Steve Brown of Trixter: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Photo courtesy of Steve Brown. Photo by Jay Abend GFS

Depending on when you stumbled upon Steve Brown’s rare blend of shredding chops, energizing stage presence, and uber-melodic songsmith, you might say that he’s best known for his work with Trixter. And that’s fair, given the quality of records like 1990’s Trixter, 1992’s Hear, and 1994’s Undercovers, and more modern albums, 2012’s New Audio Machine, and 2015’s Human Era.

But his exploits didn’t stop there, and the feisty yet affable New Jersey native has also shared the stage with Def Leppard, Danger Danger, Ace Frehley, released some solo singles, like “One To Lean On,” and most recently, dropped two memorable records with supergroup Tokyo Motorfist in 2017’s Tokyo Motorfist, and 2020’s Lions.

All this is to say that Steve Brown’s musical well is endless. As a guitar player, he’s first-rate, with skills bred in hard rock, pop, and classical music. But that’s not all, as his songwriting and skills behind the boards as a producer stand chest-to-chest with his outright ability to tear up his trusty Super Strat’s fretboard.

Production, session work, and Trixter aside, Brown can often be found alongside his former bandmate and lifelong friend, Trixter bassist P.J. Farley, playing acoustic shows. And lately, when he’s not giving his line of SBS Guitars attention, he can be found alongside fellow rocker, Ace Frehley, providing juice to the Spaceman’s upcoming record, 10,000 Volts.

So, yes, Steve Brown is a busy man, that much we know. But not so busy that he couldn’t dial in with to take us on a journey recounting the ten albums that changed his life.

Steve Brown of Trixter: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Steve Brown of Trixter: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Photo courtesy of Steve Brown. Photo by Jay Abend GFS

# 10 – Abbey Road – The Beatles (1969)

As far as influential records for me, number ten has to be Abbey Road by The Beatles. This is by far one of the greatest pop-rock records ever made. It was made toward the end of the ’60s, and I believe they recorded this on 16-track, 2-inch tape. So, the production doesn’t sound outdated like a lot of their earlier records from the early ’60s when they were using 4-inch tape. I believe once they got to Sgt. Pepper, they used 8-track tape, but with Abbey Road, even in this day and age, it still sounds current and doesn’t sound old.

But as far as songwriting goes, it doesn’t get much better than The Beatles—especially on Abbey Road. It’s got some of the greatest songs ever written, and John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison really shine here. If you look at “Something,” that’s probably one of the greatest pop songs ever written. And again, it’s just a magical record that, when I was a kid, was always playing in my house. My parents always had the stereo going when they’d come home from work, and Abbey Road was one of those records that was always playing.

That said, it was until 1988 or ’89 that I was given a CD by an A&R guy at a record label. This would have been when Trixter was about to get signed, and he said, “Steve, you need to listen to this CD every day and learn about songwriting from this.” His name was Tim Carr; he worked at Capitol Records and almost signed Trixter. But I’m forever grateful to Tim for giving me the CD because, in the ’80s, I was really listening to much Beatles music, but giving me Abbey Road and telling me to listen to it got me to listen, and I got it. I went, “Ah! Now I understand.” And so, Abbey Road by The Beatles would definitely be number ten for me.

# 9 – Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack – Bee Gees (1977)

For number nine, I’m going with the Soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees. This was the original motion picture album from the movie and was a huge player in the Brown household during the ’70s when it came out. I remember my mom, dad, brother Mike, and sister-in-law, Marianne, taking disco dance lessons while I was cranking up Kiss [laughs]. I could never get into that, but even as a little kid, I always keyed in on songwriting and could hear great songs on this record.

I’m still a huge fan of the Bee Gees to this day, and this record plays constantly in my world. It’s always on my phone, and I have it with me when I travel, too. But the songs are great. I love the way the Bee Gees wrote a lot of these songs, but they also had different artists on them. So, with “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “More Than a Woman,” those are all great songs. But one of my favorite songs is “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman; that’s just a great pop song.

