15 albums of my life

Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it.

These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you’re it!

01. NKOTB - Step by Step

New Kids on the Block – Step by Step (1990)Step by Step is the third studio album (fourth overall) from pop group New Kids on the Block. The group at that time was very popular and was being heavily merchandised, with everything from pillowcases, to marbles, to dolls, to a Saturday morning cartoon with their name and likeness. Released to overwhelming commercial reception, Step by Step debuted at number one on both the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and the UK Albums Chart, with the leadoff title track single topping the charts simultaneously and selling nearly three million copies, making it their highest selling single. Another top ten single, “Tonight”, followed, as the group embarked on their most ambitious world tour to date.

After having earned success with Hangin’ Tough, the group took a more active role creatively on this album, co-writing and producing several of its tracks. They even started playing instruments on most of their songs. By the end of 1990, in spite of the album having gone multi-platinum, a public backlash against the group occurred, as evident with Step by Step’s third and last single, “Let’s Try It Again,” which failed to crack the top fifty.

02. Green Day - Kerplunk

Green Day – Kerplunk (1992)
Kerplunk was Green Day’s last release on an independent label and was also the first album to feature their current band lineup with Tré Cool on drums. The album went on to become one of the highest-selling independent albums ever. As of November 2006, Kerplunk has sold 699,001 units in the US, and over 4 million worldwide.

The album officially includes only 12 tracks, but the versions released on CD and cassette also include the 4 tracks from the Sweet Children EP. One of those 4 tracks is a cover of The Who’s “My Generation”. Another notable track on the album is “Welcome to Paradise”, which the band would re-record for their next album Dookie.

03. Green Day - Dookie

Green Day – Dookie (1994)
The major label debut by American punk rock band Green Day. The album was the band’s first collaboration with producer Rob Cavallo. Released on February 1, 1994 through Reprise Records, Dookie became a worldwide commercial success, reaching number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 and charting in seven countries. The album helped to propel Green Day into mainstream popularity, amid claims from the punk rock community that the band had “sold out”.

As of 2008, Dookie is the band’s best-selling album, with over 15 million copies sold worldwide. It is Green Day’s only diamond album. Dookie won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1995.

04. The Doors - The Doors

The Doors – The Doors (1966)
The Doors is the self-titled debut album by the band The Doors, recorded in 1966 and released in 1967. It features the breakthrough single “Light My Fire”, extended with a substantial instrumental section omitted on the single release, and the lengthy song “The End” with its Oedipal spoken-word section. The Doors credit the success of their first album to being able to work the songs out night after night at the Whisky a Go Go or the London Fog. “Alabama Song” was originally written and composed by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill for their opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny); “Back Door Man” was a Howlin’ Wolf cover. “The End”‘s Oedipal climax was first performed live at the Whisky A Go Go and The Doors were thrown out as a result of lead vocalist Jim Morrison screaming “Mother… I want to fuck you!” near the climax of the song.

05. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)

Weezer – Weezer/The Blue Album (1994)
Weezer, often referred to as “The Blue Album”, is their debut album. It was released on May 10, 1994 by Geffen Records. The album was produced and recorded in Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Weezer spawned the popular singles “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Buddy Holly”, both of which were responsible for launching Weezer into mainstream success with the aid of music videos directed by Spike Jonze. As of December 2007, the album had sold 3,146,000 copies in the United States where it peaked at number 16. It is currently certified three times platinum, making it Weezer’s best selling album.

06. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
A week after released, Mellon Collie debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, an unusual feat for a double-disc album that cost over US$20. The RIAA has certified the album as having sold 9.8 million copies in the United States. Christopher John Farley of Time called the album “the group’s most ambitious and accomplished work yet”. Farley wrote, “One gets the feeling that the band [. . .] charged ahead on gut instincts; the sheer scope of the album (28 songs) didn’t allow for second-guessing or contrivance.” Time selected Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness as the best album of the year in its year-end “Best of 1995” list.

