10 records that changed my life:
(in biographical order)
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles...the start of it all. This was
the first record that I really loved. I used
to get it from my parents' record rack and played it
on their stereo over and over again.
Until I was 16 The Beatles were my absolutely favourite band and
I knew all the lyrics by heart and could play their songs on my keyboard.
I still think that their music--especially the late albums--is brilliant.
Madness - One Step Beyond
Some of my classmates had older brothers that listened
to Ska and so there was a phase in the 7th grade (when
we were 13 or so) when we all started listening to Ska
stuff like The Busters, The Toasters and (of course)
It was one of the first records I bought that was not mainstream
80s music or stuff from my parents' record collection.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
What a band and what an album! The first time that I heard the Chili Peppers
was on a radio show that introduced their album "Mother's Milk" when it came out in 1989.
I liked the music but forgot about the band again. When two years later
this record came out I just loved it, although I didn't like the video for "Under The Bridge"
in the beginning because it was sort of über-hyped on MTV. But "Give It Away"
was just brilliant: a great video and a great song to jump around to on parties.
personally, this record was what "Nevermind" was for many people: it was the start into the 90s (the 80s
were definitely over now), it opened the door for crossover (and independent music in general) for me
and it was a time where you would drive (a few people already had driving licenses) to parties or clubs
and just dance and jump around to "Give It Away", "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Killing In The Name Of".
The Cure - Disintegration
This was the start of my goth career (followed by my
time as a rivethead) and it has a brilliant story:
Together with a couple of good friends from school we
were on holidays in Riccione, Italy, where I met my
first girl-friend. One day I had a discussion with my
best friend Reiner about music and he said, it was a
pity, that although I had a good taste in music (basically
we both liked Lenny Kravitz and the Chili Peppers etc.)
I didn't like the Cure. So I told him he should do a
Cure tape for me, but he replied, that this wasn't the
time for me to listen to such music (as I was a happy
teenager in love :-)). So we agreed that I would get a
tape when my girl-friend and I would break up. Three
months later, on the 18th of October 1993, I called him
and just said: "I need a cure." He understood and said
I should come to his place, where I got my first Cure
tape. My favourite song at that time was
"Homesick": "I forget how to move, when my mouth is this
dry, and my eyes are bursting hearts in a blood-stained sky."
Aaaaah, just great...
Deine Lakaien - Forest Enter Exit
It was just a week after I got the "Disintegration" that I went to my first
concert (or more precisely: the first concert where I bought the ticket myself, i.e., if you don't count the concert
of the Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung in 1988 which I still think
was great, but somehow...mmmh...different :-)). It was: Deine Lakaien live in the Hunky Dory in
Detmold. It was the start of a time where we used to go to goth clubs near my home town Paderborn,
namely the PC69 in Bielefeld on fridays or the Hunky Dory on saturdays: dressed in black
and dancing the whole night through.
This is the best album by Deine Lakaien and one of the best that emerged from the German
Goth/Electro/Dark Wave scene which was at its peak (concerning creativity) at that time.
KMFDM - NIHIL
KMFDM: still one of my favourite bands ever. NIHIL: still one of the best
albums (if not the best) ever. It was Friday, the 5th of May 1995, the day
before my first Abitur exam. I had studied and rehearsed for weeks, preparing
myself for the final exams in school. On this day I just couldn't take it anymore and felt
that I had to stop my mind from going round and round the same subjects to be relaxed enough
for the exam. So I just got into the car and drove to my favourite music shop looking for
some CD as a reward for all the stress of the last weeks and as a motivation for the stress
that was still to come. As I had taped two great Industrial albums a few weeks earlier, "II - The Final
Option" by Die Krupps and "ANGST" by KMFDM, I was happily surprised to find out that KMFDM had
just released a new album and bought it right away. After turning it up real loud on my stereo
that afternoon my physics exam on the next day went smoothly.
ADMIT AND DEFEND YOUR EMOTIONS 'COZ THEY SEND
OUT THE MESSAGE THAT IT'S YOU AND THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT'S TRUE
Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy
It was on a saturday night in the autumn of 1997 when I came home from a club or pub and I
didn't want to go to bed yet and switched on the TV and saw the excellent "Come To Daddy"
performed by the Aphex Twin Richard D. James and directed by Chris Cunningham. I was hooked
immediately and bought the CD a couple of days later. At that time I was writing for two
goth fanzines and I was really bored by almost everything that came out in the Electro/EBM/Synth-Pop sector
because the bands sounded like the 20th copy of Skinny Puppy or Front 242. So
I was waiting for something that could surprise and fascinate me...and this was it! It
was the proof that there was still a possiblity to do intelligent, creative and aggressive
I used to take it with me into the clubs I went (because the DJs in goth clubs usually didn't
have any Aphex Twin) and forced the DJs (mainly by annoying them with my requests) to play it.
One DJane asked Stefan and me if we made that song ourselves because we were the only ones that
danced and because the music sounded so "cheap and unprofessionel"...gosh!
Robbie Williams - Let Me Entertain You
Oh I used to hate this song when it came out. An important reason for that was that, of course,
you just didn't listen to Take That (and thus also not to Robbie Williams) if you wanted to be taken
seriously concerning your taste in music. But when I came to Sheffield in the September of 1998 everybody
there just loved Robbie Williams and especially this song. You couldn't go to a students' club or party
where they wouldn't play it. So I figured out pretty soon that I had two options: either I would be annoyed
on almost every party (and worse: I would be the only one to be annoyed while all the others partied like hell)
or I could like that song. So I chose to like it and it became (one of) the anthem(s) of our legendary
party flat S in Crewe Flats. Our parties there usually got started with "I Will Survive" and Julie and me
dancing on the table...after that everybody joined in and "Let Me Entertain You" was always one of the
highlights of the night - especially Peter had his best performances during this song.
Manu Chao - Clandestino
I first heard this album when my French flatmate Julie put it on after the main party in our
flat had stopped and she started a sort of after hour. Bad luck for her, because she had to dance
Salsa with Chris, he he ;-) But what I really wanted to say: I liked the first four songs but
afterwards I got a bit bored by the songs. But because I liked the first few songs I taped them and when
I was back in Germany I kept rewinding the tape just for these four songs. So it was pretty
obvious that I had to buy it and I did so when I visited my girl-friend at that time, Paula, in Granada.
After I moved together with Stefan I also infected him with the "puta's fever" and "Clandestino" was
the CD we played most often in our flat, in particular for Super-Pizza cooking sessions! So this CD really
accompanied a great and important time in my life: from legendary party flat S in Sheffield over the
great time with Paula to the equally legendary Wilhelmstraße!
Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin 12"
This was one of the records that triggered my obsession with 12" versions of 80s hits
and with the Pet Shop Boys in particular. I had started to collect and listen to 80s music
excessively when I started doing 80s parties as a DJ in 1997. But in the spring of 2000
Stefan and I started to go to the flea market at the Universität Dortmund regularly
and we realized pretty quickly that we could buy a bunch of Special Extended Maximum Disco Dance
Remixes of our favourite 80s tunes which are hard to get on CD (if at all) for very little
money if you would just take the time to look through the thousands of vinyl records that
are being offered on the flea market every week. So a typical great saturday looked like this:
cycle to university and buy like 20 records for about 15 EUR--go to the supermarket to get
some food for the evening--put on all the great 12" versions while preparing dinner (probably
tomatoes and mozarella and Pizza or pancakes). I really miss those weekends. If I get the chance
to go to that flea market now it usually results in a ridiculously heavy bag that I can hardly
carry from the train station in Vienna to my office...