Recollections based on the album Doolittle, by the Pixies.
June 8, 2002 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Recollections based on the album Doolittle, by the Pixies. Most of the most memorable times in my life, at least the ones during and after adolescence, are linked inextricably with the music I was listening to at the time. Hearing Bowie's 'Modern Love' can set me off to reminiscing for hours about freshman teen angst, and Bob Mould's 'Hanging Tree' can still damn near make me cry with the memories it triggers. Doolittle is one of those albums that takes me right back. You?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (91 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Frighteningly, the most nostalgia-inducing albums for me, my most recherche-riddled musical madelines, are Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" and "Living in the Past", and Led Zeppelin IV. Since I wasn't even born when these albums were released, the fact that one of them is called "Living in the Past" is/was prophetically apt. I remember being asked "What time period would you most like to live in" by a teacher in high school, and replying "I don't care, as long as it was before I was born."

I digress. Music seems to have the same magical ability as taste and scent to transport us mentally back to an earlier time in our lives. Certain albums commemorate certain places and periods, and some posess the power of inducing recollection so strongly that it is uncomfortable to listen to them. I can't listen to the Cure's "Japanese Whispers" because it thrusts me back to being alone on a beach adjacent to Rehoboth, Delaware in the dark, trying to call this boy I was in love with and running out of quarters. (Amazingly, I have a picture from that trip on my site).

I also find REM's "Monster" impossible to listen to, not only because it stinks, but because I was having my first mental breakdown when I bought it.

U2's "Zooropa"- trudging around in the snow in Cold Spring, New York wearing a beaver hat... Bjork's "Homogenic"- walking the streets of Cambridge, Mass. with a terrific sunburn...

Ah, the vast structure of recollection.
posted by evanizer at 7:45 PM on June 8, 2002

oasis, what's the story morning glory. when i listen to any song from that record, i am fifteen again, except not in a bad way.
posted by sugarfish at 7:52 PM on June 8, 2002

I have three albums which carry such weighty emotional baggage with them that I can only listen to them in their entirety when I'm in my absolute sunniest mood.

Depeche Mode Violator
Sinead O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Pink Floyd The Wall

There are myriad singles, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:58 PM on June 8, 2002

I dream of one day being the singer in a band so that for one, wonderful, special occastion gig, probably a holiday or something, my band can cover the entirety of Doolittle and I can finally make my fabulous Black Francis impression publicly known.

That was a wonderful article.

Other albums of personal historic significance would include, but certainly not be limited to, REM Doccument, The Sugarcubes Life is Good, Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique, Neutral Milk Hotel On Avery Island.
posted by jennyb at 8:05 PM on June 8, 2002

An album almost nobody has heard of: Odetta's Christmas Spirituals. With an orange stuck full of cloves and big cinnamon sticks, floating in a pot of steaming apple cider on the kitchen stove.
posted by sheauga at 8:16 PM on June 8, 2002

I love Zeppelin IV, and can remember so many times and events while listening to it. Thick as a Brick is another album that I remember fondly. Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best albums to listen to in the car, going along the back roads at night, just you, the music, a cigarette and the headlights picking out the trees ahead of you. I've done this at a number of ages and will do it again.

That said, the album that I recall with the most fondness is Prince and Purple Rain. Not the movie, but the album. My good friend Merlin and I, 15 or 16, maybe, at the bagel shop watching the girls, talking about girls, upset with girls, our lives ahead of us and we not knowing what the hell we were doing, except there were always the girls. And the music. The Beautiful Ones, Let's Go Crazy, Darling Nikki, I Would Die 4 U. Songs filled with emotion. Teenage songs.

Van Halen's first album, with Jamie's Crying. I'm walking around at an outside party. I'd just smoked some sort of crazy Jamaican weed and hearing Van Halen first album for the first time. All I could think was, wow listen to that sound, for God's sake, this is FUCKING GREAT!!

k.d. lang's ingenue. I listened to this for months on end. I'd broken up with my first real love and first long term girlfriend. We'd made the big decision to move from Ottawa to Vancouver together. She cheated on me a year after we moved. k.d. lang made it all okay...

Anyway, I've got tons of these, and more keep popping into my head as I think back. I should just head over to my blog and join the latest blog craze of musical memory lane. Great link, stavros. Thanks.
posted by ashbury at 8:17 PM on June 8, 2002

had a bad trip that started right as side 3 of physical graffiti's had been put on.

now, any time i hear "in the light" i exit the room immediately.
posted by tsarfan at 8:21 PM on June 8, 2002

Well, Let it Be from the Replacements pretty much captures how I felt for most of my teenage years, but it's not a record that too many other people that I grew up with knew about so it's not a shared memory, really. For that there's Answer the Phone Dummy by the Fastbacks, a record that not only captures the mood of my twenties but reminds of someone, whom although she broke my heart*, will always have a place there. So along with the musical joys, it also evokes a warm sadness. Damn, I feeling wistful, now. Damn you stav.

*someone I connected with due to mutual love of the 'Mats and the's keeps coming back to the music, dammit
posted by jonmc at 8:24 PM on June 8, 2002

Everything But The Girl's 'Walking Wounded' album. Memories of Chicago, a broken heart, and a boy who lived his life in a lane a bit too fast for my taste.

Also, selected Veruca Salt songs put me on quite an emotional memory ride.

also, what crash said about a myriad of singles.
posted by gummi at 8:39 PM on June 8, 2002

Yes, "The Wall" makes me break out in hives. Especially "Hey You" *shudder*. The absolute nadir of my teen years.

