MUSIC THAT MATTERED?


While most people remember the first disc they got (whether it be 45rpm, album or CD), EAR CANDY wanted to know which song or album really blew your mind and made you sit up and notice rock n roll for the first time. So we asked various artists who had been featured in EAR CANDY, plus a few of our journalists.

QUESTION: What was the disc that did it for you that gave you that overwhelming excitement and exhilaration? That truly hooked you on rock n roll? It doesnt have to be your first disc, but the first one that MATTERED!
Guess what they said?


Al Aronowitz: journalist
I forget which was the first rock and roll record that hooked me away from classical and Frank Sinatra pop. It might have been ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK. Was there also a title called ROCK, ROCK, ROCK? But I got stuck on Side A of FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN for months before I got around to listening to Side B.
Domenic Priore: writer & journalist
Easy. The Del-Tone Records 45 "Surf Beat" b/w "Mr. Peppermint Man" by Dick Dale & his Del-Tones. Loved both sides (the flip written by Orange County black cat Alonzo B. Willis who also wrote "The Bug" and "Gator Tails, Monkey Ribs"), but it was "Surf Beat," with its sonic guitar sound and primitive beat in a wild, live setting at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa (Newport Beach) that just oozed with the kind of cool that I figured would have to be the condition I would like to live with from that point on. This happened in L.A., 1963, and I was three years old, crankin' my sister's copy of the record, constantly.
Derek Smalls: bass player for Spinal Tap
It was "Midnight Move", an original tune by an English band called Skaface, that I was playing with at the time. About two months into my work with the band, I was playing onstage one night, I was high as a kite, and when we started "Move", I just thought to myself, "Shit, yeah!"
Eddie Smith: Singer/Guitarist of Mad Margritt
The album that changed my life and made me want to become a musician was "Smell The Glove" by Spinal Tap, a timeless masterpiece!! Actually it was Ted Nugent's "Double Live Gonzo" . I totally got off on the energy and intensity of that album. It made me want to buy a guitar and crank it up to eleven!!
DJ Ivan: EAR CANDY writer, music fan and conspiracy theorist
The first record that really mattered to me was Devo's "Freedom of Choice". It was my first "new wave" record and the first record I really liked that wasn't FM radio rock.
Jon Hunt: self-professed "Smile Shop Dork" and co-proprietor of The Smile Shop
I'm so typical, it was Sgt. Bloody Pepper's by the Beatles. I remember spinning it in my room and kind of half-listening until "Within You, Without You" hit. I had absolutely never in my sheltered suburban life heard anything as hypnotic or mesmerizing. I spent about a week spinning that song over and over again. After that it was 'Lovely Rita" that got the repeat treatment. "Getting Better" and "Good Morning Good Morning" and "Day In The Life" all followed. Absolutely blew my little new-wave-addicted mind.
Peter Lacey: musician
Lots of discs have mattered but "Love Me Do" was my first love, as The Beatles woke me up from my childhood slumbers and with every successive single/album continued to create the soundtrack to my life.
John Lane: journalist, member of the group Seahorse and co-proprietor of The Smile Shop
The first record that did it for me was a 1965 Beatles EP, which had been my mom's, from Spain with 4 songs on it: "Help", "The Night Before", "You're Gonna Lose That Girl", and "Another Girl". I must've been 5 or 6 years old when I first heard this. In my naivet, I was mindblown that they had managed to fit four whole songs on such a little record!
Sean Koepenick: freelance music writer
I guess the first record that I really had an almost spastic reaction to was The Replacements' Pleased To Meet Me. This came out in 1987 and I couldn't stop playing the cassette-(yes cassette!). From the full tilt rock of "IOU" to the coolest 7 second guitar solo in "The Ledge"-this one had it all. They even got all soft on us with "Skyway". If original guitarist Bob Stinson had to be left by the wayside for PTMM to come out, well so be it. So when The Mats's hit town I knew I had to do what Tommy Stinson would certainly approve of-sneak out on a schoolnight, lie to my parents about where I was, and hit the show in the big city. The Replacements rocked-and my life would never me the same.
"Jack from Atlanta": journalist for EAR CANDY
