Post The 10 Albums that changed your life...


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 30, 2002
Pasadena, CA
A great album is something that you have a deep relationship with, it stays with despite the trends, and despite your growth. I know I have 10 albums that I could say will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Here is a list of 10 Albums that changed my life:

10. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones:
That voice can make a grown man cry.
9. Central Reservation - Beth Orton:
This entire record is an emotional tidal wave, that grabs you from the start to the end.
8. White Ladder - David Gray:
There is something so intimate and stoic about a man and his guitar.
7. Mixed Up - The Cure:
I didn't like The Cure until I discovered this album of remixes. It changed my life.
6. Amplified Heart - Everything But The Girl
An often-overlooked album that wrenches at your heart, twisting for every drop.
5. Laid - James
Tim Booths' voice just hypnotizes you in this whole entire album. Amazing!
4. Kid A - Radiohead
After listening to this album, I haven't been the same...
3. Transatlanticsm - Death Cab For Cutie
I discovered this album around the time that I was recovering from a long distance relationship, what a coincidence...
2. August and Everything After... - Counting Crows
This CD hasn't left my car in over 10 years.
1. Parachutes - Coldplay
You know how people can remember where they were when they first heard of JFK assassination or when the twin towers fell? I still remember vividly the first time I heard this album as I sat in the dreaded L.A. traffic, with my jaws dropping....


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
i dont think that i have ten to list so i will just list a few:

5. This Type of Thinking... by Chevelle this album allows me to vent my frustrations and any anger, helps me think things through when im frustrated, ive only had it a short time but i can already see that it will stay with me forever

4. Still by Nine Inch Nails stripped down versions of some of the more touching songs NIN has done, i am glad i found it because it shows a raw emotion that can make me cry at times

3. Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle This album is a movement of recovery from addiction, it helps me to come back from the hard times in life

2. The Fragile - Nine Inch Nails another touching, moving album, spread over two cds this album broadened my horizons and gave me just another way to look at the world

1. Lateralus by Tool this is just an amazing album that has changed the way i look at the world both musically and spiritually, very deep and powerful, i listen to it all the time and it will always be an album that touches a part of me deep down inside


macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
visiting from downstream
In no specific order:

Peter Gabriel - So
Amazing album, every song a classic. Plus I can sing along...

The Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky
One of the first albums I ever bought... Old And Wise is one of my favorite songs ever.

Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Bach
I listened to the LP of this quite a bit growing up... I love classical music AND synth music, so this is a great combination of the two.

Rob Dougan - Furious Angels
Two years later, this CD is STILL in my car's CD changer. Dougan is a genius.

Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing
I love listening to Sarah McLachlan... listening to this CD reminds me of when I was in Seattle ('98-'99), one of the happiest times of my life so far.

Mike + The Mechanics - Mike + The Mechanics
Understated, but a classic CD.

Don Davis et al - The Matrix Revolutions (Soundtrack)
I'm one of the few people who really liked all three Matrix movies, and the score of this movie is one of the better ones I've ever heard.

Enya - Shepherd Moons
My first exposure to Enya... heard Caribbean Blue when I came to Charlotte to interview with Microsoft. I wish she'd release more work...

Moby - Play
The song My Weakness is another of my favorite songs of all time... heard it during the X-Files episode where Mulder finally lets go of his sister.

Mike Oldfield - The Songs Of Distant Earth
Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's novel of the same name... I love listening to this CD.


macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
10 is too many. I think it took half that to derail my sorry ass. Not necessarily my favourite albums, either - these are just those of significance, which led me onto other things. Gateway drugs, if you will.

Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine.
-- this is where it all started.
Skinny Puppy - Remission
-- came like a kick to the groin.
Alice in Chains - Facelift
-- reminded me metal was pretty ****'in awesome, too.
Nine inch nails - Fixed EP
-- introduced me to noise. Is a good thing (and still my favourite work by said artist).
Ministry - Psalm 69
-- for kicks, man. For kicks. Back in the day when I couldn't get into my local 'rock' club without borrowing my friend's leather coat... those were the days, old Manson, Ministry, Faith no more, Fear factory... hell, I even danced to Green day. But Psalm 69 is the evil, feel-good daddy.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
I don't think there are 10 albums that really changed my life... but a few had quite an impact...