And again, if we were to take any of these songs, remove the disco beat, and just play them on an acoustic guitar, they’re all still great songs. But I just love all the songs on this record, along with the great production, string arrangements, and vocal layering by the Gibb brothers. And all the stuff they did on the other songs, as well, was just a huge influence on me. So, I gotta give it up to the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, for sure.

# 8 – Pump by Aerosmith (1989)

At number eight, for me, I’ve got to go with Pump by Aerosmith. These guys were such a huge influence on me, and I always loved Aerosmith since I was a kid growing up in the ’70s. And even in the ’80s, after they came back, I thought Done with Mirrors was pretty cool, and I loved Permanent Vacation, which came out after the band got sober. But to me, Pump was when Aerosmith was at their zenith as far as the whole ’80s revival went.

Another reason Pump was a very important and influential record is that when Trixter got signed, we went out to California to record the first record [Trixter], and right around that time, Pump came along with a few other records. But Pump was the one that I listened to every day with [producers] Bill and Jim Wray. We wound up using a lot of the production techniques that Bob Rock used. And we did a lot of the Joe Perry and Steven Tyler vocal things that they did on Pump, too.

For me, “Love in an Elevator” had many different guitar sounds that Joe used, but he didn’t have the typical hard rock setup. It was just souped-up Marshall amps; Joe used Gretsch guitars and Fender Telecasters and had all these tricks to get good guitar solo sections. I was very much influenced by Joe Perry and the Pump album, which had more of a swanky sound and had layers of different guitar sounds.

But the songs on Pump are just out of control, too. I mentioned “Love in an Elevator,” which is this sort of gang vocal stuff, which was great. And then you had “Hoodoo/Voodoo Medicine Man,” which we actually lifted at the beginning of that snare drum thing [laughs]. We used it on Trixter’s “Play Rough,” which was definitely influential. So, again, Aerosmith’s Pump remains one of my favorite Aerosmith records and was a huge influence. So, thanks to Aerosmith, Bruce Fairbairn, and Mike Fraser because we copped a lot of your production techniques for the first Trixter record.

# 7 – Hysteria – Def Leppard (1987)

Next up, of course, I gotta include Def Leppard’s Hysteria. I loved Def Leppard from the beginning, and they were absolutely one of the most influential bands for me when I was starting Trixter. I loved the first record, On Through the Night, and High ‘n’ Dry, too. I remember seeing an interview in Circus Magazine with Rick Allen when he was like 15 or 16 when he first joined Def Leppard. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head that said, “I’m going to start a band, and I’m going to be younger than Def Leppard,” since I started Trixter when I was like 12 or 13 years old.

But Def Leppard’s Hysteria, man, it was a completed production and songwriting game changer in the ’80s. It was Mutt Lange, Mike Shipley, and Nigel Green, all the cats who worked on the record, and of course, the songwriting was akin to Queen’s Night at the Opera or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, only for the ’80s. They really did create a masterpiece. It was record-making perfection, and I still recall the sound of it when I first got the cassette and played it on my stereo—I had never heard my stereo sound so good.

Again, Hysteria is one of those records from the ’80s, almost like Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, where it’s special, but the production is like ten steps up the ladder with Hysteria. So much so, that to this day, it’s used by dance and pop artists to listen to when they need something to gauge their records against; they reference it against Hysteria. And then there are the songs, like “Rocket,” which had them doing things like sampling and creating loops; that blew my mind. I’d never heard anything like that before, and it was way more advanced than anything that was happening in hard rock, or pop, for that matter.

And then there was “Animal,” a song that was nice, concise, and kind of like “Photograph,” but part two. It was fucking pop brilliance, with a great guitar sound and these big vocals that were so tight and crisp. You have to give it to Joe Elliott, whose vocal performances are amazing and match the guitars’ unique sound. I believe they used the Tom Scholz Rockman as the main guitar box on maybe 95% of that record. But anyway, to this day, I listen to Hysteria all the time. It still makes me feel incredible, and it’s a deep record, too, because it was longer and put on cassette, which could hold more music. It’s one of the longer ’80s rock records, and I still love it.