Interesting how our powerful song nostalgae mean little to anyone but ourselves. Does anyone communally share song recherche? (Besides couples having 'their song' as in "Honey! It's Rupert Holmes' Piña Colada Song! That's our song!")

One terrible thing to imagine is nearly that every single song ever written has the power to move at least one human being to a quivering, nostalgic, emotional mess. Rick Astley... Starship's We Built This City... The Teddy Bear's Picnic... Zeger and Evans' In The Year 2525... Michael Damian's Rock On. All of them bring a tear to someone's eye. Scary, huh?
posted by evanizer at 8:44 PM on June 8, 2002

The Cure's "Disintegration".
posted by jpoulos at 8:56 PM on June 8, 2002

Pixies superstar cover band No 13 Baby is playing right now - listen to the cd quality feed at KEXP [Seattle public radio]
posted by roboto at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2002

neutral milk hotel, in the aeroplane over the sea.
posted by pikachulolita at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2002

My memories of college are tightly bundled around Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy. Seeing the card set tonight that possibly influenced the songs, I have a new appreciation for the album. I don't have the words to describe them, but I'm glad that Eno did.
posted by bragadocchio at 9:01 PM on June 8, 2002

Any Dead Boys, Sham 69, Pistols, Ramones song will put my brain in the same state it was in 1977. Fried but happy.

For some reason, Foreigner, Boston and Fleetwood Mac have the opposite effect.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:02 PM on June 8, 2002

Talking Heads' "Little Creatures" still pisses me off. It was played four times at the Theatre Gallery in Dallas as we waited for the Butthole Surfers to show up back in the day. Keep in mind, they had already played it once before the shitty openning act, The Loco Gringos, did their thing. Grumble.
posted by shagoth at 9:22 PM on June 8, 2002

I can't hear Cannonball from the Breeders without picturing walking down the hall in my dorm my freshman year of college, where it was coming out of every door.
posted by turaho at 9:24 PM on June 8, 2002

You know, I really hate you children of the nineties.

All I have to reminisce to is "Neutron Dance" and "Jump".

So stop already with the angst, willya? Jeezus.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:30 PM on June 8, 2002

Easy, the first Clash album. Just two days ago, I walked into my favorite coffee shop and this album is playing. It instantly sets me back to 11th grade and discovering there's a world of music beyond Styx and Journey. Shocking!

Ditto on Neutral Milk Hotel. It doesn't really pin my memories on a certain time or mood, but it does require me to listen to the entire record.

Which of course now I have to go and do.
posted by billder at 9:35 PM on June 8, 2002

(sorry, I just realized I probably should have said [via bottomdwelling] in the post)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:36 PM on June 8, 2002

Hanson's Middle of Nowhere. Gets me everytime.
posted by corpse at 9:40 PM on June 8, 2002

The Wall and Zepellin IV bring back some powerful memories. Einsturzende Neubauten's Halber Mensch too, from a slightly later period.

Since I started reading this thread, the Sisters of Mercy's song "Some Kind of Stranger" has been playing in my head. I think I'll go listen to my new Yo-Yo Ma CD now.
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on June 8, 2002

Ozzy's Blizzard of Ozz. It was my first shared secret, the first album that served as a passport to a subculture. Key meets lock.

The Outfield's The Outfield. Arid, shallow chordage, febrile with energy directed to no good purpose. It marks the path between painful adolescence and uncaring adulthood, and the memory is always of fresh ice-white paint and air-conditioning turned to meat-locker levels.

Pete Townsend's Empty Glass and Golden Earring's To The Hilt taught me that music wasn't about what was played on the radio. Like a spinning coin, then... satori.

Judas Priest's Sad Wings of Destiny showed me the infernal beauty of destruction and introduced me to the dark man inside my head who had always been there and who lends me strength, but at an exorbitant rate of interest.

And finally, George Thorogood covering Johnny Cash's "Cocaine Blues." Late autumn '85, Alpine Valley Wisconsin, and the first time I felt truly at home in my own skin and, therefore, in the world. Autumn remains my favorite time of the year, late October leaching into November, the air continually smells like leafsmoke, the sun sets sideways in the sky, and the night grows chill and frought with goblins and tweed. It is my time.

Your time, don't you wish you could get it back?
posted by UncleFes at 9:49 PM on June 8, 2002

neutral milk hotel, in the aeroplane over the sea.

posted by mcsweetie at 10:01 PM on June 8, 2002

Yaz Upstairs At Eric's still gets some airplay 'round the old homestead, but certain tracks have to be skipped over for self-preservation.
posted by sillygit at 10:29 PM on June 8, 2002

If you all can't get enough of this stuff (or want to add your own), Caroline has a awesome site called Croon that deals with moments forever linked with songs. It's a great site and concept (and judging from the quick popularity of this post), something that nearly everyone has a story to contribute to.
posted by almostcool at 10:46 PM on June 8, 2002

Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell puts me back into High School. The memories are much better than the record. Howard Jone's "No One is to Blame" is intimately linked to my first kiss. Same but more with all of Boston's Third Stage. ACDC's Back in Black is tied pretty tightly with my first year in college while Warren Zevon's "Accidently Like a Martyr" and "Desperados Under the Eaves" puts me in the mind of my last year of college.
posted by willnot at 11:09 PM on June 8, 2002

Van der Graaf Generator's Pawn Hearts takes me way, way back to my angst ridden years. I'm still angst ridden, but listening to over wrought music doesn't make me happy anymore.

On the other hand, "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" seems like a pretty good description of metafilter.
posted by mrhappy at 11:24 PM on June 8, 2002

Blonde on Blonde, Reflections In A Crystal Wind, 20 Greatest Blues Hits (Custom Records), 12X5, Rubber Soul...