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is a loose concept album, with the songs intended to hang together conceptually as a symbol of the cycle of life and death. Billy Corgan has said that the album is based on “the human condition of mortal sorrow”. The sprawling nature of the album means that it utilizes several different diverse styles amongst the songs, contrasting what some critics felt was the “one dimensional flavor” of the previous two albums. All guitars on the album were tuned down a half-step in order to “make the music a little lower”, according to Corgan.

07. Weezer - Pinkerton

Weezer – Pinkerton (1996)
Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton, is named after the character B.F. Pinkerton from Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly; and the album plays as a concept album based loosely around the opera. Like the Puccini opera, the album includes other references to Japan, Japanese people, and Japanese culture from the perspective of an outsider who considers Japan fragile and sensual. It was originally planned as Songs from the Black Hole, which Rivers Cuomo (lead singer and guitarist) deemed a “space opera.” The initial concept was scrapped, but the band incorporated several of the songs into Pinkerton. The artwork on the album’s cover is Kambara yoru no yuki (“Night Snow at Kambara”), a print by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige.

Upon its release in 1996, the album was considered a critical and commercial failure. However, Pinkerton has risen in stature to become one of the most highly-regarded albums of the 1990s, receiving much critical acclaim and is considered one of the most important albums of the nineties, having introduced the emo genre to a wider and more mainstream audience. The album was certified gold in 2001.

08. The Cardigans - FirstBandOnTheMoon

The Cardigans – First Band on the Moon (1996)
First Band on the Moon is the third studio album by The Cardigans. It features the international hit-single “Lovefool”. The album’s name is a parody of Neil Armstrong, who was obviously referred as the “First man on the moon”. The song “Happy Meal II” can be viewed as either a partial rewrite or a sequel to “Happy Meal,” which appears in similar lyric and structure on their last album, Life.

09. EBTG - Like

Everything but the Girl – Like the Dessert Miss the Rain (1996)
The best compilation of Everything But the Girl’s releases.

10. The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight

The Cardigans – Long Gone before Daylight (2003)
Long Gone Before Daylight is the fifth studio album by The Cardigans. After a long hiatus from their last album in 1998 (with members of the band experimenting with other projects).

The album differs from the band’s earlier works. Their familiar “happy” pop sound takes on a change to pop songs with more of an American country music influence. It is relatively a much darker album than their previous works, and more quiet than the noisier Gran Turismo. Indeed, even lead singer Nina Persson dyed her once light blonde hair to jet black, reflecting the band’s change of mood.

Criticism was mixed. Some found the change of direction welcome, and felt the band had matured, making songs that were even better than other experienced country-pop styled artists. Others missed the old pop sound, and accused the band of possibly being ashamed of their former “happy” pop sound.

11. The Postal Service -Such Great Heights

The Postal Service – Such Great Heights (2003)
The tracks was recorded by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, and include backing vocals in the studio recording by Jen Wood, on 2002; but was released under the Sub Pop Records on 2003.

The title song “Such Great Heights” has exhibited unusual staying power. It has consistently been one of the weekly top 5 most frequently played tracks on social music site Last.fm since the website began, holding the top spot for the majority of 2005. The song’s reign in the top 10 ended in March 2007, when after the release of the Arcade Fire album, Neon Bible, the song did not make it as the top 10 was predominantly songs from Neon Bible. The song was featured on an 2004 episode of Veronica Mars. It has also been used in several television commercials, for organizations such as Ask.com, Kaiser Permanente, Target, UPS and M&M’s. The song was also featured in the trailer for the 2004 film Garden State and the Iron & Wine cover version was featured in the film and its soundtrack. An instrumental version of the song is currently featured as part of UPS’s “Whiteboard” ad campaign, which was launched 6 January 2007, almost four years after the song was officially released. The song was used in Grey’s Anatomy, and appears on its season one soundtrack, Grey’s Anatomy Original Soundtrack Volume 1.

