A Journey of Jams



This post was inspired by the Facebook trend of sharing the top ten albums that influenced your taste in music.

The instructions were no reasons or reviews, just album covers.

Well, music means a lot more than that to me, so here we go.

Sting: The Dream of The Blue Turtles.

This album influenced my owning: … Nothing Like the Sun, The Soul Cages, Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day, Sacred Love, Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994 and All This Time, as well as my attending three of his concert tours: Mercury Falling (Summer of 1996), Brand New Day (Fall of 1999) and Sacred Love (Summer of 2004), where I first saw Keith Carlock. I later met Keith at a drum workshop in the Summer of 2012.

He’s my favorite artist over time, perhaps all-time. I own several books about him, including an autographed copy of his biography, “Broken Music”.

I played along to all of his albums, with drummer legends: Omar Hakim, Manu Katche, Vinnie Colaiuta. I met Sting in 2003 at a Chicago-based book signing, hence the autograph.

Phil Collins: No Jacket Required.

This album influenced my owning: Face Value, But Seriously, Serious Hits Live, Both Sides, as well as my attending a concert: 1994 Both Sides of the World Tour, and reading his book, “Not Dead Yet”. I drummed along to yet another favorite artist of mine quite often, especially in the early to mid-nineties.

Van Halen: 1984.

This album influenced my owning: 5150, OU812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and LIVE! Right Here, Right Now! of which I also attended the show at Alpine Valley in the Summer of 1993. Of course I jammed along to all of these albums and enjoyed playing both the real and “air” keyboards to “Jump”, “Love Walks In” and “When It’s Love”.

Chicago: 17.

This album was all about coming of age, all of the emotions and the girls in my life. Aaaaah, the mid-eighties! It influenced my following of Peter Cetera: yes, I have a soft spot for “Daddy’s Girl” and “Restless Heart”.

Miami Vice Soundtrack.

This album influenced my listening to Jan Hammer and sparked an interest in other soundtrack producers and artists such as Hans Zimmer, Harold Faltermeyer and Enya.

A powerful music anthology that put a lot of artists on the map. It inspired my adding roto toms to my drum kit. Ya. I drummed along to this album … a lot.

Rush: Exit Stage Left.

This album influenced my owning: A Show of Hands, Presto, Roll the Bones, Counterparts, and my excitedly attending two shows: Presto in the Summer of 1991, and Snakes & Arrows in the Summer of 2005. I own all of Neil Peart’s books. One of relevance here would be, “Traveling Music – The Soundtrack to My Life and Times”. As any drummer would, I played along to these albums. They were a heavy influence of my taste in the musical genre of progressive.

Pet Shop Boys: Discography.

A big pop influence. Yet, not as much mainstream pop as it was more to groups like Information Society and Scritti Politti.

The song “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, is great fun. It elicits thoughts of my crushes and the effervescent people in my life.

Pearl Jam: Ten.

This album influenced my taste for grunge. I played along to it quite a bit. “Even flow … thoughts arrive like butter … flies!”

John Lee Hooker: Best of Friends.

This album influenced my taste for blues. I first heard his song, “The Healer” in a SPINNING class taught by my good friend and Health and Fitness Mentor, Bill Bartlett, back in 1999.

Mickey Hart: Planet Drum.

I also own the book. I played this album quite often when teaching SPINNING. It led me deeper into my taste in percussion and to one day meet the ensemble “Dahui” at The Taste of Randolph in 2004. I taught a special SPINNING class where they played their music, just them … acoustically, for an entire hour, as we pedaled along for a very unique group exercise experience.

More Influentials, as honorable mentions on Facebook:
Def Leppard – Pyromania
This album influenced my owning: Hysteria, Adrenalize … which was a very high-energy show seen with my college roomie in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1993, as well as Vault (an epic version of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” LIVE) and High & Dry … “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”!
Asian Travels: SPINNING.
This album influenced Global Spirit. Both albums introduced to me by then SPINNING Master Instructor, Doug Katona in the early 2000’s.
Propellerheads – DecksandDrumsandRockandRoll: SPINNING. Another album introduced to me by Doug. The track, “Take California” changed my class playlists from that day on at the then World Sports and Spinning Conference (WSSC) 2001.
Alice In Chains – Jar of Flies.
 A favorite to play along to. Extremely cathartic. Heavy University of Iowa Junior year vibes. I also own The Essential Alice In Chains and Black Gives Way to Blue. I saw them in concert at Northerly Island in the Fall of 2010.

Here are some favorites of mine, which were not shared on Facebook:

Genesis – Invisible Touch: playing along to “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” was an epic, as was the Michelob spot on the air in the late-eightie that used clips of the song live in concert. Those Chester Thompson fills are stuff-of-legend. Heavy mid-80’s Summer vibes.
Mr. Mister – Welcome to the Real World.
I enjoyed playing along to “Broken Wings”, which inspired the use of my first electric drum pad when playing with my first “garage band”, “Static” in the Fall of 1987.
Simple Minds – Glittering Prize.
Playing along to “Don’t You Forget About Me”. That drum riff … still one of the best ever.
Duran Duran – Decade.
Simply fun stuff.
Breathe – All That Jazz.
Fun playing along to. Serious late-80’s vibes.
Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood.
I loved playing along to this one! I didn’t have a 22-inch bass drum like Tommy Lee, yet I still had a blast!
Playing along to “In Your Eyes” is still a favorite. Another nod to Manu Katche.
Enya – Shepherd Moons.
So therapeutic. I enjoyed running to, and SPINNING to, as well as driving … road tripping … to this album.
Heart – Bad Animals.
This album influenced my enjoying their debut album, “Heart” (1985), and playing along to “Alone” on both the piano and the drums.
What fills out your list?
Please share with me!

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