Hero Inc.

where heroes are an everyday occurrence


15 albums, 15 minutes

Update: As requested I’ve included my reasoning for each album. I hope this quells my many one commenter.

Thanks to a friend and his facebook note, I’m going to see if I can join in on the musical fun. Here are the rules as I understand them:

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag your friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what albums my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste the rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note.

Let’s see there’s:

  1. Counting Crows – Recovering the Satellites. I can honestly state that this was the first CD I ever purchased with my own money. Hearing “A Long December” on the radio only a few times and I knew I wanted this album. I only had a brief knowledge of Counting Crows before this point (just the singles and hits). The saddest part is probably that I went years (yes, years) without ever really listening to the first half of the album. I stuck to the last 4 or 5 songs. Years later when I finally gave the rest of the album a chance, I was blown away with just how great it was from start to finish. This album has includes one of my top five favorite Counting Crows songs, “Monkey”.
  2. Our Lady Peace – Spiritual Machines. I had been an OLP fan before this album thanks to buying Clumsy from a friend and purchasing the subsequent albums from the band, but this album was different. First, this was my first introduction to what a concept album is as the band was heavily influenced by Ray Kurzeweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. I’ve even toyed with the idea of reading this book to see why it influenced Raine and the guys so much. I also had to purchase this album outside of the normal ways. On the day of the album’s release, I realized that I had made a mistake. The date I was so pumped to see arrive was actually the Canadian release date and I would have to wait 5+ months for the US release. That was unacceptable so I emailed a friend I had made via an internet wrestling federation and had him send me the album.
  3. Ben Folds Five – The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner. “Brick”, to this day, is one of the saddest songs to me but it isn’t on this album now is it? Ben’s lyrics, inclusion of the piano, and again alternative (for weaklings) pulled me into his previous albums but hearing “Army” on the radio solidified it for me. I bought the album the day of a Church trip and proceeded to listen to the album as the van drove across the state of Georgia to our final destination. Not sure how many times myself and another replayed “Army” that day but it was enough to make the song stale for most others. This album also has an answering message from Ben’s father that I use often as my alarm clock as I feel it speaks to me personally. I mean, come on. We share the same first name and I am that conceited.
  4. Bigbang – Poetic Terrorism. While studying abroad in Norway, my roommate introduced me to Norway’s own Bigbang. Iwas hooked with “Girl In Oslo” but Poetic Terrorism came out while I was in the country. Several great songs off this album but everyone of them takes me back to my time abroad. Even better was that the band was on tour with this album and stopped in my town. I was front row in a club that held maybe 200 people and it was wonderful. Even though I’m not in Norway anymore, I’ve contacted old friends to help me continue enjoying this band. I was even able to introduce this band to my brother who has enjoyed them just as much.
  5. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm. Bloc Party is similar to some other artists on this list as sounds that were outside of my typical taste. The exact person or music system taht suggested this album is unknown to me but Silent Alarm was perfect on first listening. “Pioneers” is my staple go-to song if I need to find my determination. I’d say more but those who have heard the album would say this is enough.
  6. Foo Fighters – Color and the Shape. Dave Grohl is one of my favorite frontmen and the Foo Fighters are my way of being able to tell people in the 90’s that I was/am alternative. Yeah, we all know that wasn’t/isn’t true but it was my belief. With my fascination for heroes, it should come as no shock that I chose this album due to “My Hero” which can pump me up no matter the mood. I guess this album also helps hurts thanks to my first speeding ticket coming at the hands of one “Everlong”.
  7. Boyz 2 Men – II. In the 90’s if it wasn’t alternative, it was the cool soundings of Boys 2 Men. On various family road trips I would have to borrow CDs from my brother or sister because my collection was non-existent or as horrible as it possibly could be. The II album is one I would always go after first if someone else wasn’t already listening to it. This album was also my first concentrated effort to learn the lyrics and harmonies for who knows what purposes because it certainly didn’t make me more of a ladies man.
