered them. Pretty much through my entire early teens I was all over Weezer, BIG melodies, BIG hooks, BIG lyrics of being misunderstood, and a BIG production. It worked! Take the album’s biggest hit, Buddy Holly isn’t anything special on paper, with those predictable chords and accents, but somehow they turn it into a winner.

Why? – Elephant Eyelash (2005 Anticon)

I could’ve quite easy picked all Why? records as the three records that changed and/or inspired my life. And I can positively say that this one did and they’re indeed my most favourite band, ever! Elephant Eyelash is an album I’ve literally played to death but still can’t get enough of! It’s fantastic, an indie-rock/trip-hop/folk record that nicely balances absurdity and directness, catchy pop hooks with stoned weirdness. I still puzzle over the lyrics, Yoni says he's writing about a break-up, though I don't let that limit my imagination. Yoni Wolf is the man!

J Dilla – Donuts (2006 Stones Throw)

Donuts is entirely one unique mindfuck. Clocking in at 43 minutes, 23 seconds and 31 tracks, only one is over 2 minutes. At times smooth, bumpy or just plain jarring, it's sick, surreal thumps, bumps, hip-hop scratches, souljazz snatches, moans, and grunts that aims to disturb and please in equal doses. J Dilla changed my life!


Knoxville, TN, USA

White Light/White Heat - The Velvet Underground

This album completely changed my thoughts of what rock music could sound like. Between it's topic-matter and sound, this album changed everything. It introduced me to some of my favorite artists and genres that I enjoy today.

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

This album is perfection. Dreamy pop music behind a wall of noise. It took me a while to understand this one but once I got it I never looked back. Nobody has every topped this album in its specific genre and I'd imagine noone ever will.

Supermodified - Amon Tobin

Prior to this album I hadn't really listened to much electronic music beyond electro pop/dance stuff. This album opened up many new genres for me and changed my thoughts on what electonic music can or should sound like. It was hard for me not to pick Boards of Canada(Music Has the Right To Bear Children) or Aphex Twin(Selected Ambient Works or Richard D James) or even Squarepusher.

Laura Kiernan
New York City

Modest Mouse- Building Nothing Out of Something
I think I would feel like a different person without this album and a few others of Modest Mouse's old albums. Issac Brock's lyrics are incredible, "Baby Blue Sedan" is just heartbreaking every time. "Never Ending Math Equation" and so many others have never gotten old for me, even after playing them numerous amounts of times.

Haunted Houses- Invisible War for Your Mind
This is music by my friend Ryan LoPilato. He records lo-fi songs in his bedroom in New Jersey. Some of Ryan's songs are sad and some are very nostalgic. He is extremely musically talented and could write a song in one take, lyrics and everything. He has really inspired me and helped me through his music. "This is Bigger than You and I" is a beautiful song, it would be too difficult to pick a favorite song because they are all amazing. If you want to hear or download it, there's a mediafire on the Haunted Houses myspace-

Have a Nice Life- Deathconsciousness
I randomly found this band on a blog one day and downloaded this album and became obsessed with it immediately. Whenever I don't know what music to listen to, I put Have a Nice Life on and it just works. Deathconsciousness is a dreamy/shoegaze/drone sound, it isn't much like anything I have heard before with its changing sounds throughout songs. The lyrics to some of the songs like "I Don't Love" are quite sad but very good.

Millicent Corinne Haggard
Memphis, TN, USA

1. Mika Miko "C.Y.S.L.A.B.F." - I've been supporting this band since day one... and I've been supporting this album since day one. I don't fucking care if they broke up, they are still my number one, always. They were the first girls to come into the scene with a new sound for the riotgrrrl revolution. The punk quality they go for is more artistic and edgy than others. They combined experimental drone with new age punk, making them stick out pretty far in my book.

2. Joy Division "Substance" - It may be cliche... but it's for a damned good reason. This album is epic in every way. Ian Curtis attracted so many people, because he was raw and full of REAL emotion. You hear it in his voice. You see it in his face. He's a fucking human being, singing about the things everyone wants to sing about but doesn't know how.

