First off, I have to admit that I’m guilty of thinking that I had great musical taste early on. Very mainstream of course. But then, I was eight. The only person I know of that was kicking it underground and living the hedonistic lifestyle at nine years of age was Drew Barrymore. And look what happens if you use that as a blueprint. That’s right, you end up marrying Tom Green, albeit briefly. And making films like 50 First Dates. Anyway, I digress…
I was always very proud to state that the first two tapes I ever bought for myself were U2’s The Joshua Tree and Midnight Oil’s Diesel And Dust. I was proud of these, not because they were/are “classic albums” (though I’m both sure Joshua Tree counts and certain I don’t really need/want to ever hear it again). But two pretty good albums to own first up. I went on to own them on tape, CD and now vinyl. I love Midnight Oil, own everything they’ve ever done. I liked U2 for a while and in a weak moment I’ll still aim for their early years. I think Unforgettable Fire is a gem. I am not interested in Save The World Bono or Stadium Bono. But I am happy enough the first two albums I owned were Joshua Tree and Diesel and Dust. Good enough taste for me to have at nine and ten and eleven years old…
Ah, but I am rewriting history here. Or at least being a bit deceptive. Because around the same time I also, of my own freewill, purchased a cassette tape by some ginga from the UK named Rick Astley. Yip, Jason Donovan was not for me. I mocked Milli Vanilli and early Kylie Minogue. I side-stepped Bros. But I owned Rick Astley. And I was never gonna give him up, well, not for a few months.
I guess it is almost ironic/post-modern cool in the wake of the Rickroll phenomenon. No, that’s not true. Rick Astley was and is awful. I back this up having heard that as recently as a few years ago he was at a party somewhere in England. And he stood by the stereo mocking all of the music that was being played. A few of the party guests were wondering who he was. And starting to twitter. (And this was pre-Twitter, I mean the old-fashioned twittering of gossip and whispers). It couldn’t be? Could it? And then Mr Astley canned whatever was playing on the stereo at someone else’s house and pulled out a CD-R of his latest material, some stuff he’d “been working on”. And chucked it on for all to scrutinize. He was, quite literally, laughed out of the building. Apparently. Poor Rick Astley.
Poor me for owning his album and (finally) admitting it.
I can’t provide a definitive Top Five. Memory doesn’t serve me well enough here. It usually does. But I can get close enough to the Top 5 of that time. There’s the three I’ve already mentioned. And also around this time I bought John Mellencamp’s Lonesome Jubilee. Again, not totally embarrassing – not embarrassing at all really. But not a total classic album. It’s pretty good I’m sure, and I think I would probably listen to it again some day (I am pretty sure I have the LP now). Anyway, so that’s four. And I can’t think of anything else terrible from the mid-to-late-80s (shock, horror; of course there are so many options) that made it immediately in to my collection.
But I do remember buying MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em on cassette tape as soon as it came out! I remember paying something mental like $20 (at the time!) for it.
So, my first five albums (all on tape) for the purposes of this entry are/were:
1) U2: The Joshua Tree
2) Midnight Oil: Diesel And Dust
3) Rick Astley: Whenever You Need Somebody
4) John Cougar Mellencamp: The Lonesome Jubilee
5) MC Hammer: Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Right, that’s my purge. What were your first few (five max) albums? And remember, it has to be the albums you knowingly, willingly bought yourself. Not hand-me-downs from older brothers, not birthday gifts from relatives that hardly knew you. Admit to the first few albums you owned (and what format: vinyl/tape/CD/Mp3…and for some of the readers 10” cylinder…)