  8. Chicago – The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997. I was introduced to Chicago via my brother. He’ll tell you that this album is for the love sappy fools who like Chicago but it had all of the hits that I enjoyed after only one listening. This was a way for my brother and I connect in terms of musical taste as well as for me to enjoy a band that could incorporate an instrument (trombone) I was just learning to play at the time of my first few listenings. Later I found out that Chicago made many great albums with less love-sappiness but I still come back to this one.
  9. DC Talk – Jesus Freak. Jesus Freak was my first introduction into contemporary Christian music. I borrowed the album from a friend (see Our Lady Peace above) for only a week before luck fell on my side and was able to join a group headed to see DC Talk at the Omni in Atlanta. This would be my first concert and was amazing. This album is easily the best contemporary Christian album I’ve heard.
  10. Girl Talk – Feed The Animals. Ever want to see just how far your musical taste extends? Pick up this album and you will have your answer. Girl Talk is a DJ who mixes together anything and everything that is possible and even some that is not. I believe one journalist called Girl Talk a lawsuit waiting to happen. Whenever I listen to this album my brain switches between enjoying the fusion of the music to trying to determine exactly what songs are being mixed into each song. I mean, did you ever think it would be possible to mix Dexys Midnight Runners / Aerosmith / Ying Yang Twins or Chicago / Quad City DJs / Elvis Costello?
  11. Brand New – Deja Entendu. Brand New had the first major national release with Deja Entendu. The first release, “Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows”, was interesting on the radio but nothing I would go and shout about at the rooftops. However, each radio station that played it really pushed the fact that the album was really amazing. Well, I bought the album and hated it on my first listening. I hated it to the point that I couldn’t believe I wasted money on it. Not one to lose on such a simple investment, I gave the album another listen and another and another. Soon I saw just why the album was amazing. I also saw why I didn’t like it previously because it was so different from any of the bands I enjoyed or the albums I had heard before.
  12. Jimmy Eat World – Clarity. During my college days I was attempting to beef up my music collection to make it more respectable. Thanks to one great website I was introduced to many new bands based on my current interests. Since the albums on this site were at a cost of pennies a megabyte I bought up anything and everything that sounded interesting. Clarity is one album that fell into my lap during this buying bonanza. Each time I put on this album I lose all sense of time. I could easily listen to this album on repeat while driving across the entire United States and never grow tired of it. I’ve since continued to buy each album by Jimmy Eat World but nothing ever seems to be as complete and appealing as this album.
  13. Mat Kearney – Nothing Left To Lose. This is my album where I claim I discovered something great that my friends had not heard of prior. That statement could be argued but I’ll still go with it. Kearney’s lyrics combined with his “poetic rap” sound on songs pull me in every time. This album for some reason made me believe that a full great album could be made again. Often I find albums that aren’t only 40-70% good. This album found me wanting more and more of the same as every song was great.
  14. Les Miserables – Les Miserables (1987 Original Broadway Cast). This is where some people might be scratching their heads but I can’t hide my love for this recording of the songs from the musical. In High School drama class, we watched the movie version as well as the standing, musical only version of the play. The songs were catchy and allowed me to easily follow along with the story without feeling like I’m watching a musical. If I’m down, I’ll belt out a couple of lines from “One Day More”. If you stop at a stoplight and hear some showtunes blaring out of speakers, it means you are probably beside me. “Do you hear the people sing/Singing the songs of angry men/…”
  15. Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind. The self-titled album is one of the few albums I can say I purchased for myself in the 90’s that turned out to be an amazing keeper (I don’t think those reading this will really understand how bad my music collection was during my middle/high school years). In the same view as Recovering The Satellites, I never really completed this album during previous listenings. I would get to song about 6 or 7 and stop. Several years later in college, I was sent a video of Stephen Jenkins singing “Motorcycle Driveby”. This became a must listen for me for TEB. However, it took me a few more weeks to realize I already owned the song in my collection based on this album. Don’t you love that?

Music Album Collage
Click to for enlarged view

Ok, now having looked over that list I’d have to say that I’m….well…everywhere and no where.

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