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Top 10 Influential Albums from the Pre-Teens

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    Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:08
Inspired both by some of my friends on Facebook posting lists of their top ten influential albums from their teenage years, and by the Prog Affinity thread in this forum, I was inspired to think what my top ten influential albums were from my PRE-teenage years. The years when the greatest influences on me were what albums my parents listened to, what radio stations my parents listened to, and what albums my parents have me. The period of “prog affinity” if it existed at all (and it barely did for me). Thus, for me, before a top ten influential albums from the teenage years, there must be a top ten influential albums from the pre-teens, right?

1. Abba - Greatest Hits II

I figure I'll start with Abba - because A is the first letter of the alphabet, and because the album in question wasn't one I owned. Rather, Abba is representative of the music my mum and dad listened to, and therefore what I listened to before I was able to make my own musical choices.

As far as I can remember, although I'm sure they must have listened to more, I can think of only Abba, Neil Diamond, and Simon & Garfunkel, when it comes to what my mum and dad listened to, that was not classical music. All of these, I still enjoy the music of to some degree or another - although, apart from S&G, they've not found a place in my collection.

But, though I definitely prefer S&G, and own all their albums, I think Abba were probably the more influential. I can totally see why Steven Wilson said the pop vibe he was aiming for with his new album was that of Abba and ELO. They might be pop bands, but it's pop with an obvious progressive slant. I like to think that Abba's music opened my mind and my ears to much of the music I listen to and love today. Especially given the greatest hits compilation most played in the car was one that missed the earlier poppier music, for the more progressive later years.

2. The Wombles - Remember You're A Womble

Still before I made my own musical choices, one of several albums of music bought by my mum and dad for my younger brother and I to listen to. Running a fine line between tribute and pastiche, The Wombles were so much more than a novelty act, with instantly recognisable parodies of artists and genres. I still have the Wombles in my collection - no longer the cassette bought for me and my brother, but my own cds. Given there was a Wakeman pastiche, possibly the first prog I ever listened to?

3. Empire Strikes Back s/t

Similar to the Wombles, this was not an album I chose, rather than one chosen for me. The difference between this and the Wombles is that the latter was for me and my brother, while this was just for me. It was my first experience of purely instrumental music, and I'm sure it helped me appreciate music without lyrical content - which I've found almost ever since, to be a relatively rare thing. I think of all my friends growing up in New Zealand, from childhood to adulthood, there were only two who liked instrumental music - both musicians. 

4. Wham! - The Final

This is the first cassette ever bought for me that I actually asked for. A fairly momentous thing, at least so it felt to me at the time. It was mine, and I chose it. And I played it until it wore out. I still like Wham! and often think of buying this on cd, but there's so many albums I want to buy, that this always gets pushed to the back of the list. The likelihood is that I will never own it again, but it was definitely influential, as well as a favourite.

5. Duran Duran - One of the first three?

I couldn't say with any certainty what albums I had bought for me after Wham! but I know from that album, while I still received cassettes as Christmas and birthday presents, they were no longer a mystery. I might not know exactly what I was getting, but I knew it would be one of the many albums I'd expressed a desire for.

Duran Duran were a band I loved on the radio, and the songs which I knew came from three different albums, and eventually I had them all given to me. I'd like to think that, eg, so many of the synth-driven albums from recent years I enjoy as much as I do, I do thanks to DD. Yes, you could argue that many of the albums I didn't quite mention in that example are perhaps more reminiscent of Depeche Mode than DD - but would I have liked Depeche Mode as much as I do, if I didn't first love DD? And, again, like Abba, DD made Pop with a progressive slant.

6. David Bowie - Let's Dance

Over halfway through the ten albums, and I've still not reached the point where I'm buying any myself. But at this point, I am still only seven or eight. I'm not sure when you guys made your first purchases, but I was definitely not doing so at this age! I'm pretty sure this was the first Bowie album I owned (though it might have been Scary Monsters, as I know Ashes to Ashes was my absolute favourite Bowie song).

