Monday, February 28, 2011

Super 8 Debut Album Blogfest

New blog friend DiscConnected is hosting the Super 8 Debut Albums Blogfest today.  The idea is this:  Share your list of the Top 8 Debut Albums, based on your taste in music and how those artists touched your life with their work. I chose 9 (couldn't narrow it down more!)

I'm not a big music enthusiast.  I LOVE listening to music, but I rarely know which artist put out which smash hit.  And I can't write with music on.  Somehow the two areas of my brain involved with listening and composing are hopelessly mis-wired.

That said, I liked the idea of sharing the debut albums that were the soundtracks of my life's chapters, that influenced me on many levels.  With that in mind, here we go!

My Top 9 Debut Album List

9.  Pat Benatar's In the Heat of the Night (1979) -- I was a varsity basketball cheerleader when I discovered this album, although it was several years old by that time.  It played over and over during after-school practices and on the bus for away games.  It was the first time we'd heard a woman rocking out.  Benatar brought down gender barriers for me and made me realize women really can do anything we put our minds to.

8.   Guns 'n' Roses Appetite For Destruction (1987) -- My life went into transition shortly after this album dropped.  By the time the second or third single was released, my family had moved to a new town. It was the summer before my senior year. Yeah. It sucked. I found if I cranked Guns 'n' Roses loud enough, I could drown out some of the stress.

7.  Heart Dreamboat Annie (1976) -- My dad loved this album and used to blast it on Saturday mornings when our weekends were getting underway. It was the time right before our relationship started to unravel.  I always think of him when I hear cuts from this album today.

6.  Bon Jovi [Self-titled] (1984) -- The year I graduated from high school, the family was deep in debt -- the extent to which my parents hid from me and my sisters. I was accepted to a university, had my on-campus rooming assignment and had been corresponding with my future roommates, and had pre-registered for classes. With only three weeks to go until I left, my parents dropped a bomb on my future. They sat me down and told me there was no money for me to go to school. Bon Jovi's music motivated me to spend that year working my ass off, saving every penny.  The next year, with no financial contribution from my parents, I started college.

5.  Boston [Self-titled] (1976) -- Growing up, my family owned a very small cottage on Lake of the Woods, one of hundreds of small lakes near New York's 1000 Island region. The first time we lived at the cottage all summer long, we had this album on cassette tape. We played it, rewound. Played it, rewound. Played it....All.Summer.Long.  Priceless memories!

4.  The Cars [Self-titled] (1978) -- This was the first album I purchased with my own money. It was a hit at the same time I was coming into my teen years, when I challenged boundaries and began thinking about myself as an independent young woman.

3.  Kate Bush The Kick Inside -- Six months after I graduated from college, I moved out of my parents' house in upstate New York and began a crazy two-year stint living in Los Angeles. During that time, I glimpsed a bit of what I was made of. You see, the stress was immense, from navigating my first professional job (at Chiat/Day advertising agency), from managing my first apartment, and from being truly all alone. Juggling the balls of my life zapped all my energy, and there was none left to hold down the hurt from my childhood. I spiraled into deep depression, but I lived through it.  I survived.  Thank you, Kate and your hauntingly beautiful voice, for being there for me during those dark days. 

2. Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995) -- I left for the Peace Corps in 1994. Friends sent me care packages with letters, candy, little gifts -- anything to make me feel closer to them and home. One package arrived with a homemade cassette, Natalie Merchant was recorded on one side and Alanis Morissette on the other. I fell deeply in love with Alanis's music. Here lyrics ripped me to the core. I was alone under the blazing African sun, but the Jagged Little Pill provided a unique sound backdrop that turned my experience into something eclectic and avant-garde.

1. Madonna [Self-titled] (1985) -- From the first time I heard "Lucky Star," I've been a die-hard Madonna fan.  The year I (finally) made it to college, my roommate had this album. We danced like freshman fools in the dorm hallway to "I'm Burning Up," nailing Madonna's signature toe-tap-hop move. Years later, when I lived in LA, I waited for hours behind the rope lining the red carpet at the Hollywood premier of Madonna's documentary Truth of Dare.  Limo after limo arrived, and the crowd would buzz, "Is it HER? Is it HER?"  Then we'd all sigh. "Oh, it's only Janet Jackson." or "Nope, just Christian Slater."  Finally, thirty minutes after the movie was supposed to start, a black stretch limo rounded the corner. Instead of pulling all the way up to the doors where the press corps was stationed, the limo stopped  The doors opened, and there SHE was. Maybe six feet directly in front of me. She was with Nicky and Donna, her backup singers, and several dancers including Gabriel, Oliver, and Carlton.  It was such a thrill!!

So, there you have it. My top 9 debut albums. Any of your favorites on my list? And, visit other bloggers participating in this blogfest, listed HERE.

I'll leave you with Madonna's video for Lucky Star.  Can't embed (disabled by request), but here's the link:



welcome to my world of poetry said...

A great list I knew most of them but I know many will not know mine, but it;s the taking part that counts. well done as I said a freat list.


Pk Hrezo said...