In 1979 my father was in England and brought back London Calling by The Clash and The Wall by Pink Floyd. I was 9 years old and the musical world changed forever... fast forward 3 years, to 1982 and I was on holiday in London and bought myself The Gift by The Jam and Anthem by Toyah.

Songs from those albums formed much of my musical taste, forever... and I still play songs from at least one of those albums every single day...


Jul 9, 2000
1) Glenn Miller's Greatest Hits
-a 78 rpm record which made me realize that i love music but i was sad that since he was dead, there was no way i could see him in concert

2) John Denver's Greatest Hits
-the first artist i was really into who was, gasp, alive and still in the business...unfortunately, i never got to see him

3) Jim Croce's Greatest Hits
-i was blown away by his depth and later discovered singer/songwriters like springsteen, david wilcox, and joni mitchell

4) Kiss Alive II
-this was my introduction to hard rock and power ballads and started me on the path to being a musician...led zep and deep purple followed

5) Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat
-new wave and a real break from classic rock and roll

6) Indigo Girls
-sophisticated, thought provoking folk

7) Tracy Chapman
-the most perfect record i have ever heard from beginning to end

8) Eagles Hotel California
-where i discovered the genius of Don Henley

9) Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bullocks
-the first widely distributed punk rock, along with the Clash and Ramones

10) Der Ring by Richard Wagner
-the ultimate epic opera

though these are the albums that changed my life, i most prefer to listen to frederick chopin and bebop and cool jazz, but no particular albums

i also later discovered the beatles and the stones, but as a 2nd generation fan and the individual songs by these masters, and others like the beach boys, put a major impression on me


macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
back in NYC!
1) Paint the Sky With Stars - Enya
Grew up listening to this, still do.

2) The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
This CD brought my to Lauryn Hill's music.

3) Lauryn Hill Unplugged
This album has taught me so many things about life, and how I shouldn't let other people put me in a box.

4) II - Boys II Men

I also grew up listening to this, and other BIIM music. Good music to grow up to.

5) Bjork in general

I can't really pinpoint a Bjork album that has effected me the most. She has taught my that conforming doesn't equate to greatness - the opposite, in fact.

When I was thinking of artists for this Lauryn Hill immediately came to mind. She has affected me in more ways that anyone could imagine. Her rawness and bravery in her lyrics are inspiring to anyone with a pulse. Next, artists that I grew up with came to mind, but so many of them don't have albums that have particularely affected me. Music has always been an especially significant part of my life, and I have very fond memories of listening to Ace of Base, Mariah Carey, Coolio, Alanis Morisette, etc. All of those artists have had a very profound effect in my life, and I feel bad that I can't put them all on that list. Next came Bjork, because creativity is always inspiring.



macrumors 603
I preface this by stating these are albums that I listen to beginning to end. They tell stories, they flow musically and lyrically.

Phil Collins - Face Value
Indigo Girls - 1200 Curfews I had never listened to them before this album, I bought the others after I heard it
The Police - Regatta de Blanc
Prince - Dirty Mind
Prince - Purple Rain
The Smithereens - Especially for You
Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas
U2 - Joshua Tree
10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe
Jesus Christ Superstar - Movie Soundtrack
Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Greatest Hits
Heart - Dreamboat Annie
Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run
R.E.M. - Life's Rich Pageant
Rickie Lee Jones - self titled
Sting - The Dream of the Blue Turtles

OK that's more than ten, but I've got a few years on some of you as witnessed by the above list of ancient tunes.

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
Brian Eno -- Ambient 1: Music for Airports
Music that doesn't demand attention, massively influential. Permanently hooked me to the works of Brain One and collaborators.

Heart -- Dreamboat Annie
Warmed-over Led Zep riffs but the girls will rock. School daze fave as was...