Added topic, what was the first 45 single you bought?

Mine: Battle Of New Orleans by Johnny Horton.
posted by y2karl at 11:36 PM on June 8, 2002

This is going to be really...really....strange to most of you. And strange to myself, actually. But the album that truly sets me off is...
Judas Priest, Rocka Rolla.
I was a freshman in High School, and a buddy and I would ride around in my beat up 67 Mustang, cruising the backroads, listening to the tape as loud as it would go, and just SCREAM the lyrics. My God, the dope we put away in those days. (When I bought the car from some guy down the road, he had installed an eight track player at some point. The trunk was full of these old eight-tracks, and Rocka-Rolla was one of em.)
Everytime I go see the guy now, ( he's the owner of a donut shop, and I'm a librarian) we always throw back a few beers to this album .
as to the first 45 I ever bought?
Midnight Rider, The Allman Brothers. great song.
posted by bradth27 at 11:59 PM on June 8, 2002

Mine is going to be songs more than albums because I was a child of the "taping off the radio" generation.
I know that my first album was True Colors by Cyndi Lauper and anything off that album forces me back into being a small child.
Papa Don't Preach and Lucky Star (Madonna for those of you living under your respective rocks) both remind me of dancing around the laundrey-room in my old house (ala age 8-9).

The Violent Femmes make me feel the awkwardness of being a 15 year old who didn't like her friends.

Oh and oddly, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' first album (the title escapes me) reminds me of High School.
posted by Mazelle at 12:11 AM on June 9, 2002

Like ashbury, whenever I hear DLR-era Van Halen, I am instantly transported back to those glorious carefree summers during my teenage years.
However, a song that gets me going even now is "American Waste" by Black Flag. I didn't really 'get' punk until someone put that on a mix tape for was a revelation and changed my life-fa' reals!
And I'll never forget the day I saw the video for Elvis Costello's "New Lace Sleeves"-still my favorite song of all time.
Howcum nobody mentioned "Meat is Murder" and "Louder Than Bombs" by the Smith's? I know a lot of people who moped to those albums back in the day...I know I did.
posted by black8 at 12:14 AM on June 9, 2002

Strange occurence of Jethro Tull, late Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd's the Wall.
posted by destro at 12:16 AM on June 9, 2002

Van Halen's 1984 album brings back memories. Jump especially.
posted by jaden at 12:30 AM on June 9, 2002

After I broke up with the first guy I ever dated at IU, back in 1992, I could not listen to the song "I Can't Dance," by Genesis. There were too many memories associated with that song.

ABBA Gold always brings me back to the spring of 1995. My friend Jo and I used to hang out at her place, put that album on, and get very drunk.

Liz Phair's "Exile in Guyville" is the soundtrack to my life circa 1994-1995.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:44 AM on June 9, 2002

X - "Under the Big Black Sun" and "Wild Gift" remind me of my first couple years of university when I was so shy that I effectively had no personality, and here was Exene Cervenka almost bleeding out these emotional lyrics. By the time I saw them live towards the end of my scholastic career, I had forged my insufferable personality and they were essentially finished ("See How We Are").

And I can still remember this stupid Big Audio Dynamite (Mick Jones post-Clash) song, "The Bottom Line," that was playing when I spun my pickup truck 360 degrees without crashing on the freeway onramp, my first time driving in the rain. The whole "life flashing before my eyes" bit.
posted by planetkyoto at 12:45 AM on June 9, 2002

spun my pickup truck 360 degrees without crashing on the freeway onramp, my first time driving in the rain. The whole "life flashing before my eyes" bit.

oh man, the Kinks' Lola does that to me! Rainy Michigan evening, Lola on the radio, a friend took a corner too fast. Swerve left right left right.

Now whenever I hear Lola, the room goes left right left right.

but I liked The Bottom Line...
posted by billder at 1:06 AM on June 9, 2002

Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever, and the Cure - Staring at the Sea, will always remind me of roadtrips in Europe with my friends, barrelling down the highway, just going somewhere. Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega, I can barely stand to listen to, just because of the memories it invokes of the the first girl I ever loved.
posted by patrickje at 1:43 AM on June 9, 2002

Corny as it sounds, Never Mind The Bollocks centers me every time, no matter what mood I'm in. If I feel like I'm not myself, I slap that wax on, hit 'disc repeat, and I'm dong_resin again.
It has yet to fail me.

I also have a similar reaction to American Caesar by Iggy Pop.
God, what an underrated album that one is.
posted by dong_resin at 2:33 AM on June 9, 2002

Also, I love posts like this.
A more efficient shorthand to get to know all of you there is not.
posted by dong_resin at 2:35 AM on June 9, 2002

Radiohead's 'Kid A' (and in particular the first track, 'everything in its right place') remind me strongly of sitting on my bed in a little flat high above London and being totally, perfectly alone. But in a good way.

Oh and any old britpop but especially Oasis reminds me of a very, very sweet girl who made me a mix tape. And it hurts.
posted by nedrichards at 2:40 AM on June 9, 2002

Clem Snide's "Your Favorite Music" reminds me of the highways of Canade because it was what I listened to as I drove through Canada on a long lonely road trip while Soul Coughing reminds me of Chicago for the same reason. The Beatles remind me of a girl I liked far too intensely, the same with Portishead or Tool.

