The Beatles (The White Album)
The Beatles (Apple, 1968)
"What year did this come out? I think I was a glimpse of hope in my parents' eyes but this has some of my favourite Beatles songs on it: 'Blackbird', 'Revolution #9', 'Revolution', 'Helter Skelter'. It's funny to imagine those four cute little Beatles years later on LSD. Where did they go wrong, writing something like 'Helter Skelter' and influencing Charles Manson? I'd call this timeless."
The B52's (Warner, 1979)
"I remember seeing the B52's on 'Saturday Night Live' and this introduced me to the world of weird music. I was young, my parents were asleep. Songs like '52 Girls', 'Rock Lobster', of course...they definitely opened up a whole new world to me."
Led Zeppelin (Atlantic, 1982)
"Led Zeppelin completely moulded the way I play the drums. No one can deny that band anything. All their albums are great. I prefer 'Houses Of The Holy' and 'In Through The Out Door' to their first two, but 'Coda' was the best, 'cos 'Bonzo's Montreux' was on it - John Bonham's one drum symphony. I stayed up many a night working on that one. I'll play it for you right now if you want!"
Rock For Light
Bad Brains (PVC, 1983)
"This might be my all-time favourite record. It was the first time I'd heard a hardcore band that had that supreme musicianship, but kept it kind of simple - four black guys from Washington DC who laid every other hardcore punk rock band to waste. They were amazing. They were Rastafarians, so they'd throw in a little bit of reggae just to mellow out the punks or something. And they were the most amazing live band in the world. They're just great. Really, really, really, really great."
Yo! Bum Rush The Show
Public Enemy (Def Jam, 1987)
"A total revolution in hip-hop. And the duality of Flavor Flav and Chuck D is just amazing, man. It's necessary, almost, that someone as heavy and right on as Chuck D should have some sort of relief. The sounds on this record, and their lyrics about their 98 Oldsmobile's…they just seemed like this gang with their own scene. I went to see a Public Enemy show in Malcolm X Park one time and somebody heard a gunshot and everybody ran. DC was the murder capital back then. It got pretty spooky."
Gluey Porch Treatments
The Melvins (Boner, 1987)
"The Melvins started off as this fast, hardcore punk rock band, but then turned into this sludgy Black Sabbath metal militia that they knew everyone would hate. They started playing as slow as they could because everyone screamed for them to play faster - just to piss everyone off. They were the kings of that whole bratty nature of punk. It's kind of a basement production job, but it sounds heavier than any fuckin' Dio or Slayer record I ever heard."
The Pixies (4AD, 1988)
"It was so necessary at that time for someone to incorporate elements of quirky, weird punk into sweet pop. It influenced a whole generation of bands, which then influenced a whole generation, so this album is probably one of the most influential albums of the last 15 years. It probably made Steve Albini most famous for his production too. Nirvana always made sure everyone knew we were just ripping off the Pixies."
The Winding Sheet
Mark Lanegan (Sub Pop, 1992)
"Oh man, it's the most beautiful record. It's a Sunday morning, acoustic, soulful blues record. The guy has so much soul and the most beautiful voice. You imagine this is what your heart would sound like if it could sing, it's so fuckin' beautiful. This album came out just after I moved to Seattle, so to me it represents that whole time. Mark sang for the Screaming Trees, so he had his flipside, but there was also a lot of appreciation in Seattle at that time for the purity and truth of real music."
Frank Black (4AD, 1993)
"I listened to this far too much. I thought for a moment that he would be this huge pop star and finally get his due. There are some great songs on this, but his music is just quirky enough that it will never translate to a huge audience. A long time had passed since 'Surfer Rosa' and this was probably his most cohesive pop album yet. There's Bowie in there, all sorts of influences and sometimes it was more raw and fucked-up than ever. As a lyricist, he was truly great. So witty and weird."
Blues For The Red Sun
Kyuss (Warner, 1993)
"Oh my God! This album changed my life. I was 24 and something about the grooves and the guitar sounds and the drums and the bass made this new noise that kinda sounded familiar, like you'd heard it in the early Seventies, but you'd never heard it that good. They reinvented this genre of music, Seventies hard rock."