3. Ponytail "Ice Cream Spiritual" - This band has transformed our generation's music. The drumming is to a tea, the vocals are insane & the guitar riffs are unbelievable. It's energetic. It's fun. It's everything I want in my music. I like going completely fucking crazy, and this is the perfect album for that.
James Sadler

Black Sabbath-S/T

My Granddad, around 10-12 years ago gave me hes old record player and big box of records this was on the top of pile so I thought I'd start with it just test the player out, before that point id never really listened to a lot of music. this is were my love metal begin.

Flying Lotus Los Angeles

I just think this record is really unique and untouchable in terms of the texture and the quality of beats that's this guy creates. in a field of of its own

Slayer Reign In Blood

This was one of my first albums I brought recommended to me by one of my old school friends, we used to spend hours just listening to it in owe of how fast the guitar playing was.

Richard King

Its is a cold morning in Lille, the mornings are always cold here. After my thought on various trips on the metro and staring blankly at my french teacher i have decided on my top3.

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

If there is one album that changed my perspective on music it must be this one. I had always been into noisy art-rock such as Sonic Youth however i wasn't fully aware of shoegaze until this album. Loveless reinvented what a song was, theyportrayed ideas through the wailing of their guitars with beautiful melodies drowning in the fuzz of guitars. Songs with nostructure at all is always a interesting idea in genre of guitar music where it is often religiously followed. I still have no idea they are singing but i really don't care because the lush harmonies and melodies allow you to make your connection.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads

Nick Cave is the most interesting songwriter around. Normally i think concept albums are really shit (except for Ziggy Stardust and
that Modest Mouse one) but Nick Cave does it so convincingly by living in the stories changing his mood from one song to the next.
The duets with Kylie Minogue and PJ Harvey work beautufully with dual dialogues. I can't say enough about Nick Cave, just check him

The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

I thought i'd pick a modern album instead of just looking far into the past. This band i think is better than either of their own groups
although i do like the Arctic Monkeys and the Rascals. They write great pop tunes with an edge, Turners lyrics are better than ever and
Miles Kane whores the reel echo pedal wonderfully. The orchestration is also really amazing, the production is perfect on this album too.

Richard Cartwright
Oswestry Shropshire

Black Flag - Damaged

I first heard this record when i was fifteen years old and could not belive how much more anger and teen angst it had then Nirvana's Nevermind.
A true punk record.

Idlewild-Hope Is Important

While studying fine art at college this record was all i played.With it's abstract lyrics and early R.E.M and Husker Du influences.It takes me back to catching the 70 bus to college in Oswestry on early cold mornings.

Boards Of Canada-Music has the right to Children

After hearing mostly guitar based bands hearing BOC was a breathe of fresh air.
Sound-tracking every trip i have taken by train,bus or car.


Daniel Anthony Slawinski
Perton Staffordshire

At The Drive-In - Relationship Of Command

Man I love this band so much spent so many hour's listening to this and the other albums so damn much through my early teens, I even have a gas-mask tattoo from the early EP "¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo!"

Hell Is For Heroes - The Neon Handshake

This is another album that i spent listening through my teens i love it.. every song! but I'm just so disappointing that their other albums were not on the same level.

Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine

I can remember the first time i heard this record is was extremely excited and it really didn't disappoint. the only disappointing thing is that i never got to see them live...

There's my three.


Graham Reynolds, aged 22, from Telford, Shropshire

Vex Red - 'Start With A Strong and Persistent Desire' (I Am/Virgin, 2002)

2002. I had just turned 15. I was pretty much like any other 'alternative' kid in the school at the time. I liked all the obvious stuff that those 'alternative' kids liked. I even dyed my hair red like Kurt Cobain. I was ignorant to music from our own shores. Then I heard Vex Red.
If there was one song that I could blame for my musical ephiphany, it would probably have been the first time I heard 'Itch'. I was blown away: here was a British band that I felt I could get excited about, who were making music unlike anything I'd heard before. They mixed alt-rock and electronic influences together to create an album which to me, was the closest thing to perfection I had ever heard, like some hybrid of the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails - but from Surrey. They were also the first band I ever went to see. Sadly, in late 2002, the band split after being dropped from their label, leaving just this album and two singles as their legacy.

