62 3 mins 2 yrs

On Facebook there is currently a sort of chain letter in which you get nominated to post a certain number of albumns 10-20) that influenced you. So not the greatest of all time, not the ones that influenced others or even the ones you enjoy most now (although things may overlap). A nice diversion. I’ll give mine with the caveat of limiting any one artist to their most influntial record to me for variety sake. Thus, even though a Sgt. Pepper or Let it Bleed would make my top ten list, I left each off due to other records on list by those bands. Dont feel compelled to do the same – sometimes a series of albumns by the same band had the most influential impact on a person.

If you really like music you could probably add another ten records just as influential (how is Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon, Making Movies by Dire Straits and St. Domenic’s Preview by Van Morrison not on my list?) However part of the fun is in the trim (as Colm might say)
I reluctantly left off greatest hits as somehow unfair, although Bob Dylan’s Legend, Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest and Cat Steven’s Greatest were records ive played for decades.

There are great records out now, The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlyle, Old Crow Medicine Show that i listen to now but they dont meet the influential element of the challenge which goes more to your youth. So be it.

In no certain order mine are:

1. Rocket to Russia -The Ramones
2. The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks
3. Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
4. Abbey Road – The Beatles
5. Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
6. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
7. Darkness on the Edge of Town – Bruce Springsteen
8. London Calling – The Clash
9. Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – The Pogues
10. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

In these days of Alexa you just call out a song and it plays. But there was something to dropping the needle and playing through a series of songs that flowed from one to the next, flipping the record over to the next side and listening to more magic.

Let me hear your thoughts, comments or selections.

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62 thoughts on “Pet Sounds

  1. Let me ponder this

    I won’t Read what anybody else says until I write up my list

  2. Some good choices there, Mahons. Mine are:

    1. Forever Changes – Love
    2. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division
    3. Infernal Love – Therapy?
    4. Psychocandy- J&M Chain
    5. The Stone Roses – Stone Roses
    6. Technique – New Order
    7. Generation Terrorists – Manic Street Preachers
    8. XTRMNTR – Primal Scream
    9. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
    10. The Decline and Fall of British Sea Power – British Sea Power

    I love the Beatles, Clash, Smiths, Frank & Walters, Pogues but no one album jumps out and I’ve deliberately ignored compilations.

  3. And the Pixies – Dolittle might sneak in there some days – cracking album.

  4. Very cool MourneReg. You given me some good things to check out, one of the reasons I enjoy these exercises.

  5. Mahons.

    That’s a pretty good top 10 mate.
    I love and Own, many of the albums in that list.


    Your list is even better. I don’t believe I’ve heard of 3, 9 and 10. So you’ve given me something new to try out. That’s why I love these lists. They suggest music I may have never tried listening to.

  6. Another music post. Nice one Mahons, ATW needs more of this. It’ll probably change in five minutes. These are in no paricular order but the first five remain constants.

    Feeding of the 5,000 – Crass
    Inflammable Material – Stiff Little Fingers
    Give Em Enough Rope- The Clash
    Grin & Bear It – The Ruts
    The Specials – The Specials
    Moving Hearts – Moving Hearts
    The One & Only – Gladys Knight & The Pips
    Red Roses For Me – The Pogues.
    Funky Kingston – Toots & the Maytals.
    A Drop of the Hard Stuff – The Dubliners

  7. not in order

    Abby Road…………… Beatles
    I am the Blues………. Willie Dixon
    Yes Album…………….Yes
    Dark Side of the Moon….Pink Floyd
    Born to Run…………..Springsteen
    Second Helping………..Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Hot Rocks…………….Stones
    Paranoid……………..Black Sabbath
    Come back Special……..Elvis
    You had to be there……Jimmy Buffet

  8. Dave, Therapy? were a hard indie rock band from norn iron when I was a teenager – and my 1st gig was them in the Ulster Hall.

    Interpol are a NY band. Their 1st 2 albums were spectacularly brilliant…then they went crap. BSP are from Brighton (I think). They are great generally but “Decline” (I think I invented the Fall bit!)and “Do You Like Rock Music?” are stone cold classics.