# 6 – Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi (1986)

At number six, I’ve got Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. I’ve been a Bon Jovi fan since the beginning, and I loved the first two records and even saw Bon Jovi when they opened for Ratt on the Invasion of Your Privacy tour. That would have been my first time seeing Bon Jovi, and I remember watching them and going, “This is the exact band that I was Trixter to be like,” minus the keyboard player [laughs]. And then you have Richie Sambora, who hugely influenced me because seeing him was the first time I realized, “Hey, that’s what I need to be doing. I need to be a lead singer and lead guitar player at the same time.”

The way Richie Sambora encapsulated that for me, man, he was the all-around package. All these other guitar heroes were pretty good singers. Eddie Van Halen was a good singer, and I don’t know about Randy, but Ace was a pretty good singer. But Richie Sambora, he clearly was a lead singer who sang all the high harmonies. But anyway, when Bon Jovi came out with Slippery When Wet, Trixter had already met Jon, a huge supporter of ours and loved it. I heard that album, and I knew for the first time that they would be the biggest hard rock band in the world. And a couple of months later, after it was released, that’s exactly what happened.

Jon Bon Jovi was the first guy who got behind Trixter and supported us. He was the guy who introduced us to the Skid Row guys, which was awesome. And as far as Slippery When Wet, you had the Desmond Child, Richie Sambora, and Jon Bon Jovi songwriting team, which produced stuff like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” And then you had the Bob Rock/Bruce Fairbairn production team, who had done the Loverboy records. Hearing this marriage of Jon and Richie collaborating with Desmond, Bob, and Bruce, it was like the X-factor had come for them.

This record took Bon Jovi to the next level and was precisely what they needed. With most bands, there’s always an element that the band members and songwriters within the band can achieve by themselves, which I learned making Trixter records, but Bon Jovi did that to the max. Every song is incredible, and there was the Jersey pride element. Seeing them go from an opening act to a headlining band owning it in legit arenas was terrific and showed arena rock at its best. Slippery When Wet is one of the defining records of the ’80s hard rock and hair metal scene. And beyond that, Bon Jovi remains the number one or two hard rock band of the ’80s, without question.

# 5 – Invasion of Your Privacy – Ratt (1985)

Next down the pike at number five is Ratt’s Invasion of Your Privacy. Now, I loved Ratt from the beginning, and Warren DeMartini, hands down, is one of my favorite guitar players as far as the ’80s guys go. Post Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, who I was very influenced by, Warren was a guy who had something that completely spoke to me. His solos were the perfect marriage of taste, melody, and pure fire.

Warren knew how to start off a solo the right way, but he also knew how to rip it up. He was great at putting in cool and unique note structures, and I didn’t realize it until later, but he had a little bit of a Michael Schenker thing going on. But Invasion of Your Privacy, even though I loved their first record, Out of the Cellar, is the crowning moment for Ratt and Warren. It’s the best Ratt record, and that’s because of the songs. Everything revolves around great songs, and this was Ratt at their apex, as far as I’m concerned.

The record starts with “You’re in Love,” and then later, you’ve got “Lay it Down,” which are a couple of the greatest Drop D [tuning] riffs ever written. And Warren’s solos on both songs are just off the charts, like total perfection. And another song that I love off this record is called “Between the Eyes,” which is very unique, along with Beau Hill’s production. This record was post-Pyromania, and you could really hear the Def Leppard influence, but by far, it took it to another level.

# 4 – Diary of a Madman – Ozzy Osbourne (1981)

Number four, and I’ll have to go with Diary of a Madman by Ozzy. I remember getting this after reading about Randy Rhoads, and it was the first Ozzy record I got where I got to hear Randy play on it. And once again, this record completely took over my life. Once I heard this, Randy came next in line after Ace Frehley and Eddie Van Halen. So, there were those guys, and now, there was Randy Rhoads, who became my third main guitar hero.

The album came out in late ’81, but I first heard this record in the summer of ’82, and man, it was everything to me. I got the Star Licks cassette guitar series, which helped me learn all of Randy’s licks, and a lot of Diary of a Madman was on there. I remember being immediately drawn to the classical influence and hearing harmonic minor and diminished scales for the first time on this record, too. But that aside, Randy’s image was so cool with his polka dot guitar, the leather suits, and the white Jackson Concorde V; that was so powerful and influential for me.