Operation Ivy reminds me of a punk band I was in while the Pixies "Where is My Mind" has a twisted romance memory to it because of "Fight Club"
posted by drezdn at 3:35 AM on June 9, 2002

My memories of college are tightly bundled around Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy.
In college I had a goitre. No one would play with me. I would ask them to play with me and they wouldn't.
posted by holloway at 3:54 AM on June 9, 2002

Wow, Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" brings back scads of memories - I'm sure RevBrian remembers this one (he's got on copy on his desk at work presently) especially from earlier in that one particular evening with the devastating Jagermeister and bong-hit incident!

As for another album mentioned here, back in high school it was forbidden to even bring a walkman into our school but for some odd reason my one friend and I could walk into the cafeteria with a boom box and sit and play Led Zeppelin IV out loud and not get in trouble. After a while we actually started bringing all kinds of stuff in and taking requests - we were the lunch DJ's! The odd thing is that people tried doing it during other lunch periods and got detention for it but we were never even approached. I guess getting stoned with the principal's son at their house when I was a sophomore, with his father's complete knowledge, well, it paid off in spades later on in school!
posted by RevGreg at 4:16 AM on June 9, 2002

Albums that take me back like a favourite smell or familiar scent :

'Kid A' by Radiohead. I was quite low at that point of my life. I'd bought it the day it came out, then gone to see Lars Von Trier's 'Dancer In The Dark' at the cinema. Felt kinda washed out after that, cried lots. Got in, sat down, put 'Kid A' on. Listened to it complete. Put it on again. I felt sort of better. Still, when I hear the opening chords of 'Everything In It's Right Place', I see myself in that room, feel my sore eyes and my muscles straining a melancholy smile. 'OK Computer' as well, but for different reasons. I had a housemate who would listen to it when he took downers or 'other shit'. I'd go to bed and hear him put it on downstairs and feel dread rise through me. Occasionally, I'd hear him fall into the turntable and knock the needle flying. I didn't really get into the record for about a year and a half afterwards, long after I moved out of that house.

'The Holy Bible' by The Manic Street Preachers. I must've not listened to anything else for three months when this came out. I bought 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis the same day but that just didn't get a look in. I was 19 I think at the time, just about to discover LSD and amphetamines. If Public Enemy shagged Joy Division, their babies would sound like this. I remember doing my first acid trip, coming home to my parents absolutely out of my head, struggling, paranoid, squirming. Going straight up to my room, finding myself watching 'Family Fortunes' and 'Don't Forget Your Toothbrush' and feeling nauseous and sensing maybe this is what psychosis is like. So, like a dumb bastard, I stuck on 'Substance' by Joy Division ('She's Lost Control' - very comforting?!?!), then 'The Holy Bible'... " is for the cold made warm and they are just lizards...", " birds..the sky is swollen black...", "...we are all of walking abortion...little people in little houses, like maggots small blind and worthless...", "....i've been too honest with myself I should've lied like everybody else". It tore me apart that night but helped me out, and I swear I've got no other album I've played so repeatledly and felt so intensely (maybe 'Nevermind' a close second, but I digress).

'Life's Too Good' by the Sugarcubes. I knew 'Deus', 'Cold Sweat' and 'Birthday' from the Indie Chart on the 'Chart Show' on Saturday mornings, and fell in love with their otherworldliness from the minute and a half I'd video and watch again and again. It wasn't until '93, when I was 18, earning and able to start buying the records I'd always wanted that I realised how special a band they were. I still listen to this all the time, and it reminds me of being 18/19 so much; the first time I ever went to a nightclub 'Birthday' was the first song I heard. I love the affection almost everyone I know who has 'Life's Too Good' has for it, how you almost feel part of a club with them, quoting lyrics in a sweetly anal way and giggling at Einar's daftness and recalling the intensity and joy of Bjork... " create a universe, you must taste the forbidden fruit...", "...something wonderful is about to happen...", "...there's a naked person in my flat, he's got a weird expression on his....face!...". Genius, happiness, joy.
posted by boneybaloney at 4:41 AM on June 9, 2002

Dong_Resin nailed it - these posts say so much about all of us.

I bought the Doughboys Shine album on a whim to impress a boy that I liked, since he recommended it, and I had liked the singles I heard. I desparately wanted to prove to him that I was cool, and didn't like the sugary pop stuff my friends liked. (I alienated said group of best friends more than once by playing my CDs for them...they were kind enuogh to love me anyway). It never worked out with the boy (although we ended up friends), but I soon learned to like the album for myself, and now it's the ultimate happy album of my teenage years.

I had bought 54-40's Smilin' Buddha Cabaret around the same time, but on my own recommendation. Also brings me back to teenage times.

hayden's everything i long for still does it for me. It made me realize that most of us are longing for things in the middle of the night, even though we don't always know what those things are. his later albums continue on that path, and his shows give me the best feelings I've ever felt at a concert.

hHead's jerk is another teenage goody. More angst.

Monster Magnet's Powertrip and A Perfect Circle's Mer de Noms remind me of commuting to Toronto from Oshawa to work via the GO train. I would get on the train, strap on my headphones and go to sleep. I'd always wake up during the same APC song, so it took awhile before I heard some of the middle tracks. The line in Powertrip "I'm never gonna work another day in my life" really resonated with me as an entry level employee learning about the machine of corporate life.

This post got me finding many of the older albums and playing them...thanks.
posted by melissa at 7:59 AM on June 9, 2002

Rush (I know, dating myself) Red Barchetta and the rest of Tom Sawyer. Maybe the first band I'd call mine. My folks played the entire album 2 or 3 times as we were driving through the forests of Oregon once. I felt like a real person.