  9. In no particular order and subject to change

    Searchin’ for a rainbow, Marshall Tucker band
    Darkside of the moon, Pink Floyd
    Fishermans blues, waterboys
    Help, Beatles
    Heads and tales , Harry Chapin
    Heart like a wheel, Linda Ronstadt
    American beauty, Grateful Dead
    Red headed stranger, Willie Nelson
    Harvest, Neil young
    Johnny Cash at Folsom prison, Johnny Cash

  10. and I have to agree subject to change….. my top 5 favorite albums vary nonstop and the music I collected over the years are literally over 2000 pieces of vinyl. (the very first thing sold for cash)

    My life has a soundtrack. Songs, music every memory in my head is tied to a tune. A Piece of music comes on and my mind instantly goes to memory associated with it.

  11. Mahons your title is perfect, but why isn’t it in your list…. or is the title a way to tip your hat to it without putting it your list?

  12. The title uses a classic album to invoke favorite or “pet” sounds. However, as good as that album was it didn’t make my 10 most influential, I didn’t personally own a copy of it until I was in my fifties.

  13. Just to widen the thread a bit, I note that sometimes (not that I am necessarily accusing anyone here of it) people use these Top 10 lists to make selections that they think will impress their peers – mentioning cool, edgy influential albums and acts, some of which they may never have heard but they claim falsely to be a favourite – a bit like the inflated numbers of people who claim to have been at a seminal cultural event – but in reality they often enjoy ‘crap’ pop that they are ashamed of admitting.

    I notice nobody here has put The Spice Girls, Milli Vanilli, Val Doonican or The Osmonds in their top Ten 🙂

  14. I don’t know if that’s a fair comment Colm. Musical taste is incredibly subjective and whilst I love music in the sense that some genres may not be my cup of tea but I still absolutely recognise the creative process that brought them to fruition there are specific genres which appeal to me which are not pop music and those are obviously the ones going to make it into any list.

    I think that the Spice Girls and particularly Milli Vanilli, (whoever they were), were brilliant pop music but they wouldn’t feature on my favourites list.

  15. I hadn’t given ” Pet Sounds ” a proper listen until maybe five years ago.

    I’d say that most of the rock public has never really listened to it.

    ” Wouldn’t it Be Nice ” and ” Sloop John B ” were big hits as singles, ” God Only Knows ” was / is well known, but most of the rest of it never made it to the airwaves in those days. The program directors of AM radio stations ( the album was released in 1966 ) wouldn’t have known what to make of it.

    A big and enduring artistic success though

  16. If it wasn’t for Spotify, I’d never have heard it.

    Before streaming, there was no good way to give a good listen to something you had not yet decided to buy.

    Commercial music radio is no good anywhere – it was fairly good in the days of album oriented FM radio here, but those days are long gone, and noncommercial / college radio is hit or miss.

    Streaming services allow you to listen to the music of the present and past properly, for the first time.

  17. Paul

    It wouldn’t be a fair comment if I said everyone adopted that posture Paul, but you can’t deny some people do. I recall one famous incident on a chat show where I think it was the actor Martin Freeman who when seeing another guest wearing a Ramones T shirt asked them wny they were wearing it and when the guest replied that he adored the band Martin asked them to name a Ramones song and they couldn’t. An unnecessary humiliation you might think but an example nonetheless of musical elitism – although I accept some might say Mr Freeman was being the elitist.

  18. Also, this may be apocryphal but I heard a story about how Van Morrison once spoke about the number of people in surveys who said ‘Astral Weeks’ was a favourite album of theirs and he said every time I hear that I think ” Why the hell did almost none of you bastards buy the bloody album then” 🙂

  19. It would’ve been unkind for them to say that the album sucked

    I don’t have a lot of time for the moody van Morrison.

  20. Phantom

    They weren’t talking to Van Morrison directly. It was a comment on the numbers people who pretentiously claim its one of their favourites because of its legendary status but who clearly never owned it.

  21. I don’t know if the Ramones example is a good example as for some unknown reason Ramones tee shirts became fashion accessories for a while. I recall Primark in Belfast selling Ramones cushion covers!