12. The Postal Service - WWBSAA

The Postal Service – We Will Become Silhouettes (2005)
The title track has been used in a Honda Civic commercial, and indie band Iron and Wine performed an acoustic cover of the track for one of the Postal Service’s B-Sides, Such Great Heights. This was the fourth single released by The Postal Service. The cover artwork was designed by Kozyndan, who have done the previous singles as well.

The video for this song, directed by Jared Hess, consists of incongruously lighthearted footage of a family (consisting of band members Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, frequent collaborator Jenny Lewis, and two young children) playing and singing the song, then riding bicycles into the desert and, at the very end, watching the sun set in the distance. Their odd clothing, the worn down houses they pass by and abandoned streets may suggest the video takes place far in the future, post-nuclear attack.

13. DCFC - Transatlanticism

Death Cab for Cutie – Transantlanticism (2003)
Transatlanticism is the fourth studio album by Death Cab for Cutie, released on Barsuk Records. The album peaked at number 97 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The album has been certified Gold in the U.S. It is available on CD, SACD, and vinyl.

Tracks from Transatlanticism have been featured in several films and television shows. A poster of the album cover hangs in the bedroom of The O.C. character Seth Cohen, and a copy of the album is part of his “starter pack” during the first “Chrismukkah” episode. The song “A Lack of Color” is featured on Music From The OC: Mix 2. The song “Transatlanticism” was featured in a season four episode of Six Feet Under, a season five episode of CSI Miami (“Death Pool”), and the films The Puffy Chair and Disturbia. “The Sound of Settling” was featured on the soundtracks for Wedding Crashers, Shop Girl, and Mean Creek. The song “Passenger Seat” was featured in the Californication episode “Girls, Interrupted”.

14. DCFC - Plans

Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (2005)
Plans is the fifth studio album by Death Cab for Cutie. Drummer Jason McGerr notes that “if Transatlanticism was an inhale, Plans is the exhale.” The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified as a Platinum album on February 28, 2008. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 48th Grammy Awards, held February 8, 2006.

In explaining the title of the album, Ben Gibbard said the following: “I don’t think there’s necessarily a story, but there’s definitely a theme here. One of my favorite kind of dark jokes is, ‘How do you make God laugh? You make a plan.’ Nobody ever makes a plan that they’re gonna go out and get hit by a car. A plan almost always has a happy ending. Essentially, every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time. I really like the idea of a plan not being seen as having definite outcomes, but more like little wishes.”

15. Rafika Duri

Rafika Duri – Lagu-lagu Terpilih (1977)
An unknown releasing company compilation of Rafika Duri’s songs. It contains: Api Asmara, Citra, Di Wajahmu Kulihat Bulan, Puspa Dewi, Kau Kusayang, Citra, Persembahanku, Hati yang Terluka, Lagu Rindu Asmara, Kau Semakin Mempesona, Melati, Tersiksa Lagi, Kau Bukan Dirimu, Tirai.

Rafika Duri (born in Bangka, 20 January 1960) is a well known Indonesian bossa singer in the 1970s. Her fame started after the vocal contest titled Bintang Radio dan Televisi on Indonesian national television in 1976. She made her performance with Harvey Malaiholo back then, who happened to also win the man series of the competition. They were both known as duet, later after the show.

The songs that blew Rafika’s name was Tertusuk Duri, by A. Riyanto. She earned the Gayageum Awards on International Song Festival singing Hanya Untukmu, also made by A. Riyanto in 1978.


I’m bored. That’s why I did a little browsing on the 15 albums of my life. Bayu tagged me on the right time. I did it! Yeah yeah yeah! I don’t think you need to be this dilligent. Just writing 15 album titles and tag another 15 people would’ve been enough for this silly game 😉

About Grace Samboh

Believes in unicorn, conviviality and the struggle towards collective subjectivities—even temporarily.
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