That record, Diary of a Madman, especially the title track, got me to take classical guitar lessons after I’d been playing guitar for a couple of years. So, after that, I wound up taking classical guitar lessons for a while, which was cool. But with Diary of a Madman, I just loved it; the whole cinematic thing within the music… was scary, and yet, it was so fun. So, that’s why I love Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman and Randy Rhoads. God… he was such a huge influence.

# 3 – Dream Police – Cheap Trick (1979) 

Number three, and what came after Kiss and Van Halen, would be Cheap Trick’s Dream Police. Cheap Trick was a band that I had read about in all the magazines, along with Kiss and Van Halen, so I knew I wanted to check them out. And I know that Cheap Trick at Budokan came before it, but Dream Police was influential on me because I was really when I was keying in on songwriting right way when I was like 9 or 10 years old.

This was right after I’d started guitar lessons, and what I was hearing was very unique to me and very apparent to me. I immediately keyed in on The Beatles’ influence Cheap Trick, and I just loved all the songs on Dream Police, like the title track, which still blows my mind. It’s just an incredible song, and it had this speedy little thing but was still heavy and even had some Kiss influence throughout. But other songs, like “Way of the World” and “Voices,” showed everything. And then there was Robin Zander’s voice, which still to this day captivates me.

And again, the songwriting and the structure of some of those tunes were fantastic. Rick Nielsen’s unique songwriting zaniness, if you will, along with Robin Zander’s voice and the power and frenetic drumming of Bun E. Carlos, was all amazing. And then there’s the unique eight-string bass playing of Tom Petersson, which only adds to such an incredible record. I love Cheap Trick, and it’s where I got the name of my band, Trixter, from. There was definitely some Cheap Trick influence there, for sure.

# 2 – Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)

My number two record is Van Halen’s first record, Van Halen. Again, this record was life-changing for me on so many levels. When I heard the beginning of “Runnin’ with the Devil” and the way Ed’s guitar sounded, man, it was just something different like I’d never heard before. But what’s interesting about my first Van Halen experience in ’78 was that, again, someone loaned it to me. This time, this kid Tommy Walsh up the street gave me an eight-track tape of it, and the song order was different than when I got the vinyl record a couple of weeks later.

With the eight-track “Runnin’ with the Devil” came first, and then, I believe, “Feel Your Love Tonight” came second. But overall, Van Halen was amazing. I loved the sound, the vocals, the crispness; there was just something about it that was different. It immediately was in my heart, my soul, and my blood. Hearing the vocals, the guitars, and then, of course, hearing “Eruption” for the first time, man, I knew it was an electric guitar, but by the end of it, when Ed was doing his tapping section, I had no clue what to make of it.

To this day, “Eruption” is the most incredible guitar solo that was ever been recorded. But Van Halen came after hearing Kiss, and then I saw some other bands, probably Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, and some of the heavier bands of the ’70s. But there was something different with Van Halen, David Lee Roth’s vocals, and the unique blending of Michael Anthony and Ed’s harmonies; there was just something heavy about it, yet poppy and fun.

All of that drew me to it because I could hear that it sounded like beach music. It was like hard rock beach music, and it just made me feel good. I was a big summertime kid who loved to go to the Jersey Shore. So, songs like “Ice Cream Man” and “Feel Your Love Tonight” were like party songs, and that drew me in. The power of that, and again, Eddie Van Halen, was incredible. Ed and Ace Frehley were the two guitar players that made me take guitar lessons, and I want to learn everything about rock guitar.

# 1 – Rock and Roll Over by Kiss (1976)

It was the first rock record I ever heard that completely blew my mind. I was eight years old and remember being loaned a copy of the record by my sister-in-law Marianne’s brother, Paulie. And I saw the picture on the cover of Rock and Roll Over in his room in his house in Paramus, New Jersey, and it was like something out of a movie. Smoke was coming out of it, and I could have sworn there were lights behind it, just like a movie. Something was just drawing me to it.