Joy Division - 'Unknown Pleasures' (Factory, 1979)

I went to University in Aberystwyth, and accordingly I spent most of three years there shrouded in sea-mist and surrounded by the slick-grey of wet concrete. Until I had lived in such bleak surroundings I had never really understood the bands' music. Yes, I had listened to it, processed the lyrics and knew it was a brilliant piece of art-as-music/music-as-art, but it is a whole lot more than that. Late 70s Manchester transposed itself over mid-00s Wales, and I loved every moment of it - from the insistent beat of 'Disorder' through to the last industrial throbbings of 'I Remember Nothing'. I would go as far to say it is the greatest record every commited to tape. Also, as an aside, Peter Saville's design for the record sleeve is probably my favourite of all time.

Mogwai - 'Rock Action' (Southpaw, 2001)

I've been a long time fan of Mogwai, and whilst most of their albums work on building up levels of intense sound, this release was a lot more subtle in its experimentation with dynamics. There is a greater use of electronics, as well as a whole host of instrumentation outside of your traditional guitar/bass/drums, which leads to the creation of a densely textured soundscape. It's great music to get lost in, headphones on, eyes closed. To this day, I would find it hard to name a more perfect instrumental track than '2 Rights Make 1 Wrong' - that banjo during the coda is enough to make you weep. Also, the time I had sex to this record was one of the most incredible, beautiful, and unforgettable moments of my life.


Name: Ian Bennett
Age: 25
From: Walsall Wood, Walsall

1. Manic Street Preaches - This is my truth Tell Me Yours

If there is single handedly the most important album in my collection it would be this. Without it I p
robably would of never developed a taste in music. It hit me the first time I heard If you Tolerate This Your Children will be next, when that haunting guitar sound just burys its way into your soul. After that the meloncoly of the record soon became the soundtrack to my teenage angst.

2. Soulwax - Much Against Everyones Advice

This has a special place for me as without trying to sound to corny, this album is me. its like the band had a picture of me on there desk and said I'm going to write an album about him. I'm sure thats not the case and its actualy about the bands own expirences but I just relate to this record more than any other. I also urge anyone who hasn't heard it to hear it maybe you'll find a conection there.

3. The Music - The Music

These are one of the best bands going, it's a very special record as it plays every mood, I think its an album that all of my friends loved its something we all share. If you believe that freinds are the most important thing in your life then surely this is an important album. it has everything, every emotion build ups with songs like Too high, Epic songs like the gettaway, or just plain good dancey songs like the people, truly a fantastic record.

Sean 'Professor' Wheatley
Bradmore, Wolverhampton.

Sonic Youth - Dirty
Bought for me by my dad when I was 13 it laid untouched on a shelf for 2 years until some point around 5 years ago I mixed it up with will smiths classic "Will2K" album and instead of hearing his version of rock the casbah I was treated to an onslaught of noise and never looked back.

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
There have been enough rants about this one.

Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun
Simply one of the greatest albums of all time, beautiful, greater guitar use than the first album and the name translates too "An alright start". What more could you want?


Adam Smith, 21, Birmingham,

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Parlophone, 1967)

Going through my father's record collection, the feel of rough carpet against my knees. Studying the mysterious covers but always coming back to that collage of intriguing individuals, dimly aware of their importance. Impressing my parents friends at a Quiz by remembering the doll's "welcome the Rolling Stones" sweater. And listening to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, again and again and again. Mum and Dad shared laughs and exchanged glances; rolling their eyes at hidden meanings. But Sgt Pepper took my hand and led me through the doors of perception and I knew exactly what the music meant.

