10 Surprising Records That Influenced My Taste In Music

Photo: Authors Own

There’s a “thing” doing the rounds on social media when someone asks you to “choose 10 albums that influenced your taste in music – one album per day for 10 consecutive days; no explanations, just album covers”.

A nomination is quite flattering as you can share with the world your own sublime choices, however, after the 70th request the appeal wanes and it gets a bit, well, shit. And, let’s face it, who REALLY wants to know that Karen from No.22 has based her entire adult life around the first time she heard Robson & Jerome’s profound debut.

So, as a music lover with unquestionable taste, I thought I’d add to the mountain of useless nonsense you’re bombarded with, by offering up my own wonderful choices. The difference is that I’m limiting it to 10 records I loved up to my 14th birthday year – 1977.

I was born into a family with parents who seldom put their heads above the MOR parapet. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I grew up surrounded by some of the greatest voices of all time plus melodies to die for. It’s no surprise to me that some of those MOR records from way back when are often trendily cool today. I had one major concern though: I was often surrounded by piles of James Last box-sets.

Surely, no one in their 20s or 30s should ever have wanted to own those records, let alone spend wads of their hard-earned cash going to see the multi-million selling bearded German schmaltzmeister several times a year. Shockingly, my parents did. It’s really not surprising their marriage ended in a bitter divorce – it was an easy-listening menage-a-trois in which old JL and his “non-stop parties” would be the only winner…

Teutonic swingers aside, extreme exposure to the dodgiest of record collections inevitably meant that some tracks would lodge themselves in my impressionable young brain. And so, here are 10 records that now elicit a powerful reaction in me; often melancholic and sometimes downright sad ones, but reactions nevertheless.

Apart from my weekly pocket money, until the end of the decade, I had very little disposable income and therefore Christmases and birthdays were the only times I got to pick which records I could physically own. This explains why only 4 of the 10 are MY albums – the other 6 are there possibly due to a weird form of musical Stockholm Syndrome.

My 4? ABBA – Arrival; The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; ELO – Out Of The Blue; 10cc – 100cc: Greatest Hits Of 10cc

What do you mean you’re dying to hear the playlist…







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2 thoughts on “10 Surprising Records That Influenced My Taste In Music”

  1. Hi Ian what a mix of artists. To influence you, luck you ,we never had a record player and all that influenced me was the radio, and at the age of ten or 11 taking interest in the music press .
    I think the biggest thing that happened to me was pirate radio , we got to listen to everything that hit the spot, until nighttime and it all disappeared because the am signal never traveled well , and radio Luxenberg was no better and you had to listen to it under the blankets. And today what have the kids got that’s new ,Rap music, god help us.

    1. Hi Rog, the radio was also a massive influence for me too. I was given a “wrist radio” for a birthday (must have been around ’73/’74) which was a ridiculous concept as it was massive and I had tiny wrists! It used to live under my pillow and come out at night for Radio Luxembourg. Like you found though, the signal was intermittent. On a good night, it was Emperor Rosko or Tony Prince until I got told to turn it off for the 10th time.

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