Boston -- Boston
The album that defined a long hot summer when I was 13 or 14. Usually followed by Peter Frampton's 'Do you feel like I do' on the radio...

Kraftwerk -- Autobahn
Can't express how different, how radical, how alien but fresh this sounded at the time. Started a love-affair that persists to this day.

Keith Jarrett -- The Koln Concert
Defined yet another summer, a little older this time, improv jazz-blues piano classicism.

Simple Minds -- New Gold Dream
The year I left home, went flatting and smoked my first joint.
'81, '82, '83, '84...

Stanley Clarke -- Rocks, pebbles and sand
The album that briefly had me trying my chops on a tatty old electric bass.

Talk Talk -- Spirit of Eden
Mark Hollis & co. change music for ever.

Goldie -- Timeless
London: Summer 1990. Designing flyers, I fell in with a fast and loose crowd organising raves in Clapham, Battersea. Took my first E, went to a blues party, then to the venue... WTF is this music? Dub lines, breakbeats & techno? Genius! My passion for drum and bass was ignited... this album merely represents all those killer choons scattered across countless CDs.

The Eels -- Beautiful Freak
An album for tough times full of heartbreak.


macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
Hmm...I'll struggle to get to 10 but here goes:

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - Midnight Oil
Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix
Kick - INXS
Out of Time - REM
Nevermind - Nirvana
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Joshua Tree - U2
Internationalist - Powderfinger
Hotel California - The Eagles
Temple of Low Men - Crowded House

Well, what do you know...I got to 10 after all :D.

Any self-taught guitarists might recognise a few of these as well :).


macrumors G5
Well damn. Read this thread and now I'm $150 poorer courtesy of ITMS. :rolleyes: Thanks a bunch, gang... ;)

Would have been much more other than the Canadian ITMS having so many un-purchasable partial albums and puzzling missing in action albums and artists...

Is it just me or have they turned off single-track purchases altogether on the Canadian store?? I may be woefully out of touch.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
London, England
Hmmm...I must be shallow :eek:

I love music, and listen to it all the time. I like all sorts of music and generally know the lyrics and things...but...none of it ever "gets" to me so as I'd say it effects my life in anyway, or I associate it to anything.


macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
jefhatfield said:
10) Der Ring by Richard Wagner
-the ultimate epic opera
That's one seriously long "album"! Of course it would be on my list too. :) I'm in a Wagner kind of mood right now; Twilight of the Gods is on in London tomorrow.


macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
here's 5 as 10 would take me toooo long to workout

5 : Depeche Mode- the singles 1986 - 1998

4 : Tori Amos - talula

3 : Nirvana - nirvana

2 : Bjork - post

1 : Bjork - debut


macrumors regular
Nov 28, 2002
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
1. Where have I known you before, Return To Forever - I grew up listening to this one. When I was a kid, I listend to it almost every day.

2. Graceland, Paul Simon - This one introduced me to African music, which became one of my major obsessions. Before Graceland, I didn't even like Paul Simon.

3. Synchronicity, The Police

4. Rastaman Vibration, Bob Marley & the Wailers - the first reggae album I bought

5. Watermark, Enya

6. Purple Rain, Prince

7. Nelson Mandela, Youssou N'dour - this was the first "World Music" album I bought.

8. Never Mind The Bollocks, Sex Pistols - this was the first punk album I've heard.

9. Remember Two Things, Dave Matthews Band - this one introduced me to DMB.

10. Face Value, Phil Collins - When it first came out, I listened to this one continuously.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
edesignuk said:
Hmmm...I must be shallow :eek:

I love music, and listen to it all the time. I like all sorts of music and generally know the lyrics and things...but...none of it ever "gets" to me so as I'd say it effects my life in anyway, or I associate it to anything.
I would agree with you, I wouldn't say these albums changed my life.

However, these are all great albums - some I associate with certain ideas/concepts or significant periods in my life. Here there are in no particular order. Some have comments, some do not.

1. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind - My favorite rock album - reminds me of my college days.

