A Personal Playlist

Yesterday was Valentine’s day. Unfortunately, after walking through various shops, I still hadn’t found a present for my girlfriend. So, I decided to make her a really personal gift. After hours of listening to music, deleting and adding songs (just to remove them in the end) I came up with a list of 30 songs that are very special to me for various reasons. So yesterday I gave her the CD containing all these songs and several pages of explanations as to why they are so special to me.

These are the songs I chose:

The Hooters – All You Zombies
Strictly Inc. – Don’t Turn Your Back on Me
Dio – Holy Diver
Barclay James Harvest – Prisoner of Your Love
Marillion – Script for a Jester’s Tear
Scorpions – Wind Of Change
Mike and the Mechanics – Another Cup of Coffee
La Dispute – Two (which is actually e.e. cummings’ poem somewhere i have never traveled)
Defeater – I Don’t Mind
Staind – Excess Baggage
Bon Jovi – In These Arms
Genesis – Snowbound
Bon Jovi – Bed of Roses
From Autumn to Ashes – Streamline
Papa Roach – Blood Brothers
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Phil Collins – Wear My Hat
Spin Doctors – Two Princes
Deep Purple – When a Blind Man Cries
The Verve Pipe – Colorful
Staind – Tangled Up In You
Sonata Arctica – Shamandalie
The All-American Rejects – Straightjacket Feeling
Staind – Outside
Slipknot – Snuff
Black Stone Cherry – You
Golden Earring – Radar Love
Theory of a Deadman – Wait For Me
Stone Sour – Imperfect
Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath

Does the list contain any songs you like or that are also special to you?


Five of the Week #4

Wednesday again. Seven days have passed in what seems like minutes. When you get older (yes, Ms. Fellow Blogger, I’m pushig 30 :-P) it seems that time is advancing very, very fast. I remember that, when I was a child, I could hardly stand the time I had to wait. It was like “Two days until Christmas” or “One day until the summer vacation” and I just thought “That’s one bloody hell of an eternity”. Things finally changed in the 11th grade. It was like BAM driver’s license, higher education entrance qualification (which is called “Abitur” in Germany) and now I’m not far away from finishing my studies at university. All that in the blink of an eye – or so it seems.

However, I’m not writing to tell you about how quickly time passed for me (although it is true). No, but still today’s Five of the Week are a bit more personal than the weeks before.
People say that music can already influence an unborn child and it influences them throughout their childhood. Actually, it seems to me that music never loses its influence throughout a lifetime. So, to honor music and its influence I’m going to write about the five albums that influenced me throughout my childhood, i.e. until the age of 12.

Today, I’m mainly into Hard Rock and Metal. Of course that wasn’t always the case because there were also other musical styles influencing me, e.g. the radio playing at the breakfast table. Well, to cut a long story short here are the five albums that made me like the music I love today.

1. Barclay James Harvest – Face to Face
I loved and still love BJH. Their music is simply enchanting and John Lees’ singing adds a special magic to each of their songs. ‘Prisoner of you Love’ and ‘He said Love’ are the two songs I liked the most because they made me recognize the band immediately before I got caught in the music for hours. And with hours I mean hours. I could sit in my room, play with my Lego, listen to the music and singing along without understanding a word (as I am German and was somewhere between pre- and senior kindergarten). This could go on for hours without getting boring. Quite on the contrary, sometimes my parents came into my room looking if I was still in it or if I had fallen asleep because of being so quiet.

2. Bon Jovi – Keep the Faith
Yeah, one of my first Hard Rock albums. I’ve been a big fan of Bon Jovi for years. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, their new songs lack the quality of their older material. But that’s another story.
Keep the Faith is still one of my favorite Bon Jovi records and listening to it never gets old. I think I got that CD in elementary school when I still didn’t speak any English (despite some holidays spent in Ireland). Nevertheless, I could lose myself in the songs, especially ‘I Believe’, ‘Keep the Faith’ and ‘In these Arms’. ‘I Believe’ spreads a certain power that wasn’t lost on me back then. I mean, just listen to the chorus, it’s great and Jon sings it with a power and emotion so that you simply believe with him. It’s awesome.
‘Keep the Faith’ is one of the songs you can recognized immediately. The catchy bassline caught me for the rest of the song and it didn’t get boring over the years. Wonderful.
‘In theses Arms’: Even without understanding any English I could grasp the essential meaning of the song and I liked the guitar intro. And honestly, is there anyone who could sing a ballad better than Jon Bon Jovi at this time? I don’t think so. Although not being their heaviest record it might have prepared me for what’s to come.

3. Die Toten Hosen – Im Auftrag des Herrn
My first live record and one of the few German-singing bands I like besides Rammstein. In Germany there is an unwritten “law” whereupon you have to decide whether you listen to “Die Toten Hosen” or “Die Ärzte”. I think I made this decision at a very young age (maybe in the 4th grade) and I still adhere to it. I like studio versions of songs but listening to a live version often reveals a special something. This is the case with “Alles aus Liebe”. Listening to the studio version is cool but listening to the live version still sends shivers down my spine. This is what made me stick to Die Toten Hosen for years. Songs from this record filled my cassettes (yeah, I still know cassettes and the Walkman) for years and I spent so many hours playing with Lego (you see, I played a lot with Lego) listening to the Hosen and thinking “One day I wanna see ’em live” and I did in 2005.

4. Dio – Diamonds
The Best of Dio. And it really is a compilation of his wonderful songs. The first song that really got me into Dio was ‘Holy Diver’. I guess I was around 10 or 12 years when I first listened to the song. At this time I understood a bit more English and I knew straightaway that there is a magic in that song you won’t find so often. It was in summer 1998 when I was on vacation that I listened to the song at least once a day (for 14 days) and it never got boring. What fascinated me then and still fascinates me now is Dio’s voice. No doubt was he one of the best singers, if not the best, of his time and genre. Let’s also not forget the drums. The drums in Holy Diver are still a masterpiece, as is the whole song.

5. AC/DC – Live
Another live album. I love the old AC/DC songs and I listened a lot to that album. It was my first and only AC/DC album for a long time and the power of the music as well as Brian Johnson’s voice amazed me. Be it the ‘Thunderstruck’ intro or any of the other wonderfully recognizable riffs, it caught me and didn’t let me go.
At first, I had the album recorded on a mini disc and later on, I got it on CD. That was great.

Well, that’s it. So much music, so many memories. And the good thing is that whenever you listen to an album or a song you can recall these memories. You know such a song, don’t you? If so, tell me. Of course some memories are more pleasant than others but hey, that’s life.