Although I have quite a few favorite CDs, there is one where I can remember the time, place, etc... On a road trip in 91 to Vegas with Diamond Jim, We had somehow got bumped from a Geo Metro to a Seville for an additional $10 a day. We had heard about this band Nirvana, but the new CD, Nevermind, was going to be released that week. Jim's friend from Cabbagetown had actually housed the band on an earlier tour for Bleach. We found a store that stocked it. We had to get the cassette because the 92 Seville didn't have a CD player. Within half an hour, we were doing close to 120 in the Valley of Fire with the stereo blaring, hair on the back of the neck standing on end. No drugs, no drink, 11am, just me, my best friend, an incredible car, and songs combining everything I loved in music pouring out of the stereo.
Mark London: artist
First song that mattered: "Instant Karma", because it was my first 45, bought at the Frigate - 3rd St. near Farmer's Market. First time I heard a song on Boss Radio 93KHJ and went out and bought it, cause I knew they wouldn't play it enough, even if they did spin it 12 times a day! I liked to drum to it on our couch. One of the very few perfect songs ever recorded.
Logan Sullivan: musician, Emerald Rose
The first REAL experience I had with great rock music happened in Kmart with my pal Brent Starkey. We were school buds and he was showing me what albums he thought were cool. I had to choose between Emerson, Lake and Palmer (Tarkis), REO Speedwagon, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Queen's "A Night at the Opera". I had heard "Killer Queen" on the radio and paid attention to music. I took a chance....and was totally blown away. My little Midwestern mind was not ready for "Death on Two Legs", "The Prophet's Song" or the quintessential "Bohemian Rhapsody". I became an instant Queen fan, and have always marveled at the sounds Brian May can coax from his guitar. What really took my ear was the combination between heavy rock and multiple layers of harmony. I fell out of the Queen fan crowd shortly after "Jazz", but still remember the fun I had with that band! Great guys, and I really admire the work they have done since Freddie's passing. They were a great introduction to classic rock!
Bill Davis: musician, Dash Rip Rock
Never Mind the Bollocks, it's the Sex Pistols changed the world, changed my life. Proved that rock was funny and brutal at the same time.
Robert Pally: journalist
For me it was "Rock for light" by the Bad Brains. When I heard this album the first time its incredible energy really blew me away. I couldn't believe that someone could play that fast and that tight at the same moment. Upon till now no other album has had the same effect on me. And the Bad Brains a capable of pulling it off live too!!
Richard Oliver: musician and journalist.
The first album that really blew me away was the first album by The Clash. Up until then all I listened to was bands like Kiss, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and AC/DC. That summer my whole perspective of rock n' roll changed. I went from Kiss to the Clash, Cheap Trick to the Ramones, Aerosmith to the Sex Pistols, before long I was discovering their heroes as well. Bands like the Stooges, Heartbreakers, New York Dolls and the MC5. Then one magical day I stumbled upon the mother of all mothers, I bought a copy of Lenny Kaye's "Nuggets" in the cutout bin at a local Turtles. I haven't been the same since. I now own 5 copies of the Count Fives "Psychotic Reaction" on forty-five. I'm like Mel Gibson's character in "Conspiracy Theory" that has to buy every copy of "Catcher In The Rye" he comes across and he doesn't know why. But with me it's every copy of "Psychotic Reaction" I come across. Kinda cool and scary at the same time, huh? Maybe a little sad as well.
Lisa Mychols: musician
For me it was The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. No other song has ever moved me quite like this one! With that perfect gun powder hit you in the gut heart wrenching strength and masculinity of power chords from the guitar, the locked in groove from the bass and drums, from scream to sexy vocals....dude! I don't know if this song was ever a hit on the radio or anything but it could certainly give inspiration to anyone wanting to FEEL some sexual musical tension. This is the kind of Rock and Roll that moves because it's so graceful, heartfelt, soulful and genuine....and it's sexy and scary all at the same time! Hooked me right in to Rock and Roll!
Alan and Phillip Hackney: Twin brothers, musicians and founders of the band Double Eclipse
"The album that really turned our heads and got us into rock n' roll in a serious way was Whitesnake's 1987 album for it's power, melody and musicianship. Aside form that, there can't have been many teenage males who didn't envy David Coverdale cavorting with that "car straddling model wife" of his in those big haired 80's videos!? Ha ha!".
