That One Album That Changed Your Life

“Life-changing” is a powerful phrase that I, for one, wouldn’t want to carelessly throw around. A record that deserves this attribution is one that does more than simply impress, teach something new or change perception. Listening to it and most importantly, “getting it” is an event of such proportions that the listener’s life will be…(bet you didn’t see this one coming) forever changed! In most cases that I’m familiar with, this said event took place when one’s most bound to be impressed and influenced – and that is, teenage. Two famous examples would be Slash hearing Aeromith’s ‘Rocks’ and suddenly deciding that he wants to play guitar for a living, and Brian Wilson getting his motivation to do ‘Pet Sounds’ after hearing The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’.

dark sideFor me, it was Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ that did it. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Cliché World! I’m your host, Ovidiu Boar. Seriously though, this album completely changed everything I knew about music at the time. Although, to be honest, I’ve never thought of it as an “album”, not in the traditional sense of the word anyway. To me, ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ is a whole different world, a journey capable of completely withdrawing me from reality for a good 43 minutes. It was both a way out of my day-to-day life and a lesson regarding it, exploring subjects such as money, war, passage of time or mental illness. That’s what impressed me the most when I first heard it, and that’s what also makes it timeless to my ears. Sure, I’ve heard all the songs a million times. Sure, I already know all of them by heart. But that doesn’t matter. What’s really important is the feeling of it – each time I press the play button, I feel like that 16-year old that can’t believe what he’s hearing again.

Pink Floyd’s masterpiece taught me the importance of listening to an album from start to finish and judging it as a whole. Many albums have impressed me since then, but few have punched me in the face and told me “You ain’t heard anything like this before, kiddo” quite like ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ did. And I’m sure many of us have experienced this at one time or another in their life. So, what’s your story? What record changed your life?

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8 replies

  1. And Dark Side is most definitely an album – not one to listen to on shuffle! The side one/two format works nicely with the jangling coins opening the second half.

    For me The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely was my gateway to music. Morrissey’s “Your Arsenal” followed shortly thereafter. They’re probably not as great as I think they are, but because they’re the albums that started it all for me, the nostalgia is a powerful force!

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    • Oh man, I could talk for hours about the album’s sequencing. I’ll just say that each transition from one song to the next is perfect and indispensable in its own way.

      Thanks for sharing that, and I agree about nostalgia being a powerful force.

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  2. Great choice for a life-changing album. It’s hard for me to pick just one, but the earliest one for me was Stevie Wonder’s “Songs In The Key Of Life.” I was 10 years old when it was released in 1976, obsessed with Kiss and miscellaneous Top 40 (which, back then, actually included some amazing songs that have stood the test of time). I still remember the first time I heard “I Wish” on the radio and not knowing what to make of it….just wanting to hear it anytime they played it. I had been taking drum lessons for two years at that point, and the groove just blew me away (still does). I think my parents bought me the album, which included two LPs & a 7″ with 4 additional songs. Talk about “sprawling.” The booklet included full lyrics and liner notes, and I became obsessed, listening to it every day and immersing myself in Stevie’s world. I actually didn’t start listening to his other classics until years later, but this remains a key album in my life.

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  3. Such a spectacular album. I’d love to have been around when it came out new and blew everyone’s minds.

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  4. Great post and I love Pink Floyd! For me, it was Journey when I first heard the song ‘Lights’ while watching the sun go down over Lake Michigan. It was magical!

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  5. It is a real good album Ovidiu, for a lot of reasons, the best being it moved you. Check out pre- ‘Darkside’ ‘Live at Pompei” and crank it up.

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