Only when you look back at the first few albums you bought and owned, do you fully appreciate how much your musical tastes have changed. Most people’s first records probably don’t still get regularly played, but despite that, they definitely hold some significance to us.
The first rock album I owned was Queen’s Greatest Hits on cassette, whose legality may (or may not) be frowned up in today’s society. Soon after, it was accompanied by their Greatest Hits II compilation album, which had me singing Queen songs in my bedroom at the age of eight. In fact, when asked about my future career ambitions as a child, my go-to response was simply “to be the new Freddie Mercury”, despite a severe lack of singing ability and the necessary stage presence required.
My love of Queen survived for many years; not even the virus-like growth of Busted after the turn of the millennia could tempt me away. The next album I would own would come many years later, in the form of Guns N’ Roses’ controversial Greatest Hits collection, which was released in 2004. At this time I had just started to learn guitar and it was Slash’s playing on Welcome to the Jungle that got me excited and made me keen to continue with the guitar.
Then began my pop punk phase – all after it was sounding so promising! I purchased Blink-182’s Greatest Hits on a whim and immediately fell in love with the high tempo tracks that were easy to play on guitar and called for very little singing talent. I began to buy all of their other albums, my favourite being their self-titled, which is the only album that I can stand to listen to today. I also did the same for The Offspring, whose tracks Original Prankster and Hit That drew me in and still stand the test of time. When Tom DeLonge returned post-Blink-182 breakup with his new band Angels & Airwaves, I immediately bought their debut album We Don’t Need To Whisper, and this combined with Feeder’s Comfort In Sound, laid the foundations for my love of modern rock and metal.
My route into metal was more of an accident than anything of design. I had recently bought the new Red Hot Chili Peppers double album Stadium Arcadium after seeing the video for the lead single Dani California several hundred times on TV, only to be disappointed by the quality and style of the rest of the album. At the same time my Dad had bought the Marilyn Manson Lest We Forget: The Best Of compilation album and we agreed to swap records (a swap that became permanent), leaving me to discover the world of metal and in particular the very accessible, although very much dead, nu metal scene.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
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