Bob Hanes: The Right Reverend Bob, dumb angel chapel, Church of the Harmonic Overdub
It's a very close toss up but it was probably Surfin Safari by the Beach Boys. They were white guys from the west coast and I could identify with that. Every song (I know that's debatable from my far more sophisticated perspective) could be listened to and most of them enjoyed. The wrote their own stuff! Nobody did that! The songs were musical great and the lyrics either were exciting (surfin/cars/girls) or they were a joke! (chug-a-lug, about root beer, like anyone believed it was about root beer) The second, close choice would be Runaround Sue by Dion, for many of the same reasons. I'm a white guy from a white middle class upbringing ..... sue me! I found R&B a couple years later.
Bill Vordenbaum: journalist
I would have to say that the first disc (33 1/3 LP) that really MATTERED to me was "Mission: A New World Record" by the Electric Light Orchestra. It opened the door for me from a casual music listener, to someone who sincerely appreciated musical art. Say what you want about E.L.O.'s controversial "pre-recorded" tracks during live shows, there simply wasn't the technology to do all of what they did live then. They didn't have computers and digital quality synthesizers. Certainly, Pink Floyd was far more innovative than E.L.O.; however, at the age of 10 ( in 1976), living in rural Texas, I was not privy to Floyd. After listening to the entire vinyl "album", my musical eyes (and ears) were opened to explore such artists as the Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Todd Rundgren, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Alan Parsons Project, even Kraftwerk. This "new world record" really opened the door for a new world of music for me. I never forget my roots. In botany, and as well as music (I believe), if you cut off your roots, you have committed suicide. We all need to look ahead to the future (photosynthesis) of great music, but we should never forget our roots.
Ronnie Dannelley: EAR CANDY creator
Actually it was the Beatles, Beach Boys and the Sex Pistols in that order. Finding my parents old copy of Rubber Soul in the garage was that magical moment. Although I had previously heard their radio hits, this album is what did it for me. I was forever hooked! One of the first albums I actually bought (though the wonders of the RCA record club)that blew me away was Endless Summer by the Beach Boys. Finally, in 1978 I got a copy of Never Mind the Bollocks-another magical moment! I must loved the way that anger seemed to just seethe from that disc!
Gary Pig Gold: journalist
I didn't really encounter a true musical awakening of my very own til Summertime, 1963. Banished for two weeks that August to my Aunt Jenny's cottage, and trapped inside her Guest Room with nothing but an old stand-up radio long past dawn every single morning, it was only a matter of time, I suppose, before I stumbled upon the raucous strains of Toronto's Number One Top Forty station, mighty CHUM 1050 AM. I'd soon made lifelong friends with Elvis ("Devil In Disguise") and even Allan Sherman ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah"), and Aunt Jenny to this day wonders whatever I was doing in that room those entire two weeks! But one wacky one-hit wonder in particular, The RanDells' immortal (Billboard #16) smash "The Martian Hop," became my closest friend that summer.

Returning from my Aunt's care with an entirely new lease on life, my parents were soon forced to re-negotiate my weekly allowance (I now demanded one 45-RPM record per week in lieu of my regular 50 cents), and it was right around then that those Beatles arrived just in time to save me from another month of Davy Crockett and Peter Paul & Mary singles.

For my ninth birthday, I was blessed with my very first BIG record (as in album) ...just like those shiny ones Dad carefully kept filed near the Home Entertainment Center. I hearby proudly proclaim that my initial twelve inches of monophonic bliss was something called "The Beatles Twist And Shout" [WARNING. Fab Four Fan(atic)s and/or Collectors out there, Don't Bother: this is a LONG out-of-print collection of early tracks unique to Capitol Records of Canada].

However, I must admit that none other than the third Monkees album, "Headquarters," made even more of an impression. Why? Because it was in something called STEREO. Meaning that when I lay my head under the console record player to listen (this was before my parents knew enough to strap headphones onto me!), both of my ears began receiving totally different pieces of sound. Mike's guitar over there; Micky's voice way over there! COOL!