After that, Paulie picked up the record and said, “Steve, you should listen to this record. I think you’d like this band,” and I had no idea what to make of it. I didn’t know that the four characters on the front cover were the band. I just thought it was a cool album cover. And when I brought it home and dropped the needle on the vinyl album, the first song, “I Want You,” came on with the acoustic guitars, and as soon as I heard it, I was like, “This kind of reminds me of Rod Stewart or The Beatles.”

My parents loved music; my brothers are ten years older than me. We had a lot of music in my house as a kid; Fleetwood Mac was huge, and we listened to a lot of The Beatles and Rod Stewart. But when I heard the “I Want You” and those acoustic guitars, and then the electric guitars kicked in, along with the snare drum, I will tell you, it was just like seeing a Kiss concert for me. Explosions were going off in my head, and it was the beginning of my love—that has never ended—for Kiss.

Now, all these years later, here I am. Every song on Rock and Roll Over is still near and dear to my heart,  and I even played “Ladies Room” a couple of weeks ago at the Kiss Cancer Goodbye event with Ace Frehley and Bruce Kulick.”  And man, it almost brought tears to my eyes because I remember hearing those songs, like “Makin’ Love,” “Calling Dr. Love,” “Hard Luck Woman, ” and “Take Me;” every song on that record just kills me. I just love it. So, Rock and Roll Over is definitely number one for me. Rock’ n’ rock, thanks!

Steve Brown of Trixter: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Photo courtesy of Steve Brown. Photo by Jay Abend GFS

Steve Brown of Trixter: 10 Albums That Changed My Life article published on Classic© 2023 claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain Creative Commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites. Protection Status



Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Johnny Marr Albums
Complete List Of Johnny Marr Albums And Discography
Classic Rock Christmas Songs
Our 10 Favorite Classic Rock Christmas Songs
A Thousand Horses Albums
Complete List Of A Thousand Horses Albums And Songs
Blackmore's Night Albums
Complete List Of Blackmore’s Night Albums And Discography
Can Albums
Top 10 Can Albums
Kiss Bootlegs
KISSteria on Vinyl: Ten’ 70s-era Bootlegs for Records Collectors
10 Essential Metal Albums Released Between 1970 and 1995
10 Essential Metal Albums Released Between 1970 and 1995
The River Album Bruce Springsteen Should Have Released
The River Album Bruce Springsteen Should Have Released
Mick Jagger and Sammy Hagar
Will Sammy Hagar or Mick Jagger Be The First 100 Year Old Rockers?
Comic Con 2023
Comic Con 2023 Rocks New York City
The Misunderstanding Of The Way AI Was Used In Now And Then
The Misunderstanding Of The Way AI Was Used In Now And Then
Beatles Song Now And Then
Just Saying “New Beatles Song Released Today” Is Breathtaking
Tim Lefebvre Interview
Tim Lefebvre: The Interview
Liberty DeVitto: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Liberty DeVitto: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Rob De Luca of Spread Eagle, Sebastian Bach & UFO: 10 Albums That Changed My Life From humble East Coast origins to grandest stages worldwide, veteran bassist Rob De Luca has seen and done it all. De Luca first hit the local Boston rock and metal scene in the late 80s after meeting guitarist Paul DiBartolo, bonding over Van Halen before forming Bang. Regional success came quickly, but eventually, the members of Bang went their separate ways, with De Luca and drummer Tommi Gallo heading to NYC and hooking up with Ray West and, later, DiBartolo to form Spread Eagle. By 1990, Spread Eagle was on the fast track, with a contract through MCA Records and a self-titled debut album poised to crush skulls. But poor timing and MCA's sad indifference left Spead Eagle out in the cold despite being a hard-boiled answer to Guns N' Roses's West Coast sleaze. Spread Eagle's first chapter came to an end in '95. As for Rob De Luca, his nimble fingers and gift for melody and songwriting kept him moving forward. Soon, he found a gig with former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach and the legendary outfit UFO. And in 2010, after coupling up with Ray West and his cousin Rik De Luca, Spread Eagle retook flight. During a break from Spread Eagle's increasingly busy touring schedule, Rob De Luca dialed in with to run through the ten albums that changed his life. But only after adding, "I made a playlist of these songs, including some I've written or co-written. Do you hear any of these albums' influence on me?" Listen here: 10) Gentlemen by Afghan Whigs (1993) Here's an entry that was so important to me. This may be the darkest break-up album of all time. Greg Dulli has been in many projects, but I feel Gentlemen is his zenith. Somewhat undefinable at times but always profound and honest. Listen to "Gentlemen," "Fountain and Fairfax," and "What Jail Is Like." 9) In on the Kill Taker by Fugazi (1993) By this time, I had been sucked in and spit out by the major-label record industry. Glam came and went; grunge was history, too. I was searching for new sounds. When I heard Fugazi's twin guitar approach, I knew this was what was missing. Fugazi may be considered a less polished sound than the albums above; however, once you "get it," it hits you like a ton of bricks, and there's no going back. From the moment I heard Fugazi, I went to every NYC show after. It's easily some of the best concerts of my life, and possibly my favorite bassist in Joe Lally. And their DIY ethics refused to charge us more than $5 a show! In on the Kill Taker is a powerful album demonstrated in songs such as "Smallpox Champion," "Great Cop," and "Public Witness Program." 8) Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses (1987) I discovered many of these albums (sometimes long) after they were released. However, I was at the right place at the right time for this one. Steve Ostromogilsky had a Berklee College of Music lunch card and used to sneak out sandwiches for me. One day, he invited me to hang out at his place and listen to music. As we got off the train, he put Sony Walkman headphones on my ears and said, "Hey, check out this brand-new group." A song like "It's So Easy" was so different from the popular Sunset Strip sound at that time. Me and about 499 other informed rockers were lucky enough to see them on their first East Coast tour at the sold-out Paradise on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (the same street Aerosmith started on). I saw Gn'R every tour after until I took a break when Buckethead joined. Gn'R is the band I've been lucky enough to see the most times live, almost 100! Everyone on this album is just stellar. Axl [Rose] had the tones, power, melodic sensibilities, and foresight to do what no other singer did then. Slash's playing was beyond memorable. Duff [McKagan] is one of the most underrated bassists in rock history, and learning his Appetite basslines is a masterclass. Steven [Adler] had the natural swing, and Izzy [Stradlin] was the secret weapon songwriter. Everything that's been heralded about this gem is deserved and true. Check out "It's So Easy," "Out Ta Get Me," and "Mr. Brownstone.' 7) Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (1975) Another contender for my favorite album and band of all time. Using The Beatles machine (same recording studio, engineer, record label), Pink Floyd made what I feel is their strongest, most cohesive album (my second favorite of theirs would be Animals). This list mainly consists of bands with an instantly recognizable sound. Floyd is certainly no exception to that! This album included a solid handful of undeniable rock radio classics, bookended by two halves of the mind-blowing song "Shine on You Crazy Diamond.' That song was written about former band member and founder Syd Barrett. It would be hard to live in a world without this album. Check out "Welcome to The Machine," "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9),' or even better yet, listen to the whole thing in one sitting! 