This is the top five most influential albums from my life so far.
Each one of these albums has helped shape me and my musical taste in some profound way.
I present them now in roughly chronological order:
1. Queen - Greatest Hits
When I was growing up, we had this on vinyl and, of course, a copy on cassette for the car.
It's funny that back then we would have to spend time converting our music to a more portable format, and today I am doing the same with my iPod.
Anyway, Bohemian Rhapsody was the first song to ever really capture my imagination.
I remember for music class, around grade six, we had to do a "song report" in the style of a book report.
I did Bohemian Rhapsody, and was so proud of the fact that the class had to listen to all five minutes of it.
Bohemian Rhapsody was the first song I ever truly loved.
2. John Lennon/The Beatles - Imagine Soundtrack
My mother bought this on vinyl after going to see the film.
This was my first introduction to The Beatles and John Lennon.
Of all the things I have to be grateful to my mother for, this ranks up there with giving me life.
This was the first spark of a love affair that wouldn't truly ignite until a couple of years later when, whilst staying out of the adult's way at a dinner party or something, I watched the first episode of The Beatles Anthology on television.
That was when a slight infatuation turned into a full-blown obsession.
I am wearing a Beatles belt-buckle as I type this.
3. Michael Jackson - Dangerous
Certainly not his best album, this one makes the list because it is the first music I actually bought for myself.
I was given a music store gift voucher for my birthday, and I chose to buy this on cassette.
In hindsight, a fairly poor choice, but there's something quite special about choosing your own music, rather than just listening to the choices of others.
The same can be said of anything in life, really.
4. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy
I consider this to be my first real foray into modern music.
This was an album of the Nineties by a band of the Nineties that I discovered in the Nineties.
Funny, I didn't actually buy this album until a couple of years ago, but I spent enough time at my best frend Nick's house that I may as well have owned a copy.
This was a time when I started to listen to Triple J, and not just Gold FM.
I'm still obsessed with the music of the Sixties and Seventies, and I still love the music of the Eighties and Nineties, but there is good music coming out all the time, and it is worth listening out for it.
5. Cake - Fashion Nugget
This album is included not so much for its musical content as for its emotional context.
This is the earliest album I strongly associate with an emotional life event.
It was literally the soundtrack to the beginning of my first real relationship.
This album was playing in the cafe where I had my first date with my first long-term girlfriend.
The relationship was a long one, not a good one, but to this day this album still carries that emotional resonance.
The music feeds the emotion and the emotion feeds the music.
There are many other songs and albums that carry that kind of emotional resonance for me, but this is the first.