Moving on into adulthood, this list is of albums that had an impact on me during the 2000s, also known as my 20s. Again, the basic criteria of this list is that the albums meant something to me during this period, and I still listen to them today. This one has been more difficult, because there is less music from this period of time and my life that remains with me. A lot of it is hard to listen to now; either cheesy, or very much stuck in its time, or simply haven’t had the lasting effect that music from my teens has had.
Megadeth: Rust In Peace – Ok, so this first pick is from 1990. But this list isn’t about that, it’s about when the album hit me. In this case 2004. As you’ll know from my previous two posts I am quite a fan of metal, but somehow Megadeth had passed me by. I know why. The first songs I heard of theirs were 99 Ways To Die from The Beavis and Butthead Experience, and Vortex from Cryptic Writings, though I heard it on a cover CD from Metal Hammer or Kerrang! magazines. I didn’t care for either song, finding the guitar work to be fantastic, but I couldn’t get past the guy’s voice. Well, someone convinced me to listen to Rust In Peace, and I was quickly hooked. So much so that for my 30th birthday I bought myself a Dave Mustaine signature guitar bearing the artwork.
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP – I first heard this one in the car on the way to Alton Towers. It was a long drive from home to there, 2 ½ hours or more, and I sat in the front where I took over the stereo. Someone had copied this album onto cassette for the journey and we listened to it repeatedly. Having recently experienced the (rough) end of a relationship with all kinds of nastiness thrown about, certain songs on here provided a much-needed catharsis. It still resonates today, and I consider it one of the most honest, open recordings of all time.
Bloodhound Gang: Hooray For Boobies – Another one from 2000, I was one of the few people who already new the band. I had their first two albums, and worshipped Jimmy Pop Ali and his lyrical wit. A group of us went to see the band in London in the Summer; an experience like no other. Besides the fantastic show, and the creepy weird girl grabbing at me during Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny, I left the venue at the end and wrung out my shirt. A black eye, crushed ribs, and covered in whiskey and wine that Evil Jared the bassist had poured on us as we moshed against the barrier. What a night. I’m also in the photo Kerrang! used to illustrate their review. It’s blurry and everyone says “you can’t see it’s you,” but what does that matter? It’s someone wearing my clothes and standing where I was at the front…. so it’s me. Hooray!
Green Day: American Idiot – The last great Green Day album if you ask me. Which you didn’t, but you are reading this so… Forget all the “punk rock opera” nonsense and what you have here is Green Day at their finest, with some truly great songs and the fine hooks that make their music so fun. I saw them at Milton Keynes bowl on the tour for this album (support from Hard-Fi, Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World – the latter two were favourites of mine at the time). We drove there listening to Gorillaz. Fantastic day! Got home at 2am and had to be in London at 9am for a medical exam in advance of my new job at London Underground! Worth it!
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs For The Deaf – Of course I’d heard of Queens of the Stone Age by 2002, but I wasn’t familiar with their music. I used to visit Watford’s Virgin Megastore and raid their 6 for £30 section every couple of weeks, once finding the previous album to this – Rated R. It grew very quickly on me, and led me to this one, that was at the time their new album. Once again an album full of great songs, somewhat ruined by the loudness wars (though at the time I didn’t know better, and wish I still didn’t), but great songs nonetheless. Each of their albums has taken a bit of time to get into, but not this one.
Pearl Jam: Rearviewmirror – Yeah, Pearl Jam were a thing when I was younger. Somehow they passed me by, probably because I was quickly drawn to harder things, so when I found this Greatest Hits collection in a shop, it made sense to give it a go. It’s really really good. Unlike many Greatest Hits albums, there’s a strong case for this one actually having a lot of the band’s best songs. And two CDs of them too!
Anti-Flag: The Bright Lights of America – A while back I got back into punk in quite a big way, helped by the fantastic Ant-Flag. Underground Network, Mobilize and The Terror State came out in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively and are well worth a look for genre fans. It was 2008’s The Bright Lights that really got under my skin. Boldly standing against injustices in the world, particularly in the titular nation, over catchy guitar music. There’s not much wrong with it.
Johnny Cash: American IV – Subtitled The Man Comes Around, I first heard the titular song of this album at the beginning of 2004’s pretty decent Dawn of the Dead remake, and naturally had to hear the rest of the album. It was in fact my introduction to the music of Johnny Cash. This album is perhaps best known for its cover versions of Hurt and Personal Jesus, but if those are all you know, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The Beatles are also covered, in In My Life, and some more traditional Cash songs including Give My Love to Rose and I Hung My Head. This album sounds to me like a love song to his own life. Full of anguished, soul-crushing emotion, tinged with regret at the passing of time, this is one to feel as much as hear. Yeah, I went there.
Scala: Dream On – Most people know this choir from their haunting rendition of Radiohead’s Creep. In a roundabout way, so do I – though I haven’t seen that film, but it was used again in an episode of The Simpsons that parodied the film. Immediately looking up who covered it, I discovered this album. It’s beautiful. A woman’s choir, singing popular songs with piano backing. Naturally a great album for relaxing to, there are some great highlights here where the choir really brings the choruses to life (no duh). Creep isn’t here, unless you got the bonus disc version which has a live recording, but a better Radiohead song is, in Exit Music (For A Film). It’ll make the hairs on your neck stand up as the song ramps up to its crescendo.
Well that was the noughties for me. There was, of course, a lot of other stuff I was listening to at the time, but it doesn’t make this list because I don’t listen to it any more. Early Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park… yeah, not today, thanks.
What do you think of my list? Do you have one of your own? Find me on Twitter to chat – @BitlandComics