Laurie Anderson -- Mr. Heartbreak/David Byrne -- The Catherine Wheel. The first time I saw the Catherine wheel (PBS special), I thought it was a dream. The first time I saw the album in a store, I thought it was a dream. My friend (who is now a symphony conductor) gave me Mr. Heartbreak for a birthday present. Could be the best birthday present ever. Sharkey became my nom de plum for a while.

Pixies -- Dig for Fire. The first song I really 'heard' by them. Favorite. Band. Ever. Jumping around a house on 23rd street, singing at the top of my lungs.

XTC -- Skylarking, plus 'Ladybird' off Mummer. Oh hell. All of Mummer. Spring.

Throwing Muses -- The Real Ramona. I'd have to write a book.

Nina Hagen -- NunSexMonkRock Driving to the Whiskey Bend trailhead with Nate.

Spearhead Love is the Shit -- scramming from the Rebar and my ex-gf to a spearhead show with Ms. Marlene. Dancing to U can't Sing R Song with my future wife.

Now, I have a baby daughter. undoubtedly the most endearing moments of my life will be set to the tunes played by wind up toys. Sigh. I better write the rest of this shit down before I forget.
posted by daver at 8:15 AM on June 9, 2002

"Double Nickels on the Dime" by The Minutemen
"Out of Step", Minor Threat
"Murmur", REM
"Village Green Preservation Society", The Kinks
"Blue", Joni Mitchell
"New Day Rising", Husker Du
"Stukkas Over Disneyland", The Dickies
"Red Roses For Me", The Pogues

...being twenty or 21 and taking an early walk across a foggy campus glistening with frost, New York City just beginning to wake up to its usual morning roar. Heading for the coffee shop for a cuppa and a bagel, Walkman clamped down beneath earmuffs, the bass line from "Terms of Psychic Warfare" pounding in my skull.....

.....age 18 and living next door to a jazz fan who force-fed me Miles Davis and Coltrane and Jack DeJohnette and Ornette Coleman....and I liked it....

....age 20 and drinking way too many Gennessee Cream Ales with Dave Schwartz and puking out his fourteenth-story window while listening to that first Suicidal Tendancies record ("..and you think I"M the one who's crazy?!").....

...awkwardly trying (and failing) to seduce the cute Asian girl down the hall who listened to Yaz "Upstairs at Eric's" over and over and over....

Or even earlier, the first time I heard "Exile on Main Street" all the way through, and realizing that white-boy blues could be as powerful as Mozart and as tragic as Macbeth....

Driving to dinner with the woman who would become (and still is) my wife, turning her on to Uncle Tupelo and pinot noir and reefer......"Whiskey bottle...or Jesus, not forever, but just for now...")

Oh, to be young again.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:32 AM on June 9, 2002

an album that dates me back to my early teens has to be guns n' roses' use your illusion ii everything was great in my life, when i listen to that album i feel that everything is going to get alright after all. i'm still not able to listen to estranged without ripping me some tears, it resumes my love life very well.

prodigy's smack my bitch up reminds me of a rainy day inside a datsun '83 smoking pot with my friends… in those days i got stoned every day! i didn't really go to school.

david bowie's live @ BBC 6/27/2000 has great songs and it really turns on my good mood.

right now i'm listeninig sonic youth's sugar kane back in the days whean i was a freshman…

great thread stavros… you just made all of us to trigger a flashback in our memories, and that is just great. there had passed so many time since the last day i recapitulated and i'm starting to do it thanks to this thread… kind of magical
posted by trismegisto at 8:34 AM on June 9, 2002

Stevie Ray Vaughan's Couldn't Stand The Weather is to me what Never Mind The Bollocks is to dong_resin. And it makes me feel like everything is right with the world.

Radiohead's Kid A seems to be one of those albums that affects a lot of people, it keeps showing up here. It reminds me of falling in love in the early winter, when you can smell the cold coming. It's a happy album to me.

Ice Cube's Death Certificate instantly transports me to an old apartment and the smell of paint: my roomie and I spent hours listening to that album while we decorated.

It's pretty amazing what our brains can do with music.
posted by biscotti at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2002

it is good to see sanity. 'Blizzard of OZ' and 'Moving Pictures' was my intro into the addiction.
i always love this little ditty by Jethro Tull...

"on (pleasant?) platform
do your soft-shoed shuffle da-ha-ance
brush away the cig-rette ash thats falling down your pa-ha-ants. And ya sadd-ily wondered does your nurse treat your old man the way she should-
she made you tea asked for your autograph-
what a laugh."

er, from memory.
posted by clavdivs at 8:47 AM on June 9, 2002

Talking Heads' "Little Creatures" still pisses me off. It was played four times at the Theatre Gallery in Dallas as we waited for the Butthole Surfers to show up back in the day. Keep in mind, they had already played it once before the shitty openning act, The Loco Gringos, did their thing. Grumble.
posted by shagoth at 8:55 AM on June 9, 2002

Bowie, Heroes, used to punch holes in my skull when it was new. I haven't heard it in some years.

> Van Halen's 1984 album brings back memories.
> Jump especially.

Me, too, sort of. I sold records then and I had to DJ a junior high dance or two at the time. The little girls loved the entrance of Eddie's big organ.

> what was the first 45 single you bought?

I don't remember, but the first ones I dug out of the stack abandoned by older siblings were mid-sixties hits, Beatles songs on swirly Capitol labels, etc.
posted by pracowity at 8:56 AM on June 9, 2002

"On Preston platform..."

