Some of you may have kids; some of you may not yet. I can tell you that as a parent, there is little else out there that can shape a child’s future than musical influence at a young age. And with the musical landscape changing so much on a weekly basis, I thought I would go back in time and pick out the five albums that I want my son to listen to.
- Double Platinum by KISS.
Now this might not be popular with everybody, but this is the album that influenced me as a young boy. And quite frankly, this is as close to a definitive KISS collection as you’re ever going to find on one album. Released in 1978, the album itself went platinum that year and has gone on to sell over five million copies worldwide.
Standout tracks? Well…they’re all standout tracks to me, but the best of the best include “Rock & Roll All Nite”, “Strutter ‘78”, “Firehouse”, and “Detroit Rock City”. If I were ever stranded on a desert island and could only bring one album with me to listen to in eternity, this would be it.
- Back In Black by AC/DC.
It’s crazy to think that people so quickly embraced Brian Johnson after the death of Bon Scott. That’s not a dig, either…it’s just something that boggles my mind. It’s a very rare thing in this world when a band loses their lead singer and then goes on to bigger success without him.
Is there a bad track on this record? That’s a very debatable question. If you ask a true-blue AC/DC fan, this album may be the height of not only their popularity, but of their perfection. In an era where artists have a difficult time selling 100,000 copies of a cd, AC/DC has sold over 50 million copies of Back In Black worldwide since its release in 1980.
Standout tracks include “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Hells Bells”, “Shoot To Thrill”, and “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”.
- Pyromania or Hysteria by Def Leppard
I’d be okay with my son listening to either one of these albums, to be honest. Pyromania was the beginning of the British “new wave metal” scene of the early 80’s. It was raw and gritty, yet blended vocal melodies over pop riffs that most hard rock songs didn’t have at the time. Standout tracks include the incredible “Rock of Ages”, “Photograph”, “Foolin’”, and “Too Late For Love”.
On the flip side, Hysteria is as polished a rock album as you’ll ever find in history. Every single song was smooth as silk, designed for hits, and is considered one of the best selling rock albums of all time. Standout tracks include “Animal”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, and the massive rock-anthem “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
- Dookie by Green Day
Green Day spoke to me at a time when no other band understood who I was. Being similar in age certainly helped understand both the lyrics and the anger behind the power chord arrangements. From the moment I heard “Basket Case” I was hooked. The video only made the love affair stronger.
When mainstream radio picked up “When I Come Around” and threw it into rotation, Green Day became megastars. The album became a “must –listen” because these guys were the very definition of “modern punk”. Standout songs also include “Welcome To Paradise”, “She”, and “Longview”.
- R.E.V.O. by Walk Off The Earth
Okay, so this one comes at you right out of left field. About four years ago, I was a fan of the Gregory Brothers and how they would “Auto Tune The News” (which they now call “Songify The News”). They had one called “Backin’ Up”, which was covered by Walk Off The Earth. I was immediately hooked but then, as most flash-in-the-pan-memes go, I moved on.
Fast forward one year and Walk Off The Earth did that incredible cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know”. It make them uber-famous. I decided to go back through their musical catalogue and was blown away by their cover songs and also their original material.
They released R.E.V.O. (which stands for Realize Every Victory Outright) as an EP in 2012 with “Red Hands” and “Gang of Rhythm” being the lead singles. The full album came out in 2013 and had two more new singles (“Shake” and “Speeches”) to go along with their Gotye cover and two previously released singles (“Money Tree” and “Summer Vibe”). That, along with their incredible title track and the hippy-trippy “No Ulterior Motives”, created one of the most completely top-to-bottom incredible debut albums I’ve ever heard in my lifetime.
The music is soft, melodic, and singable. Their videos are ALWAYS entertaining and are one of the biggest reasons they’re gaining in popularity. I’m not sure how they plan on topping their debut with a new album in 2015, but this is definitely one album I want my son to listen to. You can’t listen to the same genre of music your whole life…you need to mix things up. THIS certainly does that and does it in an extremely enjoyable way.
What about YOU? What album would YOU want to have you child listen to?