I don't think any one artist has had as much influence throughout my life, as Bowie. It wasn't until much later, that he and his music began to mean as much to me as they do now - but it all started here.

7. Queen - Greatest Hits

Strangely, while I know Wham! Was the first cassette I chose, if not bought myself; I'm not so certain when it comes to what I first bought myself. I'm almost positive it was Queen's Greatest Hits, and if it wasn't, it just goes to show how important I think this purchase was since it is the one I remember.

The weird thing is that it is not what I knew or was expecting. I knew the Queen played on the radio, which was the Queen of the '80s (The Works and A Kind of Magic). Greatest Hits bares almost no resemblance to this later work - and, no, I didn't even know Bohemian Rhapsody prior to purchase. But this was the first of several similar lucky mishaps. (I knew Avalon-era Roxy Music, but bought their debut. I knew '80s Genesis, but bought Foxtrot. Etc.)

Greatest Hits really led me down a rabbit hole, though. It took me totally away from the more commercial and mainstream pop I knew, and into weirder territories. I know the next Queen album I bought was Queen II - which was as weird in comparison with Greatest Hits, as GH was with the '80s radio Queen. Queen II remains my favourite Queen album.

8. Rush - Moving Pictures

I bought this without ever having heard a Rush song. In fact, in my entire time in New Zealand I never heard a single Rush song, apart from those I purchased. The only reason I knew of the band at all was because of bubble gum. There used to be a type of bubble gum which was a disc designed to look like a record (with grooves and hole, etc.) and which came in a replica album sleeve. Every one was different, and most were unfamiliar to me. When I happened to see Moving Pictures in a record store, and recognised it as the album from the bubble gum, I bought it on impulse.

If anything, it's possibly more influential for that impulse buy than for any other reason. Because that was pretty much the first time I ever bought something without knowing anything about it, based just on the cover. I've done so, ever since - though it was easier to do in those simpler times, when it was harder (or sometimes impossible) to sample music before you buy.

(In a similar situation to Queen, Rush also provided another rabbit hole. The next Rush I bought after MP was 2112 - which almost might have been a different band.)

9. Split Enz - Enz of an Era

I loved the Enz, or (again) what I knew of them from the radio. This compilation introduced me to some of their earlier material, and my next Enz purchase was Mental Notes - no tracks of which were on the compilation, which was why I chose it. You guessed it - rabbit hole, again! Split Enz's debut remains my favourite of theirs, and is one of the most overlooked and underrated prog albums.

10. U2 - The Unforgettable Fire

I bought this (my first U2) album, because I loved Pride. I expected Pride to be my favourite song on the album, but it ended up my least favourite. I still love this album. It's my favourite U2 album, and yes, I still like U2. 😜

Fire is a very Eno-esque album. He's produced many albums by many bands, but very rarely is his stamp so indelibly marked as it is here. I definitely feel like my appreciation for a lot of different sounds and styles (maybe even post rock) started out from my love for this album.

So there we go. Somewhat done on the fly, but I feel that's best as gut instinct and the first albums to come to mind, are probably more influential than if I were to sit down and think about this more.

Fee free to comment or ignore!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:13
Pre-Teen? Yikes! Probably T-Rex, Slade & Sweet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:21
Pre 1969 for me, and I didn't really start buying albums until I was well into my teens. We had a few singles. Beatles, Frank Ifield, Andy Stewart. My parents didn't buy many albums either but the ones they did have were by people like Jim Reeves, Mantavani etc so they did nothing for me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:39
Pre-teens? That would be 1972 and prior. Here's ten (the albums are many from these)...

The Beatles
Alice Cooper
Led Zeppelin
Jethro Tull
Peter, Paul & Mary
Donovan
The Moody Blues
Simon & Garfunkel
T. Rex
Deep Purple


Edited by The Dark Elf - January 19 2021 at 12:42
...a vigorous circular motion hitherto unknown to the people of this area, but destined
to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:54
My parents listened pretty much exclusively to classical music, and some of those would count as I was very into classical, but in my pre-teens several albums on the rock/pop side stand out that I loved (it was my eldest brother who got me into a lot of music):

- Gary Numan and Tubeway Army - Replicas (my first love from my brother's collection that I can think of).
- The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot
- Pink Floyd - The Wall
- David Bowie - ChangesOneBowie
- Split Enz - True Colours
- Alice Cooper - School's Out
- Heart - Dog & Butterfly
- The Who - It's Hard

It's Hard is the first album, well cassette, I bought for myself. The kid playing an arcade game on the cover did make it appeal all the more.