Pretty good, clavdivs. My friend and I sat around in the attic of another firend's barn and figured that song out late one night, him on guitar, me, vocals.
posted by evanizer at 9:03 AM on June 9, 2002

"Double Nickels on the Dime" by The Minutemen

amen, true, and how!
posted by billder at 9:10 AM on June 9, 2002

My first 45 was a used one of Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" purchased when I was 7 years old. The first new 45 I purchased was a purple vinyl one of "Purple Rain" when that came out- bought because it was purple, the song was an afterthought.
posted by evanizer at 9:13 AM on June 9, 2002

In order:

1986(?) I buy the Cure's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me at Camelot Records in Hagerstown Maryland. That record is so much about being 14 for me. Man -- those opening cords -- the instrumental that it opens with is just fantastic.

1989 Morissey's Viva Hate Comes out. I purchase a car. I drive around thousands fo miles listening to this. When I hear this or The Stone Roses all I can see are the farms whipping by my 1981 Honda Civic 1500DX 5-speed hatchback.

1991 My Bloody Valentine's Loveless comes out. I smoke my first joint listening to it (I smoke it because of it.) Man, this is getting me all misty.

1994 His Name is Alive - Mouth By Mouth. I buy this CD on my last day of classes in D.C., go back to my pad and play it while I put away all my school things and go into 'summer mode.' My apartment had 13 windows and they were all open. I bliss out to the vox and my girlfriend calls to me from the street below. I pop my head out the window and we both just look at each other and smile.

1996 - Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die. I sit. alone in my apartment way out in the burbs. I have no car and must walk 5 miles to the subway in order to see people I know. I do not ever do this -- I listen to this record become more and more destroyed by the auto-reverse record player I found on the street. Also the Coctail's Peel for this time.

1998 - The Sea and Cake -- The Fawn. When I listen to this I find myself realizing how lucky I am to have my wife Jennifer, this record is about her and by her as far as I am concerned. Lovely.
posted by n9 at 9:18 AM on June 9, 2002

I can't even connect to a single album, because there were just so many...if I had to select anything, it would need to be albums by the Cure, though...

The Pixies' "Doolittle" album, btw, will always remind me of seeing the Cure at Giants Stadium, 1989 -- it was an all-day show that featured Shellyann Orphan, The Pixies, Love and Rockets, and the Cure. *That* was a good day. :) I just made chili to that album a week ago, too!

Songs that take me back:
Dancing in a crowded, dark club to Bauhaus covering "Ziggy Stardust" -- a skinny goth chickie I was, fishnets and black suede granny boots -- twirling around and this guy starts dancing with me, then disappeared when the song was over. He didn't say a word, and my friend asked, "Was all of that for you?" Drunk and dazed, I leaned against the wall and slowly said, "I have no fucking idea..." Got my neck bit by a perfect stranger later that night while my crush was out in the parking lot.

Lush's "love life" album -- met my husband at a Lush concert and went to a wedding with the person I was falling out of love with (I was dumped) the next day...oof, hard times...but this album reflects everything perfectly.

Area, "With Louise" -- went out dancing (I did a *lot* of dancing) and then did after-hours in my friend's apartment in Poughkeepsie. The cab driver was tuned to Vassar College radio, and as this came on, I was snuggled out in the back seat, at 5:00 am, watching the sun come up.
posted by metrocake at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2002

Metrocake, I saw that Cure tour out in LA at Dodger Stadium. Same lineup.

The albums that constantly make their way out of my record collection and back into standard rotation:

"Surfer/Rosa & Come on Pilgrim" the Pixies (for years, 4ad only sold a combo cd with these two on it. they've split them up since then.)

"24 Hour Revenge Therapy" Jawbreaker.

"Bookends" Simon and Garfunkel

"Under the Big Black Sun" -X

"Rum Sodomy and The Lash" -The Pogues
posted by eyeballkid at 10:50 AM on June 9, 2002

"Under the Big Black Sun" -X

"Rum Sodomy and The Lash" -The Pogues

In addition to Doolittle, these two albums are also big memory triggers -- especially Rum Sodomy and The Lash.

When writing this piece, I spent a good amount of time considering what makes a song or album memorable. The major factor, it turned out, was car-play. Every song or album I listened to and really remember was played in my car.

Since the albums I listened to in high school were already between 5-10 years old, it's interesting to see how my teenage soundtrack could be similar to that of someone who grew up in an entirely different decade.

From the 90s, though, my absolute biggest memory trigger is Ween's Chocolate and Cheese. That album is my senior year.
posted by mgtrott at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2002

Prince's "Parade" and Sinatra's "Songs for Swinging Lovers." Later, Infrared Roses.
posted by muckster at 11:44 AM on June 9, 2002

From the 90s, though, my absolute biggest memory trigger is Ween's Chocolate and Cheese. That album is my senior year.

dude, that must have been one fucking crazy year. awesome.
posted by pikachulolita at 11:55 AM on June 9, 2002

A more efficient shorthand to get to know all of you there is not.
Destination Unknown by The Replicants.
posted by holloway at 12:45 PM on June 9, 2002

I have a strong connection to Living Colour's Vivid album, mainly because it was something that really got me interested in music.