Yeah I'm a huge Madonna fan too. Prolly the best concert I've ever been to. Just danced and sang the entire time.
And Alanis was a total smash hit... remember that madness?? I think she took off and hid out in India for awhile afterwards to escape all that.

Hannah Kincade said...

I never thought I was a huge Madonna fan until I realized I know every song...

Also, Jagged Little Pill was an awesome debut.

Elena Solodow said...

I didn't realize Jagged Little Pill was her debut. She did a great job.

salarsenッ said...

Can't believe I missed this blogfest. Love music. You and I would get along just fine when it comes to music. And Pat Benatar...YAY!

Trevor Peck said...

Great list! BUT, technically Jagged Little Pill was not a debut - a point I discussed on my list. Still it was an amazing album none-the-less.

Grace and peace.

Jamie Burch said...

Awesome list!

Jules said...

Awesome collection. Heart, graduation year and Madonna...what a business woman. Lady Gaga sure has a lot to learn :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Heather said...

I definitely agree with your choice of Alanis! I played that album SO much because I was like, FINALLY!

Sorry I missed this blogfest, because I'm a music head for sure. My list would def include Pearl Jam - Ten. That album definitely had an effect on me that I really just cannot explain. It's one of the few CDs that I love to listen to over and over front to back without skipping a single song!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You did good! We have two albums in common. Think we graduated at about the same time as well. Crap, just gave away my age!

Matthew Rush said...

Alex had Boston too. Like I told him, I had no idea it was a debut, but I sure do know it was awesome!

Val said...

I remember singing to Madonna with you in my little green Honda. I think it was Vogue. We were stuck in heavy traffic and only motorcycles could weave in and out quickly. At some point I got my nose pierced with you on Venice Beach. I hope you learned to hide your house key better after finding me in your apartment taking a bath.

Brigitte said...

Boston, Bon Jovi, and Guns 'n Roses. Three bands I grew up with, too, despite my age. :D fantastic choices! I saw Bon Jovi in concert last year. Most amazing music experience of my life!!

Arlee Bird said...

Great choices. Benatar and Heart put out some great stuff. I'm a big fan of Madonna's music, but not her so much though she is immensely talented--Evita is one of my favorite movie musicals.
Boston was an amazing debut that I still listen to.
Great list and enjoyed the commentary to go with it.

Tossing It Out

Tracy said...

AWESOME choices and what a great blogfest I'll have to think of mine :)
thanks for sharing~

Pat Tillett said...

Those are some pretty good choices! You can't really go wrong with any of them. I wish I knew (or remembered) about this earlier!

Laura Marcella said...

Awesome choices here! I love Madonna's music, and I Alanis' album is fantastic too!

What a wonderful story about how you made it to college. You have amazing tenacity! I bet your parents were SO proud!

Jen Chandler said...

Awesome list and your story about college is amazing. Good for you!! I'm in the process of finishing college now. A looooooong road, but it will be so worth it when I get that degree!


Jai Joshi said...

Some great albums here, particularly Jagged Little Pill and Appetite for Destruction. And thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life, it made the connection you felt to the music that much more real.


Halloweenman666 said...

Great list, is Guns n' Roses not going to be on anyone's list haha. Also loved the inclusion of Alanis. Jagged Little Pill was such a good cd I think I actually wore the cd out from over listening.

El Vox said...

I measure the chapters in my life by music as well--amazing how you correlated that. Pat Benatar & Heart, yay! I dig them a lot too. ;) In fact, I know all the albums you listed. I majored in advertising in college as well (if indeed you did?). You seem tenacious, wonderful quality, stay strong.

DiscConnected said...


Great list!

We didn't have any in common, but a lot of my contenders were on your list. You reminded me of a couple I didn't consider (Pat Benatar was a huge favorite as I graduated high school).

Thanks for joining in!


Kelly said...

Oops I just accidentally commented on the other post about this one! Anyhoo, I want to add that I think Pat Benatar has such an amazing voice. I"ve seen her live twice and she is incredible!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I LOVED reading your commentary! I like the commentary better than the music.

Wow! It seems that KATE BUSH did for you in Los Angeles what DAVID & DAVID did for me there.

I read every word of your blog bit and really, really enjoyed the way you explained what each album meant to you. This was GREAT STUFFS - my favorite "Super 8" entry so far (other than my own, of course ;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Lana D said...

Truly an excellent list! Awesome!

Kari Marie said...

Oh wow. You are bringing me back now. I love all of these. Guns N Roses still holds a special place in my heart. Whoa..O..O..Sweet Child O Mine!

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, Nicole. You've got quite the juke box here: Benatar, GN'R, Heart, Boston and the Cars. To this day, I'm still singing "Runaway" and "She Don't Know Me".
Always good to talk to you. Have a great week!


Ella said...

I love your list, you brought back fond memories~

Carolyn V said...

Great list! I grew up loving Kate Bush! Glad to know there is another fan out there. =)

Lola Sharp said...

I still love Jagged Little Pill...great album.

I have a soft spot for the Cars, too.


Erinn said...


Don't forget you signed up for the Gone But Not Forgotten Blogfest on March 4

Theresa Milstein said...

Nice to read your list.

I'll confess - I was a big Madonna fan too.