Edited by Logan - January 19 2021 at 13:05
"The first step on the path to wisdom is the recognition of one's own ignorance" (paraphrased from Plato).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 12:55
My first album was Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies and I was 12 when that came out so that's about the only one that qualifies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Anders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 13:08
There are quite a few.

My older sister received a lot of contemporary Danish pop and rock albums as birthday presents, and these are some of my earliest musical memories, from the age of 2-3.

The first album I was genuinely crazed about, at the age of 5, was - of all things - the soundtrack album for the film version of the musical Hair. That was because my mother was a music teacher at a high school, and they made a production of Hair at the school. Quite an odd album for a 5 year old to listen to I guess, but I still think the music holds. Great musicianship actually. The quality of the vocal performances is another story, unfortunately, but I think I was less critical about that back them. Especially "Aquarious" clicked with me right away.

Later I dug into my parents vinyl collection which consisted mostly of classical music, so I actually grew up listening to Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Brahms more than rock and pop. However, they also had a big Beatles collection, and my love of the Beatles started at the age of 9-10. Revolver is probably still my favourite album of all.


Edited by The Anders - January 19 2021 at 13:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nick_h_nz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 13:08
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

My parents listened pretty much exclusively to classical music, and some of those would count as I was very into classical, but in my pre-teens several albums on the rock/pop side stand out that I loved (it was my eldest brother who got me into a lot of music):

- Gary Numan and Tubeway Army - Replicas (my first love from my brother's collection that I can think of).
- The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot
- Pink Floyd - The Wall
- Split Enz - True Colours
- Alice Cooper - School's Out
- Heart - Dog & Butterfly
- The Who - It's Hard

It's Hard is the first album, well cassette, I bought for myself. The kid playing an arcade game on the cover did make it appeal all the more.



Nice to see the Enz popping up again.  True Colours is often stated to be their greatest album. I like it, for sure, but my preference is definitely for the earlier albums, and the first three especially (Mental Notes, Second Thoughts and Dizrythmia). But I honestly don’t think they put out a bad one. Even their final album (after Tim had left) which is almost universally agreed to be their worst, still has some real gems on it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 13:36
In the other thread I wrote that my mother taking my brother and me to Yellow Submarine was my first big influence. I think I was 8 then. I then got all of the Beatles. Stupidly I sold them 5 years later because I thought I had grown out of them. Wacko
Other than that I loved Abba as well, and Boney M. I also at some point totally distanced myself from them, but rediscovered some Abba in the last 10 years, much later than the Beatles.



Edited by Lewian - January 19 2021 at 13:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 14:02
Originally posted by nick_h_nz nick_h_nz wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

My parents listened pretty much exclusively to classical music, and some of those would count as I was very into classical, but in my pre-teens several albums on the rock/pop side stand out that I loved (it was my eldest brother who got me into a lot of music):

- Gary Numan and Tubeway Army - Replicas (my first love from my brother's collection that I can think of).
- The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot
- Pink Floyd - The Wall
- Split Enz - True Colours
- Alice Cooper - School's Out
- Heart - Dog & Butterfly
- The Who - It's Hard

It's Hard is the first album, well cassette, I bought for myself. The kid playing an arcade game on the cover did make it appeal all the more.




Nice to see the Enz popping up again.  True Colours is often stated to be their greatest album. I like it, for sure, but my preference is definitely for the earlier albums, and the first three especially (Mental Notes, Second Thoughts and Dizrythmia). But I honestly don’t think they put out a bad one. Even their final album (after Tim had left) which is almost universally agreed to be their worst, still has some real gems on it.



