Teenage Picks: Jon Seymour
In the second of occasional series, our Norfolk correspondent Jon Seymour takes us through the ten albums that shaped his teenage years…
I was late to the party when it came to falling in love with music, but when I did fall I fell pretty hard. So here, in no particular order, are the albums that probably had the most profound effect on me, even if I didn’t actually realise it until much later.
T. Rex – “Dandy In The Underworld” (1977)
This album is almost as old as I am, but I have my Mum to thank for my love of T-Rex. Marc Bolan was a true visionary, and the world became a much darker place without him. It’s one of my earliest memories of music, and it stayed with me through my teenage years, and is still there today. I like the fantasy and escapism of the lyrics, and the intricate structure of the music. One of the pioneers of glam rock, and still a shining light to this day.
Iron Maiden – “Live After Death” (1985)
My first proper heavy metal album, and bought on a whim because I fell in love with the cover. The image of Eddie rising from the grave, HP Lovecraft’s quote, and the whole concept. As it turned out, it’s also one of the best live albums ever. Who doesn’t have fond memories whenever they hear “Scream for me Long Beach!” come through their stereo? I still love this album to this day, and it never gets old.
Deep Purple – “Machine Head” (1971)
Yes, another album about as old as I am, but it’s something that’s listed in the greatest rock albums of all time, and that opening riff? C’mon! It’s not all about Smoke On The Water though, because Highway Star, Pictures Of Home and that keyboard laden epic that is Lazy are all equally great songs. This album is something very special, and the re-issue featuring the beautiful song When A Blind Man Cries, is an absolute joy to listen to.
Def Leppard – “Hysteria” (1987)
One of the biggest selling rock albums of all time, and I think it was a regular in my ghetto blaster (remember those?) for weeks and weeks. It’s still one of my favourite albums ever, and it contains so many great songs. In fact I don’t think there’s a bad song on it. It’s one of those albums that sticks with you, and it wasn’t just me that loved it, but most of my friends too, even those that didn’t like Iron Maiden and Deep Purple.
The Mission – “God’s Own Medicine” (1986)
Back in my day, goths were so much different than they are now. I still remember back-combing my hair, using half a can of hair spray and getting my eye-liner right. This is something a little different, but it’s still a great album, and another that has stood the test of time. The opening dialogue from Wasteland “I still believe in God, but God no longer believes in me” still strikes a chord whenever I hear it.
New Model Army – “Thunder & Consolation” (1989)
To this day I don’t think there is any other band that can get as much power from an acoustic guitar. Coupled with Justin’s vocals it’s a force to be reckoned with. I remember hearing Stupid Questions for the very first time and thinking “wow”, and this album also contains my favourite song from this band, namely Green and Grey.
Guns ‘n’ Roses – “Appetite For Destruction” (1987)
Arguably one of the best debut albums ever, and definitely an essential to almost everyone’s collection. It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty years since these guys hit the scene and pretty much had the world eating out of the palm of their hands. Once again, there are too many song on this album to list a favourite, but there’s no doubt that this band launched one of the most iconic guitar players of the modern age.
Megadeth – “So Far, So Good… So What” (1988)
I’d never even heard of this band at the time, but I bought it because of a review I’d read in Kerrang. That’s how we did things in those days you know. Speed metal? What the hell is that? Well, it’s basically metal played at a million miles an hour, and there’s no-one better at it than these guys. I was blown away when I first heard it, and it’s still my favourite of theirs, even if they have released better ones since. Sentimentality over substance and all that.
Gary Moore – “Wild Frontier” (1987)
Before Gary went in the blues direction, his back catalogue was a lot more rock orientated. I got this album, because I heard Over The Hills and Far Away on a mate’s Now That’s What I Call Music compilation (Now 9 I think) and off I toddled. Not only is this a great album, it also features possibly one of the greatest pieces of guitar music ever written, namely The Loner. I still get chills every time I hear it.
Europe – “The Final Countdown” (1986)
There were numerous albums I could have put in this list, and if I wrote it last week, or even next week, it would probably be different. This album though, was the first album I bought with my own money, when I did a paper round. I still remember the dance floor of the kids’ disco on a Monday night filling up with adolescent teenagers jumping around and waving their hair about to the title track. It was the eighties, bite me. I think this album will always be somewhere