Friday, March 09, 2007

"WOW!" albums

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We all have albums that we like, but I think everyone has some albums that I would think of as "WOW!" albums. What I am thinking of are albums that may be great, original or you might just hear them at the right moment. Yet for whatever reason these are albums that just have a huge impact on you when you first hear them. I remember hearing Iron Maiden's "The number of the beast" for the first time when I was like 14 and it just blew me away. The music was and is so incredible and it really impressed me and drew me in. There are a lot of albums that I would say are good or great, but not a lot that have had that kind of impact on me. Don't laugh, but for me Twisted Sister's "Stay Hungry" was a WOW album at the time I first heard it. In 1984 I was listening to the radio a lot and knew their two big singles, but hearing the entire album just struck me. It's not one of my favorite albums of all time and I don't like it as much as I once did, but it was important to me at the time and I still remember that feeling of awe. The whole energy and the importance of every song just struck a nerve at that point. When I was first getting into speed metal I would say that Metallica's Master of puppets, Slayer's reign in blood and Anthrax's Spreading the disease had a similar effect on me and actually all three of those albums still do. I didn't get into Led Zeppelin or Rush until I was 19, but I remember hearing Rush's 2112 and Led Zeppelin's Houses of the holy for the first time. This was around the same time and I heard both on a walkman after buying them. It just seemed so amazing to me to really hear the depth of their music and what I had been missing for years. Those two albums in some ways changed how I listened to music because they got me to try to listen more deeply and not just to what's on the surface. There are many more albums like this for me, but I will stop for now. Anyway I will quit rambling and just ask....

**What albums have been "WOW!" albums for you?


Blogger John Mutford said...

For me, it's Metallica's black album. Until then, I wasn't really into music at all. I had a few pop cassettes (that I won't admit to)mostly because the songs were popular at school dances or whatever, but when that album came out everything changed. I loved it so much I checked into their older catalogue, then into ther influences which got me into 60s and 70s rock, which got me into punk and from there the whole shebang. Now I can honestly say I'm a music junkie. Sounds strange to say that Metallica got me into jazz or hip hop but they did- and so much more!

8:29 PM  
Blogger John Mutford said...

Forgive the typos in my last post!

8:30 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

TS Stay Hungry was a wow album for me, so was Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil, as was Metallica's Master of Puppets, Megadeth's Peace Sells, Maiden's Killers right on through to No Prayer for the Dying...all wowed me...Slayer's Reign in Blood, Mastodon's Leviathan, Isis' In the Absence of Truth and so on... I love getting that wow feeling, particularly when some undiscovered talent creeps up on a promo and makes you go wow!

8:31 PM  
Blogger The Mule said...

Number of the Beast for me as well...

Kill 'Em All definitely sent a jolt through me.

A Farewell to Kings, Killing Technology, Script for a Jester's Tear and Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising all sent my brain reeling.

As Ray said, it can still happen with new bands nowadays—that's what keeps me hooked on all this crazy stuff.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

KISS - Rock'n Roll Over was my first album, that had the "WOW!" factor.

AC/DC - Back In Black
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast
Van Halen I
Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Queen - A Night At The Opera
MSG - Assault Attack

11:52 PM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

Whitesnake - 1987 definately had the WOW factor.

Maiden's Seventh Son.
Thunder's first two hit the spot for me as well.

Luca Turelli's King Of The Nordic Twilight also did it when I wasn't expecting another one to!

Surprisingly, to me anyway, the most recent Paul McCartney album also had the WOW factor for me. I wasn't expecting such a good album as Chaos & Creation but its superb.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

A lot of them, but I must bow to the first 2 metal albums that really got me into it all :

Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast

Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning

5:35 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

For me it was:

Metallica - Master of Puppets
Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime
Alice in Chains - Dirt
Def Leppard - Pyromania

Like you said, they may not all be my favorites, but they did something to me when I first heard them.

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

The first WOW album for me is (and this is REALLY going to show my age here!!!) Grand Funk's We're An American Band. My first cousin, Craig Frost, played keyboards for them and gave me a gold vinyl pressing of that album for Christmas back when it came out. I was in like 1st grade...but it completely changed my life!!!!

It was like the Heavens opened up and a light shone down on me or IT was, that thing that I had been looking for all my life...granted at that point, my life was all of 6 or 7 years, but still!!!! It started me on a life-long love of the harder stuff. I remember playing it for my friends in Cub Scouts and they all looked at me like I was insane...they were still listening to whatever it was that you listen to in 1st grade.

The next big WOW album for me was Rush 2112. That was another one that completely reshaped music for me.

The first Van Halen...WOW!!!! I can't tell you how many hours of air guitar that one got when it first came out!!! :)

Diary of a Madman and Heaven and Hell were both HUGE WOW albums for me that moved me more into METAL!!!

Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast...I saw them in concert on Piece of Mind tour but couldn't get the song Run to the Hills out of my head and went right down the next day and bought it!!!

Thanks for the GREAT topic!!!

5:52 AM  
Blogger On My Watch said...

I have a bunch too, but some that WOW'd me, at one point or another, would be: Dokken, Tooth and Nail,
Ratt, Out of the Cellar,Ozzy, Diary of a Madman, and The Cars, s/t.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Kiss-Alive: Still wows me today.
2. Iron Maiden: Maiden Japan: This is the first Maiden album that I ever heard.
3. Metallica: Ride the Lightening
4. Megadeth: Peace Sells
5. Anthrax: Among the Living

Recent Years:

1. Slough Feg: Traveller
2. Enslaved: Mardraum
3. Frank Zappa: Joes Garage

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I forget Voivod's Nothingface and Rush's Farewell to Kings. I was always on the fence about Rush until I heard this album. Now I am a diehard fan. I'm watching Rush 30 right now!

7:00 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Metallica's And Justice For All was mine.

7:05 AM  
Blogger RockDog said...

First off, you keep creating the BEST topics ever! I don't know how you do it, but KUDOS to you, Sir!

Anyway, my WOW! albums...Motley's Shout at the Devil, Van Halen I & II, and KISS Alive II.

Shout has remained my #1 WOW album of all just hit at the right time and inspired me in so many ways.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

I'm showing off my age here, but the first WOW album I remember is "Beatles '65". I'd been a Beatlemaniac for a couple of years, but this was the first album of theirs that I owned(thanks to my DJ father, btw). I had the same reaction to "Abbey Road", which I consider to be their best album.

My metal/hard rock WOW's? I'd go with:
"Free For All"(Nugent)
"Back in Black"- AC/DC
"Operation: Mindcrime"- Queensryche
"Pyromania"- Def Leppard
"Aenima"- Tool

8:59 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I'll agree on most of yours, esp. Maiden and 2112. I'll add, across genres:

Van Halen, s/t
Def Leppard, Pyromania
Tool. Aenima
Genesis, Selling England by the Pound
Steve Hackett, Voyage of the Acolyte
Yes, Fragile
Pink Floyd, Dark Side
Ratt, Out of the Cellar
Stone Temple Pilots, s/t

-- david

9:59 AM  
Blogger Hard Rock Hideout said...

For me,
Blue Murder's debut.
Ratt - Invasion of your Privacy
Jorn - Worldchanger

You will probably laugh, but I remember calling three or four friends after I heard Slaughter's debut disc. I think damn near all of my circle of friends picked that up within a short period of time.

Skid Row's debut was also a WOWer for me. Sebastian Bach blew me away.

Def Leppard's Hysteria also Wowed me the first time I heard it.

I remember the day when I picked up Tesla's Mechanical Resonance on cassette tape, and was blown away by that one too.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Ray Gillen, RIP said...

Eight years old. Back in Black. That was the first time music made the hair on my neck stand up.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

OK, with the death of Brad Delp yesterday, I need to add the first Boston album to my list. Up until then, I don't think I had ever been so taken by a band's debut album. I also had the good fortune of seeing them tour with Sammy Hagar as the opening act.

8:20 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

The recently reviewed Mastery on my blog was a wow one and Viking's Man Of Straw. I just recently heard some 30 second clips of a band called Myriads which sounds unbelievable and am waiting to be wowed when they arrive. And Lastly, Ahab's Call of the wreached sea.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Aunt Jackie said...

I have too many to list, but I couldn't resist putting just a few of mine:

-Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
-Rust in Peace - Megadeth
-Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix Experience
-Chaos A.D. - Sepultura
-Roots - Sepultura
-Vulgar Display of Power - Pantera
-Filth Pig - Ministry
-Practice What You Preach - Testament

This topic Rocks!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Allyson said...

Like everyone, I have a lot of "wow" albums...not all are rock.

1) Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue
2) Hysteria - Def Leppard
3) Under the Pink - Tori Amos
3) Lonely Runs Both Ways - Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Each album hit me at a certain point in life, meaning different things at different times.

Great topic, my friend.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Fear Factory - Demanufacture

It sounds standard now (still good, but not original)...but they set the standard for the now common "harsh verses/clean sung choruses" format that has taken over modern metal.

When I first heard "Self Bias Resistor" my jaw was on the floor.

8:30 PM  
Blogger George Vader said...

Wow albums-here goes...

G'N'R-Appetite For Distruction
Def Leppard-Hysteria
Metallica-Ride The Lightning
Van Halen-1984

the first time I heard all these albums I was blown away!!

1:33 PM  

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