I'm with you on Split Enz. The earlier albums are my favourites, but at the time I had not heard those and doubt that I would have appreciated those as much as a pre-teen. That album also has the distinction of being the first one I listened to on a Walkman, and I skied while listening to it soon after (I skied an awful lot while growing up but would rarely listen to music while skiing). It wasn't until I was considerably older that I heard any of the other Enz albums.
"The first step on the path to wisdom is the recognition of one's own ignorance" (paraphrased from Plato).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 14:20
More in chronologic order of discovery than favorites, from ages 4 - 12 (1973-1981)

Marlo Thomas and Friends - Free to be You and Me
Zapped - Warner/Reprise/Bizarre Records sampler feat. Frank Zappa, Beefheart, Lord Buckley, Alice Cooper, etc. 
The Who - Tommy 
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced
Yessongs
Star Wars (OST) 
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - s/t
Jethro Tull - A Passion Play
Grease (OST)
Themes from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind - The Electric Moog Orchestra
Devo - Freedom of Choice
Rush - Fly by Night 
Gary Wright - Dream Weaver
Black Sabbath - Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath


HA!
Forgot the most important one.




Edited by Tapfret - January 19 2021 at 14:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nick_h_nz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 14:41
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

I'm with you on Split Enz. The earlier albums are my favourites, but at the time I had not heard those and doubt that I would have appreciated those as much as a pre-teen. That album also has the distinction of being the first one I listened to on a Walkman, and I skied while listening to it soon after (I skied an awful lot while growing up but would rarely listen to music while skiing). It wasn't until I was considerably older that I heard any of the other Enz albums.

Have you heard ENZSO? Eddie Rayner rearranged Split Enz songs for the NZSO, and they were performed with various NZ singers, including Tim and Neil Finn. Some of the new arrangements are startlingly different, but really good (eg I See Red), while others aren’t changed too much, but still sound so very different just because of the orchestration.


The most recent anniversary tour as captured on 2cd “Extravagenza” is also well worth it, if you can find it.

I’m impressed you can remember what you first listened to on a Walkman. I have absolutely no definite memory of what I first listened to, although I have a funny feeling it may have been the Labyrinth soundtrack. 🤷🏻‍♂️


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 14:56
Pre-teens? No albums of my own for sure. A couple of albums (cassette) that we were generally listening inside our car. They were my parents' cassettes and reflecting their tastes of course. I guess their genres were mostly Turkish pop, Türk Sanat Müziği (Turkish Art Music) etc.

But my interest in music definitely began during my childhood. Cartoon (opening) theme musics were my favourites. Also The Skeletor Theme... OMG still the best "evil-theme" ever! (Check out the first video below.) Yet, I can say that my favourite was the Laserion Theme. (Check out the second video below.)

Mostly I was listening to music on TV and radio in my childhood. I guess I first listened to Europe - The Final Countdown when I was 5-7 or something, and I loved it so much that I was sometimes tuning the radio for hours to have the chance to come across it again. Also, during summer holidays, discos were playing Modern Talking songs and such all day. I was taking immense pleasure in it. 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progaardvark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 15:19
So, I guess this would be from 1969 to 1981 for me. I didn't start buying my own music until late 1983 I believe, so all of this would be stuff from my parents' collection.

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd - Animals
ELO - A New World Record
ELO - Olé ELO
ELO - Out of the Blue
Moody Blues - This Is The Moody Blues
Carpenters - The Singles, 1969-1973
The Beatles - 1967-1970 (aka "The Blue Album")
Seals & Crofts - Greatest Hits
Special mention: The Drifters - On Broadway/Let the Music Play (single)

The last one is a single. I had one of those cheap kid's turntables that was built into a plastic carrying case and this single was given to me. I played it to death in 45, 33 1/3, 78 and 16 speed, whatever mood I was in.

Three bears and chairs oats parade, google I boxed brand flotation devices and marmots tenants. Capitalize the name of a planet. Capitalize the name of an asteroid. I'm waiting in line for ham.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 15:24
Wow, 13 years old is "childhood"? I was definitely masturbating then! LOL

Then, things change. Lots of metal albums...