Cliché as it's become, Nirvana's Nevermind brings back a flood of memories because it truly captured the disillusioned spirit of my unhappy teenage years.
posted by Down10 at 12:45 PM on June 9, 2002

dude, that must have been one fucking crazy year. awesome.
Wannabe by The Spice Girls. I was driving a car at the time
posted by holloway at 12:45 PM on June 9, 2002

Oh, and n9, you TOTALLY RAWK for knowing who "His Name Is Alive" is. :: beams at you ::
posted by metrocake at 1:01 PM on June 9, 2002

Peter Gabriel's Passion, the score to the Last Temptation of Christ, reminds me of the year that changed my future for ever. It was the warm up music to the 1989 gigs of an artist I followed around Europe. I dropped out of college to follow this tour, and eventually wrote a book on the tour and the artist. Whenever I hear the start of the first track (which is called, 'The Feeling Begins', believe it or not) on that album, or shards of it on the radio, my heart starts beating faster and I get that same nauseous feeling I got before every gig on the tour. It's a flight or fight thing: must. get. to. front. of. stage. now.
posted by prolific at 2:54 PM on June 9, 2002

singles only for me. duran duran's "secret oktober," a b-side to "union of the snake" makes me 12 again. lush's "sweetness and light" has made me happy since the early 90's, and the boys next door's "shivers" still does. not bad for a 25-year-old song.
posted by patricking at 3:10 PM on June 9, 2002

What a thread... I'm fascinated to find out that are so many closet Jethro Tull fans (or at least former fans) here--time for a reconsideration of where Ian Anderson belongs in the rock canon, perhaps? God, those albums were so intelligent, or at least they seemed so to me (I'll admit it, twenty years later they still hold up). Thick as a Brick is so lyrically clever, not to mention so musically light on its feet... And it was one of the albums that was a lifeline for me in high school (dating myself, whatever).
But for nostalgia of the most heart-shaking sort, it would be Oregon's Distant Hills. Northern Canada, in love, driving around in a white van, forest to the horizon, sad endings, and saving money to get to Europe. Ouch.
posted by jokeefe at 3:25 PM on June 9, 2002

my high school went through a classic rock/Dead phase with, strangely enough, an 80s rap infusion. so the playlist for the average hot, humid Alabama Saturday night spent drinking someone's older brother's beer while lounging on the pier of someone's lake house was something like this:

Mother - Pink Floyd
Box of Rain - G.Dead
Blue Sky - Allman bros.
Funky Cold Medina - Tone Loc
Cinnamon Girl - Neil Young/CSN&Y
High Tides & Green Grass - OUtlaws
Supersonic - JJ Fad
Smoke on the Water -Deep purple
THe reaper - blue oyster cult
Drop the bass - DJ magic mike

only in retrospect do i realize how totally incongruous that list is...
posted by lizs at 3:37 PM on June 9, 2002

twenty years later they still hold up
I just realised that I should have written "thirty years later"--oh lord.
Oh, and hearing any of the recordings made by local Vancouver bands from the mid-eighties always sends me flying back in time in a whole bunch of complicated ways. Animal Slaves, DOA, Family Plot... And then there's breakup music, where you can't listen to a song or an album ever again, for the rest of your life, without feeling pulled apart. I nearly lost Strauss' Four Last Songs after the last one, but through grim determination managed to save it; 'twas hard work, though.
posted by jokeefe at 3:45 PM on June 9, 2002

How could I forget Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking. That's just unconscious knowledge. Also, This Mortal Coil's Filigree and Shadow has been a recurring and soothing companion for many years (my first encounter with it was on a tape made by a friend which included several unidentified His Name is Alive songs at the end.)

This thread is great.
posted by homunculus at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2002

1st single purchased "Help" an EP in those days.
Also the 1st time I heard the expression "burning a hole in
your pocket" from the retailer re the 2 bucks I had.

Albums ... lots of old,old stuff including "Dark side of the moon" which I can't believe hasn't cracked a mention here.
Also Tim Buckley "Greetings from LA"
posted by johnny7 at 4:29 PM on June 9, 2002

When I was, oh, in my early teens, I bought Grace Jones' Slave to the Rhythm 12" — the writing was on the wall about that one, eh? I played it over and over on my big ass Sears stereo, causing my mother to endlessly shout into the basement "Turn then damn thing down!"
posted by flumignan at 5:01 PM on June 9, 2002

The first single I ever purchased, period, was Frank Zappa Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, for which I nagged my mother nearly to death.

The first single I ever purchased with my own money was probably Foreigner Urgent.

There must have been some weird shit going on in the seven intervening years. That's one hell of a pendulum swing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:12 PM on June 9, 2002

Peter Gabriel Plays Live. The song "San Jacinto" still gives me chills down my spine; hearing it is the closest thing to time travel that I know of.
posted by John Smallberries at 5:44 PM on June 9, 2002

johnny7, Dark Side of the Moon was mentioned waaaay back.

Regarding first single purchased, I never bought any, and still haven't. The first album I bought was The Who's Quadrophenia. At the time, I'm sad to say, I didn't think it was great. Good, but not great. Who's Next, on the other hand, changed my life. I had no idea that a rock and roll album could have the same kind of impact on me as a concept album. That began the eternal search for the next "perfect" album. I've found many, but they have been few and far between. The search has left good memories, though.

Life, it's all about the music, dammit! (I'm paraphrasing jonmc, here)
posted by ashbury at 5:46 PM on June 9, 2002

First single: The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels. Yeah!
posted by n9 at 6:11 PM on June 9, 2002

we'll make it three:

in the aeroplane over the sea.

i got this with a newbury comics gift certificate i received for my birthday in june 1998, on the day that was right between my birthday/the first anniversary of my father's death and what would have been my father's fifty-second birthday. it was the only thing i could listen to for a month, because it both encapsulated the extreme loss i felt and the hope i needed. i was so profoundly touched by the record that i ended up making a cake for the band, to thank them for the nourishment their music gave me.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2002

ashbury, got it now..Thank god for that.
posted by johnny7 at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2002

I can't remember the first 45 I bought, shamefully. I do remember that the first record I got that was mine as opposed to my folks was a K-Tel compilation called Dumb Ditties from K-Tel which had songs like "The Monster Mash" "Here Comes the Judge" and "Alvin's Harmonica" on it.