Million Dead - Song to Ruin (Xtra Mile Recordings/Integrity Records, 2003)

To my friends punk meant clashing colours, petty crime and white lightning. But this was what punk meant to me; Intensity, integrity, intelligence and soul. My world was turned upside down when I heard Breaking the Back's driving drum beat blaring out of my television. Rushing to get the CD single from HMV, then buying the album on the day of release. Pouring over the sleeve notes and learning every cryptic lyric. The hoodie I wore for years, the hours I spent on their forum, the miles I travelled to see them a dozen or so times. "The harmonies have faded away, but the melody remains", this band could be my life, nothings been the same since I heard them; They opened up a new world of music and a new way of thinking which has been with me ever since.

Tender Forever - The Soft And The Hardcore (K Records, 2005)

That contradiction you always cary inside yourself. That secret dualism; twee and punk; punk and twee; the aggression but always the insecurity. The Soft and the Hardcore. The raw intimacy and delicate power in Melanie Valera's confessional electronica. The nervousness which filled me listening to the album for the first time in that unfamiliar bedroom. The overproof rum and the doubts dispersed as the songs blurred into one. The stolen kiss I'll never forget though I can't quite remember which song accompanied it. The infinite possibilities exploding at once, "the magic of crashing stars" and you were the space in which I floated; listening to the lyrics, looking in your eyes and learning to love again, willed on by the gentle voice and fragile keys.

Katherine Rodgers
Northern Ireland

You Forgot It In People - Broken Social Scene
Every music fan has a moment – a one, defining, outrageously influential moment where music takes on a new form, transcends it’s humble origins and becomes something sublime- this moment becomes a benchmark for all the music they’ll listen to for, well, the rest of their lives.

For me, this moment happened one boring summer, lying on my bedroom floor, listening to 'You Forgot It In People' for the first time. Even at the young age of 11, and with little or no prior experience of listening to indie rock, I could see what an awe-inspiring album this is. 'You Forgot It In People' is incendiary, kinetic, explosive - a veritable firecracker of an album, and one - despite resistance - you can't help but emotionally involve yourself in.

It’s impossible not to listen to ‘KC Accidental’ and not feel your pulse frantically race in unison with the nerve-ripping, searing ribbons of guitars, it’s impossible not to feel your heart pound along with that erratic, gorgeous gun-shot percussion, and it’s impossible – in that one, crystalline, climatic moment, where the reams of roving guitars explode into pieces of glittering, violin laced shrapnel – not to feel like your head is exploding, even a little bit. Or even the crystalline, cyclical ’Anthems For a Seventeen Year Old Girl’, where Emily Haines voice seems to be trapped, suspended in some some vast, cavernous space, like a butterfly pinned to a corkboard, as lazy banjo and rushing, cascading strings interplay languorously below her.
And God, the lyrics – there’ll never be a track that encapsulates the horrific doubt of being in love more than ‘I’m Still Your Fag’ does; against the unassuming backdrop of gently-rolling guitar and lush, wafting horns, a tale of heartbreaking proportions is spun, detailing the singer’s relationship with a married man: ‘It’s a possibility to live without this/ Clinic love to fill right up with all the broken kids/ I swore I drank your piss last night to see if I could live/ But my wrists couldn’t stand the light that we missed.’ Listen to the crack in his voice on ‘I swore I drank your piss last night’, and feel your heart shatter. Or the cathartic ‘Pitter Patter Goes My Heart, which rolls in after the warm throb of ‘Lovers Spit’ and feels like the air after the storm – fresh, and clean, and still resonating with the turmoil of what has come before.
And I could go on, analysing and exalting every track on this God damn gorgeous album, but it’d be pretty pointless. I could never come close to the rolling, seasick, emotional lurches this album manages to evoke in me. Because it’s that good. It really is.

Ys - Joanna Newsom

If 'The Milk-Eyed Mender' showcased Joanna as a harp-wielding, ungainly-voiced country bumpkin, then 'Ys' is her chrysalis effect - after a two year hiatus, Joanna emerged from her hibernation period sleek and cinematic, her simplistic, ‘Mender’ era rootsy tunes eschewed for something grander, exhilarating and achingly expansive. The trademark glittering harp was still there, but it was nestled inside a surging torrent of stabbing, spiraling strings, courtesy of Van Dyke Parks, which flitted and flickered refractively, giddily around Joanna’s tangled, lengthy reams of verbosity.

