- The Beatles - 1
I had listened to a few classic rock albums before this one. Though this is the one that opened the floodgates for me. It brought me to other Beatles albums and songs, but also backwards towards to Chuck Berry and forwards towards bands like Zeppelin and the Clash. I got the first copy of it from my Aunts Betsy and Martha when I finished junior high. It still occupies the first place in my overstuffed CD folder.
- The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
This was a close second to most influential album for me. I first started listening to it over the summer during a camping trip to South Dakota. Our group leader played this in the truck multiple times. I still get goosebumps every time I hear the opening chords of the first song. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to appreciate the beauty of “A Day in the Life” even more.
- Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
I think this was the first classic rock album that I purchased. I bought it technically in middle school to impress a girl. However, it continued to influence my musical purchases throughout high school. There is still a poster of the album cover in my room back home. One time a classmate of mine and I synched the album up with The Wizard of Oz. Even though we didn’t smoke any weed, it was pretty creepy.
- The Rolling Stones - Through the Past Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)
My first Stones album I ever purchased. I was upset it didn’t have “Satisfaction,” but it had “Paint it Black,” which was my first open mic night performance song.
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
The first album that I appreciated as a whole. This opened the whole psychedelic culture for me.
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - Born to Run
My foray into Bruce. A different track wowed me every time here. I played “She’s the One” multiple times, thinking it was about my then girlfriend.
- The Grateful Dead - American Beauty
I never got into the Dead live albums. I always liked the structure of this one. “Box of Rain” still gets me through some low times.
- The Beatles - Let it Be
I picked this one up at a Half Price Books. I loved “Two of Us” and eventually, “Let it Be.”
- The Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed
I felt so cool when I bought this album. It kept coming up in the different Stones biographies that I read. “You Got the Silver” was one of my favorite angsty songs.
- Johnny Cash - 16 Biggest Hits
I went through an old-school country phase my senior year of high school. This album influenced me more than any. That and the movie “Walk the Line.”