First song I remember being my favorite song was "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers. I'm beginning to see where everything went awry...
posted by jonmc at 6:52 PM on June 9, 2002

I would have to say Big Plans For Everybody by Let's Active (mostly Mitch Easter's solo project by that time) and I Am The Cosmos, by Chris Bell.

The Chris Bell album in particular, could make one jump out of a window...
posted by lilboo at 7:08 PM on June 9, 2002

the first album i remember must've been my brother's three dog night record, the one with "joy to the world" on it. my first 45 was given to me by my brother. he is 13 years older than me, it must have been 1980 or so. dan fogelberg's "same ol' lang syne" with "hearts & crafts" on the b-side. the songs still move me with their simple insight on relationships present and past. the first cassette i ever bought was "kilroy was here" by styx. that was in 1983 and i would listen to it on one of those panasonic tape recorders we all had back then. about the size of a shoebox, it was mono and sounded horrible, but the ability to record sound through the built-in "condenser mike" provided endless entertainment. at the time, i thought the little intro keyboard bit for "mr roboto" was just the coolest thing ever, because they didn't ever play that part on the radio. i got my first compact disc player in 1990 and my first two purchases were "cosmic thing" by the b-52s and depeche mode's "violator" -- one remains an rare listen, but the depeche mode is just an absolute classic.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:02 PM on June 9, 2002

Hmm, an album I didn't mention earlier which I really, really should have thought of is "Pretty Hate Machine" by Nine Inch Nails which is, to me, one of the most incredible albums ever put together. Can't believe it didn't come to me earlier. Then again, I've been listening to all my old Ministry albums for no particular reason for the last couple of months and it's driving everyone around me insane...maybe it's unhinged me a bit too!
posted by RevGreg at 9:40 AM on June 10, 2002

Rev -- if you've been listening to Ministry's "Twitch" album, I can certainly see why... :D
posted by metrocake at 10:09 AM on June 10, 2002

My big sister was a typical 50's teenager, so I grew up on singles. Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone were her faves - mostly the white boys, but I also remember there being Chuck Berry and Fats Domino records around.

First single I ever bought with my own money: "Tighten Up", by Archie Bell & the Drells. Because I HAD to learn that bass line!

Here's some of the rock that made a lasting impression on me that I listened to in high school and shortly after. A lot of this music is so loaded with recollection that I can almost "taste" it, most of it is still fairly listenable, even to my jaded & jazzified ears:

Live at Leeds & Who's Next
Band of Gypsies (Hendrix)
In the Court...King Crimson
Deja Vu (CSN)
Led Zeppelin I thru IV, but especially IV
EL&P & Tarkus
CTA (Chicago's FIRST album...ONLY)
Low Spark & John Barleycorn (Traffic)
Rides Again (James Gang)
Benefit, Thick as a Brick (Tull)
Inner Vision (Stevie Wonder)
posted by groundhog at 12:01 PM on June 10, 2002

I remember going around school with my tiny tape player when I was 14ish and listening to NWA's 'Straight Outta Compton' with my mates. Happy, happy days. I remember a guy I didn't know lending me Ice T's 'Power' in the street because he'd heard I was into rap. I lived in a lower middle-class suburb outside of Leicester in the East Midlands of England, where half the town is over 60. God bless white middle England!
posted by boneybaloney at 1:04 PM on June 10, 2002

First song I remember being my favorite song was "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers. I'm beginning to see where everything went awry...

Oh, thanks, Jon. Now I'm having flashbacks to being 7 years old and dancing around the living room with that song absolutely CRANKED, while the rest of my family stares and silently wonders what the hell is wrong with this kid.

As for music that brings me squarely back to my formative years, pretty much any of the following will do it, for reasons far too numerous to mention here:

Replacements - Let It Be or Hootenanny
Siouxsie & the Banshees - Tinderbox
Boomtown Rats - A Tonic for the Troops
Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady
Husker Du - Candy Apple Gray
Young Fresh Fellows - Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest

And, as it would seem with everyone else here, there are lots and lots of individual songs that are attached to memories. (ie: "Cows" by the Suburbs instantly takes me back to my very first day on my college campus. I was a "shadow" for a student there the semester before I started, and it just so happened that the Suburbs played the same day I was on my tour. First beer I had in college was with the band after the show.)
posted by aine42 at 1:37 PM on June 10, 2002

This is a strange topic for me, because about a year ago I really threw myself pretty heavily into music, and the stuff I listen to now is vastly different from the stuff I listened to growing up-- answering this question becomes especially difficult since there's a period of six years between my parents getting MTV blocked at our house (back in 1988, when it mattered) and me really starting to listen to music again, in the summer of '94.

But back then, anything from Appetite for Destruction was it, and that's the strongest musical memory I have-- especially "Sweet Child of Mine".

Now? It's harder to say. Big Star's #1 Record / Radio City is the one disc (well, two albums) that for me stands above all others. But to say there's any memory associated with that would be untrue. Bummer.

And I love the Chris Bell album, among others that have been listed here.
posted by nath at 2:48 PM on June 10, 2002

The Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette, The GoGo's Beauty and the Beat, anything by The Who, The Replacement's Sorry Ma, and The Partridge Family all take me right back to my youth.
But nothing is stronger than the musical memory I have of Sublime's 40oz of Freedom, which I listened to for an entire summer working in Alaska. Not by choice, though it grew on me!
posted by culberjo at 3:19 PM on June 10, 2002

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