The lyrics in ‘Ys’ are a wonder within themselves - unbelievably lush, intricate and involved , they present a remarkable playfulness with words (see Joanna’s furious tumble through the unforgiving syllables of ”Awful atoll, oh incalculable, indiscreetness and sorrow, bawl, bellow, Sibyl sea-cow all done up in a bow!’ in ‘Only Skin’) as well as an intense passion for mythology and the simple squareness of folk tales and parables – ‘Monkey and Bear’ starts off as a simple, pentatonic tune which recalls a nursery rhyme, but soon expands into an incredibly involved tale of epic proportions, detailing the relationship between a gullible bear and a manipulating monkey. The story doesn’t end well – the bear ‘Ursula’ ends up escaping from the controlling monkey, and drowning while trying to catch fish in a pool (‘Now her coat drags through the water, bagging with a life’s-worth of hunger, limitless minnows’). In the hands of a less-worthy artist, ‘Monkey and Bear’ would have surely ended up as a bombastic, indulgent yarn – but Joanna’s ceaselessly creative instrumentation, as well as her impenetrable conviction in her own vivid lyrics makes ‘Monkey and Bear’s nine and a half minutes pass by like seconds.

Granted, Joanna’s particular brand of whimsy remains a hard sell – the over-long, over-ambitious ‘Ys’ was hardly ever going to win her any new fans, and those that found her voice impossibly grating and lyrics over-wordy and indulgent on ‘Milk-Eyed Mender’ aren’t going to have their opinion changed by ‘Ys’, but for those who can indulge Joanna’s idiocracies, ‘Ys’ will be nothing short of a revelation – for the patient listener, there’s a world of lucid beauty locked in ‘Ys’, and will one which will leave them (in Joanna’s own, evocative words) ‘dumbstruck with the sweetness of being’.

Illinois - Sufjan Stevens
Even by Mr. Stevens lavish standards, ‘Illinois’ is a banquet of an album – horns upon horns are layered strings upon strings in a glorious, sumptuous celebration of Illinois – in glorious technicolour, Sufjan manages to encapsulate the true American spirit – standing on the banks of the Sangamon River, dreaming about Carl Sandburg, celebrating Casmir Pulaski Day, riding the train at Nichol’s Park.
But ‘Illinois’ is no glossily airbrushed 50’s travel brochure – he manages to include some of the state’s darkest moments in ‘John Wayne Gacy Jnr.’ – a stark, acoustic biography of the infamous serial killer who kidnapped and murdered twenty-seven young boys and men, hiding the bodies under his floorboards – ‘Even more, they were boys, with their cars, summer jobs, Oh my God!’. You may cringe at Sufjan’s graceless refraction of Gacy’s life with his own – ‘And in my best behaviour, I am really just like him’ but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more sincere disclosure in the singer-songwriter genre.
Even more affecting is the relentless, bittersweet mourn of ‘Casmir Pulaski Day’ – over the unassuming backdrop of gently-strummed acoustic guitar, Sufjan puts his listeners through searing emotional purgatory – every line he delivers in that unassuming, preppy whine is utterly devastating: ‘In the morning, when you finally go/ And the nurse runs in, with her head bowed low/ And the cardinal hits the window’. ’Illinois’ heralded Sufjan’s growing maturity – it finds him stepping out of his preppy cubscout uniform and into a black funeral suit. And it suits him.
Hi I`m William.
I`m born in Italy but in the last 3 years I`m living in London.

Those are my special album that really changed my life.

Nirvana - In Utero.
My cousin gave to me this album in 1996. Before this I was listening to Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, REM, G`N`R, and every shit that my Parents use to listening. This album really open a real world of new/old music weird comix weird everything...

Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti - Intervento A Vivo.
This is an Italian dream punk rock indie cult band that still rocking. I saw them live in 1997 and was love at the first song. They mix sort of punk pop like Pixes surfer rosa stuff. Great lyrics art and mood. I still love them and everything they are doing. My first girlfriend story is mixed with this album and also my last girlfriend is mixed with their last album "La Rivoluzione Sessuale".

Pixies - Surfer Rosa
I never hear of them before watching Fight Club and you know Where is My Mind.... I went to my favorite music shop and I bought. I still love this album and I dont really like the others that Black and company made after.. no even the breeders are good like this amazing monumental pop punk vocabulary.

Bethan, 20, Walsall

1) Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! -- DEVO

I dont remember the first time I heard Devo, or how I even got into them, but it pretty much snowballed into an obsession, very quickly. Not one track on this album is bad. I think their simple complexity, matching outfits and fascinating inspirations are what ultimately shaped my love for them, which has now taken over my record collection, lists and life in general. I am Devo.

2) World of Echo -- Arthur Russell

The first Arthur Russell track I heard I remember vividly because it still haunts me to this day. I was sixteen and an older friend sent me All Boy/All Girl. I was completely in awe and delved further, loving everything I heard. Arthur Russell was a genius.

3) I'm Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill -- Grouper

This is a recent one, but definately a life changer. The way the album ebbs and flows from track to track leaves you drowning in wonderful ethereal splendour. I listen to this frequently, especially when I am drawing.

James ,22, Colchester
Godspeed You Black Emperor - F# A# ~
A friend lent me this album just prior to the summer of 2006, and every night for 2 solid months, I put it on to lull me into sleep. The record completely hypnotised me and still does. It's the first record that I've really loved, and as I was a late starter into this music malarkey, it was also the first record that got me properly into music.

Queen - Greatest Hits

Way back when I was a wee nipper of about 9 or 10, my family and I were travelling to Wales on holiday, and I asked my Dad to put something on, and so he put on Queen's Greatest Hits. It really opened my eyes to the fact that there was music beyond the crap that we all listen to in the charts,that music can be fun, thought-provoking, ecstatic and sad all at the same time. Queen still hold a place in my heart, and it all started with an old cassette found in the car.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Mambo Nassau

It was a toss-up between this and a couple of others, but Mambo Nassau wins out because it is so purely infectious that it can brighten the saddest of days. I only discovered Lizzy during the course of 2009 and haven't stopped listening to her since; it is a shame that she is not widely recognised. A record that always reminds me that no matter how bad things are, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Lee Goodman
I don’t recall how this found its way onto my musical radar. I remember my dad loving ’Wuthering Heights’ and, to me at the tender age of seven and a bit, Kate Bush was just some bug-eyed kooky dancer type (like a member of Hot Gossip with O Levels) who never seemed to wear a bra. I guess my dad admired her purely as an artist although I’ll never really know for sure. The single ’Wow’, complete with that John Carpenter keyboard arpeggio, comes from this album too. Foolishly, in my later adolescent years, I’d always imagined the song was inspired by a phenomenal orgasm Bush had once experienced, but no. Reading the lyrics now, it seems to be part of the whole Rock Opera thing than ran through the entire album. It was 1978 and, despite what aging punks will tell you, this kind of thing was still all the rage. One of her best ever recorded tracks (in my opinion) is on this album too: ‘Don’t Put Your Foot on the Heartbrake‘. Not a classic by a long stretch but it does something that no other Kate Bush track has done before or since: it fucking rocks. Now, to my young mind, this howling banshee of a track was mind-blowing. The spooky piano is back again for the verses and Bush sings like a demented Fraggle during the choruses. The last chorus where she loses the plot completely and screams “Oh Come On!!‘ is Pure Fucking Bliss.

