What are your top 10 most influential albums?

Nola

Well-known member
I'm curious to hear everyone's influences and maybe it will help us better understand each other too in the mix clinic and maybe better make suggestions for mixes. Like what aesthetic we're going for or our roots, etc.

Mine would be:

Dinosaur Jr -- You're living all over me
Van Morrison -- Astral Weeks
Velvet Underground -- S/T (+ "Heroin" off Nico album)
Yo la Tengo -- Electr-O-Pura
Mississippi John Hurt -- Complete Studio Recordings
Jesus and Mary Chain -- Darklands
Polvo -- Cor-crane Secret
Modest Mouse -- Building Nothing Out of Something
Pavement -- Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Sebadoh -- The Freed Weed

I'm a music junkie so this was impossible, but those 10 tend to influence my decisions when i write, record, or mix, but I dip into many other genres and can't wait to hear answers as i bet there are great albums i know and love upcoming.

I really hope this thread won't dissolve into fighting and ask everyone do their best to be respectful.
 
Last edited:

Tadpui

Well-known member
Top tens are always tough...if asked on different days, the list would be different. But no doubt these 10 albums had a major impact on how I aspire to write or sound or look or whatever. They're big to me. They each taught me something huge about what I want out of the music that I make myself.

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Radiohead - OK Computer
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan
Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
Caribou - Andorra
Elliott Smith - Either/Or
Islands - Return to the Sea
Spoon - Kill the Moonlight

...and if you had asked 20 years ago, these would have made the list (and still do have a big influence, but aren't really in any sort of current rotation)
Ozzy Osbourne & Randy Rhoads - Tribute
Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Phish - Rift

And one honorable mention is Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica. Since you'd mentioned them, and that album made me want to create a concept album soooo bad. My stuff from 10-15 years ago is all basically my sad attempt at a MM/Radiohead album :)
 

Greg_L

Banned
I have lots of influences, and none of them influence my mixing or production ideas. Writing? Sure. But I can't pick 10 albums that I give a shit enough about production-wise to list them as production influences. I like things that range from slick and polished to a tape recorder in a bathroom.
 

Tadpui

Well-known member
I guess that I wasn't going for a mixing/production angle either. But I do have a few favorites for those influences as well. There are some incredible sounding albums out there. From the intimacy of Iron & Wine's debut album where you can hear the air conditioning in his living room or Devendra Banheart's Nino Rojo where there's a goddamn canary chirping in the background in one or two of the songs...to Jeff Buckley's Grace where each and every note is so carefully considered that it feels like the songs are museum exhibits. The use of the stereo field in Typhoon's White Lighter or Sparklehorse's It's a Wonderful Life, or the mastery of mono in the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. There are albums that I can aspire to when mixing, but mostly it's just me trying to not make my songs sound like a bowl full of crap.
 

Greg_L

Banned
You can list those I wasn't limiting it to production.

Oh okay. This....

I'm curious to hear everyone's influences and maybe it will help us better understand each other too in the mix clinic and maybe better make suggestions for mixes. Like what aesthetic we're going for or our roots, etc.

...made me think it was about production.
 

Nola

Well-known member
...made me think it was about production.

Oh yeah, I can see that.

I was thinking more like "I know guy x likes band y, so I can make more specific suggestions in the clinic now." more than production influences.
 

fat_fleet

Swollen Member
Lifelong, no particular order.

Coltrane Quartet Africa Brass
Can Tago Mago
The Incredible String Band The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
Hawkwind In Search of Space
Psychic TV Dreams Less Sweet
Pink Floyd Ummagumma
Opal Early Recordings
Slapphappy/Henry Cow Desperate Straights
Shockabilly Heaven
Miles Davis Live Evil
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Mmmm...that's a tough question.
I would have to really think about that and then try to correlate between the top 10 albums that I like and have admired for songwriting and/or production...and then which of those have been an actual influence on my own writing and production style.
I'll be honest...I probably will not come up with any kind of meaningful, represent-able list.
Like...I can think of general music styles and artists that would have had some influence...but not so much albums.

There was one album that influenced my desire to attempt to write/record solo, in my own home studio...and that album would be Paul McCartney's first solo album...and then also his second, one, "Ram".
That primarily opened my eyes to the possibility of a solo artist doing multitrack recording, and layering it/blending it all together into a finished product. Keep in mind, there was NO home recording yet at that time.
I was like...oh, so I don't need a band...but then, how do I play/record all those tracks at the same time...???
Before those McCartney solo albums (OK Linda and maybe a couple of other people contributed some stuff)... I just assumed a band would have to be in a commercial studio and all kinda recording together...etc.

Those thoughts stuck with me for a few years...and then when I started playing in bands more, I also started formulating my solo recording plans...and I then started recording, while still in one band or another, and when the last band brake up happened, I didn't really get upset anymore like with other band break-ups, because I then finally moved totally into my studio mentality and began recording a lot with my first rig...a 4-track/2-track setup and a small 8-channel mixer, and I learned about Simul-Sync, and how it was possible to record individual tracks and hear the previous ones, all at the same time.

Those were some of the most fun days, because everything was new, fresh, and always a process of discovery followed by total newbie satisfaction...and there wasn't much gear to fuck with...so it was all about arrangements and some creative bouncing, with not much else.... :)

...but...let me think some more about actual album influences on my style of writing and recording productions.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Formative:
Yes - Fragile
Cheap Trick - In Color
Def Lepard - Pyromania
Deep Purple - Come Taste The Band/Stormbringer (close tie there)
Stanley Clarke - School Daze
Dixie Dregs - Night of the Living Dregs
Rush - Caress of Steel
Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy
Queen - News of the World

What inspires me now:
PFR - Great Lengths
Building 429 - Listen To The Sound
7eventh Time Down - Alive In You
Mercy Me - Undone (couldn't stand Welcome to the New)
Pocket Full of Rocks - More Than Noise
33Miles - Today
Abandon - Searchlights
Doug Wiley - Now I Know Him
Casting Crowns - Thrive
Matthew West - The Story of Your Life
 

easlern

Boredom artist
This is fun. My list of favorites might be different but influence wise, these are some albums I cribbed ideas from for songs. Or ones that just stick with me and maybe influence more subtly.

The new pornographers, twin cinema
Marvin gaye, what's goin on
New music ensemble, music for 18 musicians
Spoon, gimme fiction
Hail social, eponymous
The war on drugs, lost in the dream
Penguin cafe orchestra, preludes airs and yodels
Tapes n tapes, the loon
Rachel's, systems/layers
Caribou, swim
 
Last edited:

easlern

Boredom artist
I realize now this may be of limited use because I never heard of most of these albums. But it gives me some stuff to listen to this week. . .
 

fat_fleet

Swollen Member
Rachel's, systems/layers

Cool band. Never heard that one but I listened to them alot like 20 years ago. Still have The Sea and the Bells and Music for Egon Shiele in the bins somewhere. The Rodan record is good too, and Tara Jane O'Neil's solo stuff (not sure if she was actually in Rachel's or just Rodan).
 

robgreen

no face
I realize now this may be of limited use because I never heard of most of these albums. But it gives me some stuff to listen to this week. . .

Not at all easlern. There's some stuff on your list that I know and enjoy. What's Going On's obviously a classic, I like War on Drugs and Spoon, Caribou are a firm favourite in our house and The Loon is an all round excellent record. For some reason I never bought anything by Tapes n' Tapes after that album by them, but everything about that album's great - production, playing, songwriting, energy all perfect.
 
Top