Metallica - Kill 'Em All (the inception of my metalhead self)
Megadeth - Youthanasia
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Metallica - The Black Album
Scorpions - Face the Heat
Obituary - The End Complete (should be before I was 13)
etc...
Also there was a Turkish music magazine named Walkman, and with all its issues we were getting a mixed-cassette giveaway. I met Snow - Informer and Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle in those.

Edited by Shadowyzard - January 19 2021 at 15:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nick_h_nz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 16:18
Originally posted by Shadowyzard Shadowyzard wrote:

Wow, 13 years old is "childhood"? I was definitely masturbating then! LOL

Then, things change. Lots of metal albums...

Metallica - Kill 'Em All (the inception of my metalhead self)
Megadeth - Youthanasia
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Metallica - The Black Album
Scorpions - Face the Heat
Obituary - The End Complete (should be before I was 13)
etc...
Also there was a Turkish music magazine named Walkman, and with all its issues we were getting a mixed-cassette giveaway. I met Snow - Informer and Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle in those.

To be fair, I didn’t make that clear, but my list was only up until I was about 10. Any age up to 13 is fair game, I guess - but if these are albums you were finding influential at age 13, I’d say they are better placed in the other thread, that was dedicated to the teenage years.

My first Scorpions album was World Wide Live, which I think I bought when i was 13.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 16:23
This is tough to say, as my memory of my pre-13 years is very spotty, and my music loving nature really blossomed in high school. Things that fall in here are going to be things my partents listened to and the occasional thing from the radio. A few things that I think would qualify:

The Moody Blues - Best Of
The Who - Best Of
The Beatles - Best Of
Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
Various film soundtracks (mostly inspired from John William's Star Wars work) and various other TV themes
Various classical work (mostly the best known 'standard' affairs, such as Beethoven's Symphonies, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, In The Hall Of the Mountain King, and other things they played for us in school.)
Weird Al Yankovik (Can basically pick any album from this time period)
Smash Mouth - Astro Lounge 
Nirvana - Nevermind 


That last one might have been a little later than this time period, but it's close enough. They Might Be Giants also floats around this time period, but I'm more confident that it would be more appropriate in the other thread. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 16:26
@nick_h_nz

^ Google says that childhood is till the age of 12 or 13. Actually I VERY RARELY like or love an album, that I initially don't like. Also this is not limited to music. I can confidently defend my childhood and teenage years' tastes, with very few exceptions. I guess I cannot come up with even 10 examples of my tastes in anything that I today say, "Wow, how did I ever find it cool?!"

Edited by Shadowyzard - January 19 2021 at 16:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 16:27
Ok, so my pre-teen albums consisted of Disney's Swiss Family Robinson, Bozo The Clown (still got this one) and The Archies. Mostly we listened to the radio or bought 45's but very few, if any, real albums.
Thank you for supporting independently produced music
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowyzard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2021 at 16:34
Originally posted by nick_h_nz nick_h_nz wrote:

Originally posted by Shadowyzard Shadowyzard wrote:

Wow, 13 years old is "childhood"? I was definitely masturbating then! LOL

Then, things change. Lots of metal albums...

Metallica - Kill 'Em All (the inception of my metalhead self)
Megadeth - Youthanasia
Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Metallica - The Black Album
Scorpions - Face the Heat
Obituary - The End Complete (should be before I was 13)
etc...
Also there was a Turkish music magazine named Walkman, and with all its issues we were getting a mixed-cassette giveaway. I met Snow - Informer and Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle in those.

To be fair, I didn’t make that clear, but my list was only up until I was about 10. Any age up to 13 is fair game, I guess - but if these are albums you were finding influential at age 13, I’d say they are better placed in the other thread, that was dedicated to the teenage years.

My first Scorpions album was World Wide Live, which I think I bought when i was 13.



I think only Youthanasia was the album that I met when I was 13 years old in my list, Obituary's album... well, I'm not sure. Anyway, not a big deal, I guess. Smile
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