And, speaking of howling like a dog with its nutsack trapped in a garden gate, this brings us neatly onto choice number two:

I tuned into these guys about the same time Nirvana got big (1991, so that makes me 20). I’d always heard the name being dropped but considered them to be too knowingly cool - a hipster band , if you will - to really take seriously. Anyway, ’Nevermind’ had hit pay dirt and was about to unwittingly ruin alternative music for the next decade, and I wanted something with the same level of guttural frenzy and oblique desperation that I enjoyed about that album. I was reading Kerrang magazine (it was my sister’s) and it had a feature about Kurt Cobain’s favourite albums. ‘Surfer Rosa’ was somewhere in there and so I picked it up, figuring it was as good a place as any to start. My first impression of ‘Surfer Rosa’ was how much Steve Albini’s production sucked. I mean, it was so dry and boxy and completely lacking in dynamics. And where was the bottom end? I almost gave up during the first three tracks but then ‘Broken Face’ came on and it was the most fucked up pop song I’d ever heard. I knew I was in love. ‘Surfer Rosa’ taught me that production counts for nothing without songs or ideas and without it, I’d never have listened to bands like Guided By Voices, Pavement, Times New Viking, Lovvers or Jay Reatard. To this day, I still think Albini is an utter cock as a producer (just for what he did to PJ Harvey‘s second album), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Third choice goes strangely out of sync, in that it’s an old album by an old band, and it’s actually a ‘Best Of’ rather than a studio album. What the heck - I’m big enough to take it. I’ll include this as it was my first purchase by this band and it set me on an entirely different path with regards to what we like to call “Punk Rock”. Album number three is:

MAGAZINE - RAYS & HAIL: 1978-1981
Somewhere around 2002 (which now makes me 31), these guys popped onto my radar. I think there was a lot of talk at the time about a Post Punk revival. Bands like The Rapture and Radio 4 must’ve had Gang Of Four’s legal team on the phone constantly and we’d already seen Elastica’s wholesale lifting of Wire’s ’Three Girl Rhumba’ and the Fall’s ’How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’’ during the previous decade, so it was inevitable really. Magazine, however, seemed to remain a mystery. Never receiving the same lip service or being name-checked as an influence, despite going some of the way to inventing what would become the Post Punk and New Wave sound. I think this is in part due to Howard Devoto’s complete rejection of the so-called Punk aesthetic that led him to quit the Buzzcocks immediately after recording the ‘Spiral Scratch EP’ in 1977. Like Morrissey who followed him, Devoto was a man of words. He saw through the lie of Punk and wanted better, both lyrically and musically, and wasn’t afraid to say so. This album captures pretty much the cream of Magazine’s output during their four album lifespan. If you haven’t heard ’A Song From Under The Floorboards’ or ’Shot By Both Sides’ or ’Definitive Gaze’ then you really haven’t been paying attention. Stay behind and write “Silent Alarm is Just an Okay Album” 100 times on the blackboard. My advice to fans of Bloc Party, Editors and the whole 00’s glut of (lazy) angular post-punk revivalists is to listen here and see how it’s done. That’s what I did and I haven’t had to buy a single Maccabees album since.

As an aside, I think the only British band to ever pay decent homage to Magazine were one of my 90’s favourites, the Auteurs, and, bizarrely enough, they never got their dues either. They were, incidentally, produced by Steve Albini three albums in, which ties this whole thing up rather neatly.

Luke Scott Dumper (Unsigned singer songwriter type)
jon fruciante- shadows collide with people
bloc party - silent alarm
biffyclyro- any album
Babar Luck (used to be in King Prawn now solo super interesting bloke)

cant answer that question too many too choose from it belittles it dissrespects what music means to me. it is more then three it is many and many many and that is why i am the way i am. many things and forms and styles . from jazz to the blues to trance dance to reggae to the roots to the eropeans claassical to the afrikan and folk classickals all over the wqorld.. to the hipp hopp to the hope for all the anciant love songs its all love and it is not as well. study all styles. be the master of none.
i do go on.
i answer the way i can
peace and good luck.

babar luck
Jason from Failures' Union (alt country punk one of my tips for next year)
-Nirvana: Nevermind.
Although it's a rather common answer, it's the truth. This record came out when I was in 7th grade. At that time I have never been exposed to anything punk, and only knew music that was on the radio and some metal. It just opened my eyes to a new world, and seeing these guys play made me feel like you didn't have to be this crazy rockstar to make music. They are the reason I picked up an instrument.

