10. Half Nelson—Willie Nelson
Before I was old enough to choose my own music, I was surrounded by the music of my parents and older sister. The country music of my parents stuck with e better than the early MTV music of my sister. Willie Nelson's album of duets with artists as varied as Ray Charles and Carlos Santana readily stick out as my introduction to country.
9. No Jacket Required—Phil Collins
I am pretty sure Phil Collins was the first MTV era artist I enjoyed. My fondness for his music probably stems from it being featured on the so '80's, it is painful Miami Vice. Collins lead me to seek out similar sounds. The easy listening style has become my consistently favorite type of music.
8. The Big Chill soundtrack
My parents alsoenjoyed the Motown sound of the early to mid-'60's popular in the summer vacation spot of myrtle beach, South Carolina. I am certain I hear a smattering of the most famous Motown songs over the years prior, but this was the first album in which they were all in one place. When someone says R & B, this is what comes to mind.
7. Permanent Vacation—Aerosmith
My first taste of big hair, '80's glam rock. I heard Run DMC's cover of “Walk This Way,” but had no idea the band joining in with them recording the song originally years ago or they were making a comeback. All I knew is they could do hard rock and power ballads like I never heard before. Well, that and Steven Tyler looked like ten miles of bad road.
6. Storms of Life—Randy Travis
Randy Travis was my first experience with back to basics country. Up until the point I first heard this album, country to me was the urban cowboy fad. Even half Nelson flirted with a lot of non-traditional country sound. Here is where I started forming my own taste in country.
5. The Best of Eva Cassidy—Eva Cassidy
I am cheating a bit. I first heard Eva Cassidy's cover of Cytndi Lauper's “Time After Time” in 2003. At some point during the same year, I heard her cover of Sting's “Fields of Gold.” I liked the Irish-twinged vocals and Cassidy was a new artist who was destined for stardom. Then I looked her up and cried. A lot. Call me sappy, but I do not think she performed a song I have not found haunting. The masochist in e likes feeling haunted.
4. Ropin' the Wind—Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks skyrocketed to popularity around about the time popular music was plunging into the abyss of dance, pop, and rap. Fans of my kind of music migrated over to country in the early '90's. Brooks' album lead the way.
3. The Best of Simon & Garfunkel—Simon & Garfunkel
Another cheat. I am not certain which Simon & Garfunkel song I heard first. But I became big fan of the singer/songwriter duo, and wanted to hear it all. I like much of their solo work, too, though Simon holds a slight edge.
2. Hell Freezes Over—Eagles
You could probably guess this one. Someone who enjoys solid songwriting with a California rock/country sound is bound to love the Eagles. I do. I have owned several greatest hits compilations, but this recording of a live reunion concert in 1994 stands out as my favorite. A few new songs prove the band still had the magic. Rest in peace, Glenn Frey.
1. Songs You Know By Heart—Jimmy Buffett
I am a devout Parrot Head, though a bi of a late bloomer. I did not get this album until I was in college. It was the soundtrack of y college experience. Since those were some of the best years of my life, the album means the most to me.