6) Decade by Neil Young (1977) About this time, I started playing guitar. As a beginner, it was comfortable jamming to this album because the chord changes were simple—a great "first ten years" retrospective of Neil's stunning, unique songwriting. Neil is a treasure who always writes from the heart and stands up for what's right. Check out "Southern Man," "A Man Needs a Maid," "Down by The River," and "After the Goldrush." 5) Highway to Hell by AC/DC (1979) When I heard this album, I was firmly "me." My life would be 100% focused on hard rock music forever. AC/DC are like air; they're ubiquitous. Everyone knows them and their incredible songs. However, as a young teen in Wilmington, Delaware, I only had WMMR 93.3 FM Philadelphia and a few friends to inform me about the world of Rock outside my bedroom. AC/DC had not gone mainstream, and their albums were available primarily in the USA as imports. To put things more in perspective, I only knew two people in the world who had heard of AC/DC. A friend had an import that we played in Steve Buckley's basement, which sounded ripping. When Highway to Hell was released, WMMR started spinning the title track, and I immediately bought the album, listening to it every single day after school. Then WMMR announced AC/DC was coming to the Spectrum in Philly, supporting Ted Nugent! I liked Ted but loved AC/DC, so my good friend Mick Cummins and I bought tickets, and he drove us up to the Spectrum (where we saw most of our concerts). Bon Scott was in fine form, and the band went over great. Although the crowd knew Ted better, Angus [Young] wouldn't let anyone upstage him. I'll never forget it! Unfortunately, Bon would be gone in 6 months. Check out "Walk All Over You," "Touch Too Much," "Shot Down in Flames," and "If You Want Blood (You Got It)." 4) Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith (1975) By the time I heard this, I was now in my teens. I had a childhood friend up the street, Jim Linberg (we're still good buddies). His older sister had a great album collection, including Toys in The Attic. Once I heard that groove, my taste changed. I lost interest in rock music that didn't have some sort of "swing" feel to it. I think Rocks is a slightly better Aerosmith album (and possibly my favorite album of all time), but both are perfect or very close. Check out "Uncle Salty," "Adam's Apple," "No More No More," "Round and Round," and "You See Me Crying." 3) Alive! by Kiss (1975) When I was still a little kid, I asked for Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke album for Christmas. The entire family came over for an enormous feast, and I dropped the needle. When my mother heard the content, she turned off the album and said I had to exchange it. My mom was cool, but I was young and knew much more about life than she suspected. Anyway, the next day, she drove me back to the store. In the music section, promoted on an "endcap" was a Kiss Alive! display. I had never heard of Kiss, but that cover picture told me I had to have it! My first foray into hard rock. Check out “Strutter.” I went through my Kiss phase very quickly, I believe in a matter of months because I discovered the previous entry, Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic. 2) Honky Chateau by Elton John (1972) When I was a wee lad, my parents bought a used Volkswagen camper van from my uncle Ozzie. My favorite Elton John album is Yellow Brick Road, but Honky Chateau is great and easily one of his best. It sent me down a lifelong rabbit hole of loving everything about the 1970s partnership between Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin. The simple beauty of voice, the master songwriting, the perfect backing band, the clear, unobtrusive recordings, and always Bernie's incredible lyrics. The day this album was released, Elton became an unstoppable force that conquered the music industry. Check out "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and "Rocket Man." 1) Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles (1967) Another tape that was included in the VW Camper. The van had a bunch of music tapes, and one was Sgt Pepper. I was too young to understand the sophistication of the music, but that was one of the many skills of The Beatles. They attracted listeners at every level, even little kids. I still feel that immediate connection to Sgt Pepper; now, I hear so much more. It's an album that changed the world and the world of music. Check out "Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds," "A Day In The Life," and "Fixing a Hole."
Rob De Luca of Spread Eagle, Sebastian Bach & UFO: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Jim Suhler Interview
Jim Suhler: The Interview
Jon Anderson Albums
Complete List Of Jon Anderson Solo Albums And Songs
Bonnie Tyler Albums
Complete List Of Bonnie Tyler Albums And Discography
Samantha Fish Albums
Complete List Of Samantha Fish Albums And Discography
Blue October Albums
Complete List Of Blue October Albums And Discography
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
25 Most Famous Female American Singers Now!
25 Most Famous Female American Singers Now!
The Grateful Dead's Keyboard Players
A Look Back At The Grateful Dead’s Keyboard Players
The Chick Corea Elektric Band The Future Is Now' Album Review
The Chick Corea Elektric Band ‘The Future Is Now’ Album Review
In Harmony albums
A Look Back At Both ‘In Harmony’ Rock Star Children’s Albums
John Miles Rebel Albums Review
John Miles ‘Rebel’ Album Review
Aimee Mann’s Solo Debut Album "Whatever."
30 Year Look Back At Aimee Mann’s Solo Debut Album ‘Whatever’