-REM: Green.
REM was the first band that I ever latched onto and thought of as something I loved. I had other bands albums, but they were just for passive listening. REM was something special to me, and I felt like those songs were my own. They continue to be my favorite band of all time.

-The Cure: Disintegration.
When I was younger my dad had a copy of The Cure's "Mixed Up" album for some unknown reason. I ended up obtaining it, and I became a fan of the band. Shortly after that I bought the Disintegration cassette, and my mind was blown. It contains 12 of the worlds most perfect moody pop songs. It exposed me to the darker side of music and has affected my musical tastes since.
Thanks dude,
Aspen Sails (Folk duo another tip for next year)

Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlantanticism

Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News

I don't think that we feel a record had ever inspired or changed our lives in a particularly resonant way, and that this idea works within its negative. A record should be inspired and changed through life and not the other way around.

I think that this is the reason we love these three records, there is a life and warmth to be found within each one. A depth is present within them and this allows you to explore and find out new traits to their personalities the more time you spend with them.

hope this helps,

keep in touch

aspen x
Liam O'Kane (unsigned ska solo dude)

King Prawn - Surrender to the Blender
Bedouin Soundclash - Root Fire
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Global a go go

Jim from Baddies (will be huge this year)

Nirvana - Nevermind
Depeche Mode - Violator
Kerbdog - On the Turn


Kay Stanley, 23, Wolverhampton

Lemuria – The First Collection The first time I heard this band was live, Andrew put them on while I was at university in Falmouth at Miss Peapods, a café surrounded by water and boats that serves Skinners lager. I remember they were just ridiculously good and I instantly fell in love with them, I also remember getting in without paying, and watching Andrew standing by the PA singing all the words. Before and after we started going out I would hang out in his bedroom a lot listening to his records, and this was always a favourite .I have seen them live a few times since, but the best was while I was in Florida at Fest 8 last October. They played on the Saturday afternoon with a tonne of other awesome bands all at the same venue. Me and Andrew got really drunk and it was my favourite day of the trip. We also celebrated our year anniversary while we were there- so it was pretty special.My favourite track on the album is ‘In a World of Ghosts’, because me and my best friend Wil used to play it every week when we were students at a night we put on in dingey little club. Noone ever danced to it, noone ever came to our night, but it was a lot of fun.

New Found Glory – Sticks and Stones This was the first CD I bought with the first pay check I received from working at a supermarket when I was at school. I actually remember standing in Wolverhampton HMV with it in my hands. It marks the change between waiting for birthday and Christmas to have CD’s bought for me, to me choosing for myself what I wanted to listen too. For about a year I would use some of the £126 I made (which incidentally is more than I make now) to buy music, which was sometimes good and sometimes very poor! I used to love buying the Fat Wreck compilations they put out, and the Punk’O’Rama CD’s to find new bands, and going to the Drive-Thru tour shows at the Academy.It also makes me believe for a split second that Wolverhampton isn’t all that shit. When I’m in Planet and I hear the start of “My friends over you”, my friends fill the dancefloor and everyone is shouting every word and jumping in the air- it’s worth the warm Red Stripe, wrecked shoes and putting up with the pretentious pricks that reside in that place recently. Hearing that song, and a handful of others in that place make me feel 18 again, so much has happened since, yet I’m still here all the same.

65 Days Of Static – One Time For All Time I used to listen to this record a lot when I was in my final year of Uni. Last summer I got to see them live for the first time. It was at Supersonic Festival while I was sharing a little shop in the Custard Factory with Mouldy Loaf. We kept the shop open the whole weekend, drank lots of Polish beers and basically had a great time! On the last day Wil came along and we closed the shop so we could all watch. It was the only full set I saw that weekend and they were completely amazing. I guess it was a sort of mile stone, I’d graduated the summer before with no idea what the fuck I was going to do with my life and now I was running my own business, with my own shop, it was awesome.