LT’s Top 5’s: Most Influential Albums

Headphones on stack of CDs


We all have those albums that serve as benchmarks for the musical tastes we enjoy today. Albums that we can look back on and say “oh, man, I remember where I was when I heard that album for the first time”, or, “that album was so important because it turned me on to _____ band or _____ kind of music.” Albums that, if we were to write out the history of our musical journey, the story could simply not be told without mentioning them.

They’re albums that transcend just putting on some head phones and pressing play on your Ipod, because they instantly transport us back to the place and time when we first crossed paths with that particular group or artist. We’re reminded of friends we had and good times we shared all while these albums seemed to serve as a soundtrack for the stage of life we just so happened to be in. Others may have served as an escape; something you could throw onto your stereo, close the door, and forget – even if but just for a few moments – the world outside.

Whatever the reason, however you came across them, and whoever they introduced you to after the fact, we all have those albums that, to us, are untouchable and have left their mark not just on our musical inclinations, but on our lives as well.

These are my such albums….


5. “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” – Coheed and Cambria



This album didn’t necessarily lead me to discover other bands like Coheed and Cambria, because there really isn’t anyone else like them. What it did do however, was turn me on to the amazeballs-ness that is “The Heed”. In the summer of 2008, whilst walking into a local Best Buy, I remembered the words of a close friend who told me to give these guys a shot. Not really knowing which album was better or even which one came first in their catalog, I settled on IKSSE:3, and my life would forever be altered. The title track from the album served as my “summer anthem”, as there was probably not a day that went by where I didn’t at least listen to it – if not the entire album. Since then, I’ve gone on to acquire each Coheed album, and while IKSSE:3 has since been replaced as my favorite album of their’s (Good Apollo Vol. 1 now holds that title), it still serves as a monumental album and a cornerstone of my library. “Man your own Jackhammer! Man your battle stations.”

Favorite Song: “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3”, duh!


4. “Moving Pictures” – Rush




Not only does this masterpiece make my top 5 most influential list, but it’s also my favorite album of all time period (but that’s a discussion for another day). Many would say that the album takes a back seat to other Rush titles due to “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” being overplayed, but to me there’s no such thing. Those two songs provide us with the quintessential Rush sound and I could listen to them all day everyday if I had to. Neil Peart himself said that this was the album where the Band found “their sound”. But why stop there? From front to back the album is filled with jaw-dropping musicianship as well as thought-provoking lyrics – both of which define Rush in a nutshell. “2112” was my first Rush album, but Moving Pictures will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the album that sent my feelings for the band through the stratosphere.

Favorite Song: “Which Hunt”


3. “Enema of the State” – Blink 182




As I’ve stated in previous versions of this column, I grew up in a fairly sheltered home where any and all music had to be “Mom-approved” if it were to be heard by these ears. As such, it wasn’t until around my Freshman year of high school before I began to make my own musical choices. Enema of the State was one of the first non parental-approved albums that came into my possession, and served as a flagship in my rebellion. Although, fearing my mother would stumble across it, I cleverly had a friend burn me a copy of his so as not to expose the giant “PA” sticker along with a couple of other glaring things that dear ol’ mom would not have cared for. As far as the band themselves go, yes they were very pop punk but to me it was the heaviest, fastest, and most obnoxious music I’d ever heard – thus why I loved it! I don’t play the album too often anymore, but every now and then a song from it will pop up on Pandora and I’m instantly transported back to the good ol’ days.

Favorite Song: “Dysentery Gary”


2. “Led Zeppelin IV” or “Zoso” – Led Zeppelin




Wanting to begin to separate myself from the “Korn’s” and “Disturbed’s” of the world – which were running rampant through my high school (though I still enjoy both to an extent today), I felt I needed to find something more sophisticated, more real. Enter: Led Zeppelin. I’d heard tales of the band’s heavy interpretation of the blue’s, and I decided to to give em’ a whirl. LZ IV was my first taste of the mighty Zeppelin, and it has since remained my favorite album from the band’s legendary catalog. From the moment “Black Dog” hits, to the last few notes of “When the Levee Breaks” (which, for the record, is the greatest LZ song ever), you’re inundated with superior musicianship and the classic “groove” that only Zeppelin could create. This album also lead to me discovering bands such as Black SabbathThe Who, and Pink Floyd among many others. I’m forever indebted to this band, and in particular this album.

Favorite Song: “When the Levee Breaks”, again, duh!


1. “Ride the Lightning” – Metallica


Ride The Lightning-1


It comes down to this: “For Whom the Bell Tolls” was the first Metallica song I’d ever heard, and after hearing it I knew I was home. I fell in love with the band, and I fell in love with Heavy Metal. The aggression, the speed, and the technical prowess were all mind blowing, and left me needing a change of underwear. The impact this band has had on not just me but the Metal community as whole, simply can’t be overstated.

Favorite Song: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”





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