  22. Van Morrison’s grumpiness and difficulty are infamous.

    I remember reading a story of how Belfast City Council wanted to erect a blue plaque in the house he was born and lived in Cyprus Avenue in east Belfast. They contacted him asking for his permission, (a formality). He actually replied to them with a curt message of two words, the second one was off.

    I liked that.

  23. The famous American shock jock Don Imus was a huge van Morrison fan, often talked about him And about astral weeks and about how great it supposedly was

    One morning they actually booked Morrison as a phone guest to a show that had a national radio and cable TV audience at the time

    But Van couldn’t have been less engaged, he was hardly listening to anything that Imus Was saying, and got off the call as soon as he could

    I don’t quite understand why someone would want to go through life like that. But he is who he is.

  24. I only have one.

    1. Hare Krishna Mantra

    It’s shit to be honest.

    But if you have guests who have overstayed their welcome, put this on the record player..

    Give them five minutes and they are rushing to the door..

  25. Harri

    Surely you just get rid of them by going on one of your political rants… 🙂

  26. On Facebook there is currently a sort of chain letter in which you get nominated to post a certain number of albumns 10-20) that influenced you.

    Some of mine have been named above. Also –

    1) A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
    2) Bert Jansch – Bert Jansch
    3) Led Zeppelin II
    4) Volume 4 – Black Sabbath
    5) Quadrophenia – The Who
    6) Long Live Rock & Roll – Rainbow
    7) Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    8) London Calling – The Clash
    9) Parallel Lines – Blondie
    10) Master of Puppets – Metallica

  27. Phantom – American Beauty is a classic.

    Pete – Parallel lines was almost on my list, they don’t get enough credit.

  28. Spot on, Colm 🙂 and brave to say it. Let’s Clap for Colm this evening.

    The albums that influenced me most are all stuff I heard as a child. I often ask myself whether they made me what I am or whether I’d be that way anyway. Definitely all the early Dylan albums generate the spirit of social justice and lyrical beauty, as do the early Cohen and S&G albums, and of course Sgt Peppers and Sticky Fingers. These and the early Dylan are the best albums ever made IMO.

    CBS used to release “samplers”, 2-disc packs with music from a wide range of bands. My brother used to buy them because they were cheap, and I remember once when I was having a bad time as a kid I stayed at home all weekend playing one of them over and over again. It more or less rescued me – the wide wonderful world of American music that somehow taught that you don’t have to live by rules or convention, you can be free if you live by your emotions and instinct. A nightmare weekend was thus turned into one of the most important in my life, far more important than anything I ever learned from my parents or in school.

  29. Noel

    ‘Brave’ – mmm I think your joking now. Next you will be calling me a hero, but be careful Patrick doesn’t like people being called heroes 🙂

  30. I would give Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks a mention, as well as Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

  31. Personally I didn’t buy Astral Weeks until much later in life which is why it didn’t make my influential list. It is a better overall Van Morrison album than St. Domenic’s Preview, and would rank above it if the list was greatest as opposed to influential.

  32. Mahons

    At lease Mr Morrison would be pleased that you eventually contributed to his bank balance 🙂

  33. Colm- I doubt he has ever experienced a happy thought. He seems to be petty, grumpy, bitter and paranoid. But what a talent.

  34. Mahons

    Perhaps its part of the public persona – in private he might be a rip roaring laugh a minute joker 🙂

  35. I have heard that he is simply awful in private too, and from a reliable source who attended a party in his house in Dublin!

    Like yourself Mahons, I owned a copy of Astral Weeks on cassette when I was quite young but only got into it as a young adult. A truly great album. St. Dominic’s Preview is also great as is the under appreciated Veedon Fleece.

  36. I still have some of my old music cassettes. Which haven’t been played since forever.

    Boy, has technology improved since The days of scratched up records and tapes that would wear out

  37. Cassette tapes had their charm, like trying to get as many songs on as possible, putting extra “bonus” songs at the end of albums, and of course the classic “mixed tape” that you would curate for a friend or a special friend!

  38. Yes

    I exchanged cassette tape letters with friends When I was far away from home in Guam, and then later on in Naples Italy. We were just chat away, Sometimes sharing a song or a snippet from a sports broadcast etc.