2. Nickel Creek - Nickel Creek - Beautiful music, beautiful singing, especially the harmonies - amazing album.

3. Ben Folds - Ben Folds Live - I like nearly all of Ben Folds Five/Ben Folds solo material, but none of the studio albums seem as solid as this collection of songs.

4. Dave Matthews Band - Crash

5. Green Day - American Idiot - It's a little early to be certain of this one, but I've been listening to it a lot, lately. Great rock album and a good summary of the current state of American culture, IMO. Very profound.

6. Sarah McLachlan - Solace - These next five albums are just primary examples of artists putitng their emotion and themselves into their music.

7. Counting Crows - Across a Wire - This album is just filled with amazing renditions of their songs, filled with soul.

8. Sarah Harmer - You Were Here - Poetry set to music and her voice is so natural and unforced - simply beautiful.

9. Jesse Malin - The Fine Art of Self Destruction - A little dark and somber, but very touching.

10. David Gray - White Ladder


macrumors 68000
the beatles-revovler my mother bought me this album when it came out in '66 and though i was only 5 i knew immediately that writing/producing records would be my future.

george gershwin-rhapsody in blue actually, it was my mom playing it on the piano but it blew my mind...followed by " it ain't necessarily so".

wendy carlos-switched on bach this record bridged the gap in my mind between my classical training and my desire to explore synthesizers. ntm, bach is in my opinion the best composer-ever.

rick wakeman-six wives of henry the VIII ok, classical rock on synths, hammond and you're talking. within months there was a hammond, clav and minimoog sitting next to the family piano.

led zeppelin-physical graffiti the record was great but after seeing the concert i knew that louder WAS better...

the cars- the cars may of 1978, i was driving between denton and dallas..targa top off on a beautiful summer day. the opening chords of " let the good times roll" blast out and i knew that music was going someplace new, different and wonderful. when the stacks of vocals came in...holy cow. roy thomas baker had just leap-frogged george martin.

squeeze-pulling mussels from the shell 1980, driving thru my college campus for the first time and the college station played this. it was like a soundtrack...just perfect.

depeche mode-a broken frame beautifully dark music for a period of wonderfully dark exploration. i'll leave it at that.

counting crows-august and everything after after 12 months in los angeles writing and producing i felt physically and emotionally lost. i met a carefree california girl who liked to talk and watch the waves. one day i ran into her and she handed me a tape and said "this will change your life". it did.

zero 7-when it falls after basically retiring to chase my kids, i had grown disconnected from music-which had been such a large part of my life. a couple of dear friends dragged me to see this band of which i'd never heard. i was truly moved by the amazing music and the absolutely cosmic vibe of the crowd. its no overstatement to say that night changed my life.


macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2005
i think 10 might be too just going to list what comes to the top of my head.

together alone - crowded house
achtung baby - u2
nevermind - nirvana
no code - pearl jam
ok computer - radiohead
murray street - sonic youth
essential miles davis - miles davis
time and tide - split enz
globe sessions - sheryl crow
( ) - sigur ros
who's next - the who

heh, well i made eleven. :p


macrumors member
Apr 1, 2005
Manchester UK
The Beatles -White Album
Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
Neil Young - After The Goldrush
Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life
Nevermind - Nirvana
Beach Boys - Surfs Up
OK Computer - Radiohead
Kind Of Blue - Miles Davis
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
U2 - Achtung Baby


macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
To come up with the absolute top 10 would take quite a bit of thought, but here's some that really did have a very big impact.

Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin

Duke - Genesis

Machine Head - Deep Purple

Made In Japan - Deep Purple

Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin

Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

Houses Of The Holy - Led Zeppelin

Strikes Twice - Larry Carlton

Captain Fingers - Lee Ritenour

Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young

Never Mind The Bollocks - Sex Pistols

wrc fan

macrumors 65816
These are albums that changed my life as the title says, not nessesarily my 10 favorite.

10. Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Guns N' Roses was my first favorite band. I remember watching their videos on MTV with my sister. Good times.