    Phone calls were way too expensive in those days

    I very much wish I had saved some of them

  39. Phantom

    Yes, they would have been welcomed by organisations with Oral history archives such as The British Library which has a dept specifically dedicated to collecting ordinary people’s collections of any kind of folk memory sounds they may have.

  40. Bruddah Iz, Hawaii’s uncrowned king, honored by Google today.

    You may not know his name, but most of you have heard him sing.

  41. Phantom,

    “Fishermans blues, waterboys”

    If you like this and have never heard “Fisherman’s box”, (a load of additional tracks recorded around that time) you are in for a treat.

    Mike Scott was asked the other day what tracks he would put in if it had been a double album. He said it would have to be a triple. This is the playlist he came up with, on Apple Music: https://twitter.com/mickpuck/status/1263027436775751682?s=21

    There’s a Spotify version as well for the heathens https://twitter.com/waterboysmusic/status/1263013912238125057?s=21

  42. Thank you for that

    I will definitely check it out.

    I know others who love that album, And I’ll share it with them also

  43. Note, that notional “triple album” doesn’t even have all of the good stuff from Fisherman’s Box, so it’s worth checking that out in its own right.

    In fact the “triple album” doesn’t even have all of the tracks on the original single album!

  44. My two Bob’s worth, agin in no particular order:

    Live and dangerous – Thin Lizzy
    Inflammable material – Stiff Little Fingers
    The Book of Invasions – Horslips
    Back in Black – AC/DC
    Reign in Blood – Slayer
    Planxty – Planxty
    Paul Brady & Andy Irvine – Paul Brady & Andy Irvine
    If I should Fall From Grace With God – The Pogues
    Machine Gun Etiquette – The Damned
    Stray Cats – Stray Cats

    I know that, as a live album, Live and Dangerous could come under the title of ‘Greatest Hits,’ but it’s the energy and passion of the songs as played on this album which always get me, and isn’t this about influential albums? This is the album that pushed me to play in my first band. The version of Bob Seger’s Rosalie on the album is, for me, THE definitive version, while songs like Still in Love With You and Emerald have a power to them here that is missing in the studio versions.

  45. Phantom,
    I had the pleasure of seeing them many years ago. They, along with the Bothy Band (formed by Dónal Lunny, after he left Planxty) were the absolute pinnacle of excellence in traditional Irish music.
    I would urge anyone who hasn’t heard them before to give them a listen. Musical genius.

  46. Brilliant, Phantom.

    I love Andy Irvine’s voice. I’ve met him a couple of times, and he’s a lovely guy. Same goes for Dónal Lunny. Christy Moore was a sound guy too, on the one occasion I met him, when he played at Féile an Phobail.

    I love their version of Aragon Mill. I’ve heard many versions of the song, most of them with quite a fast tempo, which I’ve never understood. The song is about the death of a town, due to the loss of it’s industry. It should be a lament, not a celebration.

    Regarding the time Christy played in west Belfast, he was supported by another entry on my list, Damien Dempsey. Here’s a tune from himself, about your own home town.

  47. I’ve seen Damo Dempsey a couple of times in the Iveagh Gardens. I’m not a massive fan (the mrs is) but he has incredible presence and passion so I thoroughly enjoyed the gigs.

  48. I have “ Fishermans box “ a listen yesterday. It’s really good I’m amazed that I never heard about it before

    Two alternate versions of “Fisherman’s Blues”

    Very good covers of songs by Dylan, Hank Williams, The Carter family and others

    Lots of interesting nooks and crannies, Including one cover song that you not expect to see here

    Thank you for the recommendation Frank, “ Fisherman’s Box “ By the water boys Issue a box of many treasures

  49. The Waterboys Stolen Child was great

    A Yeats poem narrated by Tomas MacGowan, a native Irish speaker from Connemara. Thanks to him we spent a memorial night with the Waterboys in Belfast’s Europa Hotel in December 1990. They aren’t in the least bit shy at getting the rounds in.

    The Stolen Child really is a thing of exceptional beauty:

    Planxty were superlative in Irish trad but Jesus, Christy’s accent was absolutely outrageous.

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