9. Thrice - The Illusion of Safety
My music taste started changing when I first heard this album. I don't know why, but I really love this album and listen to it constantly even though it's now a couple years old. I haven't listend to any of Thrice's newer stuff though.

8. Operation Ivy - Energy
I think every punk rocker teenager listens to this album (or the Op Ivy comp that contains this album and other songs). Op Ivy is so defined in my head in a time when I was really into punk and ska. It brings me back to my high school years and being in a band.

7. Live - Throwing Copper
This was the first "Alternative" band I liked, and also the first band who's concert I went to. This album defines my middle school years.

6. Radiohead - The Bends
I love all of Radiohead's albums, but this one introduced me to them. So just because of that it gets ranked so high.

5. The Clash - Combat Rock
This album introduced me to The Clash, who is now my favorite band. Although this album isn't my favorite Clash album.

4. The Get Up Kids - Woodson EP
This is only ranked so high because of the song "A Newfound Interest in Massachusetts" but that's how much this one song impacted my life. I came accross this album whilst I was living in Seattle and my (now ex-)girlfriend was in San Francisco and it just spoke so much to me. It's probably my favorite song in total.

3. Rancid - And Out Come the Wolves...
This album introduced me to punk rock, which shaped my high school years. Back then punk music was a huge part of my life, now I hardly ever listen to it.

2. Weezer - Weezer (the blue album)
I think this is the greatest album of my lifetime and that Weezer is the greatest band of my lifetime. Ok that might be over-exagerating it, but I love this album, Pinkerton and the Green Album. I haven't really listened to any newer ones, but these are so great the rest don't matter.

1. MxPx - Life In General
I can't stand this album. Yeah a weird way to start your number one, eh? This album was what brought my ex-girlfriend and I together. "Move to Bremmerton" was like our song if people still do that sort of stuff. It was my way of introducing her into the world of punk music by giving her some pop-punk. We probably listened to it thousands of times in the 10+ years we knew each other (we only dated for 6 though). Now I can't stand any of MxPx's music.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2004
West Valley City, Utah
10. The Cure - Galore
9. Wedding Singer Soundtrack
These CDs made me aware that I am, indeed, a pretty big fan of 80s
New Wave.
8. The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We
The First CD that I ever bought on my own ushering me into the CD era.
7. Billboards Greatest Hits - 1981 through 1989
9 CDs that got me through high school.
6. DJ Tiesto - Magik 5 - Heaven Beyond
First Electronica CD I ever got. Also made me aware of how much I like
5. The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
Received as gift. Ushered in my Beatles kick which lasted though high
4. Ben Folds Five - The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner
3. Ben Folds Five - Whatever And Ever, Amen
Finally, a group who vocalizes the problems of us middle class white
2. The Beatles - Abbey Road
Still, one of my all time favorite albums.
1. The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
I can still remember where I was when I first heard "Walk Away
Renee". 1997. I was dropping off a friend at his house after school and
as I was leaving, the song came on the radio. Still my favorite song of
all time and obviously plays a part in my life (see user name).


macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2002
Boogie-Down Berlintown
Underworld - "DubNoBassWithMyHeadMan"
- I don't know what to say or HOW it affected me... but it certainly does, evertytime I put it on

UNKLE - "Psyence Fiction"
- this album was the reason why I bought my MPC 2000xl and started to listen to obscure funk and breaks from the 60s and 70s

Kemistry & Storm - "Studio !K7 DJ-Kicks"
- where I'm from, no one listened to Drum'n'Bass. When I heard the bassline of Dom & Roland's "Trauma" opening the set, I knew that this was the kind of music I was always looking for... that was the day when rock was dead for me...

Santana - "Santana I"
- the percussion, the basslines... wow made me start to play bass guitar as a teen...



macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
visiting from downstream
3rdpath said:
wendy carlos-switched on bach this record bridged the gap in my mind between my classical training and my desire to explore synthesizers. ntm, bach is in my opinion the best composer-ever.
Cool that two of us so far have listed this. My dad's LP actually says "Walter Carlos" on it... it came out pre- his gender reassignment (Walter is now Wendy).