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What Three Albums Changed Your Life?

Currently trending on Twitter is the hashtag #3AlbumsThatChangedMyLife. Designed to have people tweet the covers of three albums that changed their lives in some way, it’s not meant to seek their favorites, which I love. It’s much easier to think of landmark events than favorite moments as those can shift on a minute-by-minute basis. But something that left an indelible effect on one’s life? Those are far easier to pinpoint.

That hashtag got me thinking of three albums that shaped my musical life. To be 100% honest, I only needed about 10 seconds before three immediately came to mind. Therefore, I figured I’d share my own and hope that you would all let me know yours!

Tangerine Dream – Legend OST

This was one of my favorite films as a child and Tangerine Dream‘s score was a big part of my love for this movie. It was also the soundtrack that got me hooked into film scores, the one that made me pay attention to the music of a movie as much as I paid attention to the visuals and story. I remember laying on my bedroom floor with a cheap keyboard in front of me, plunking away and trying to figure out to play the main theme. This soundtrack is what inspired my love of music and will forever be the most important album of my life.

Metallica – The Black Album

My sister had a party once and several of her friends brought CDs over so they could have music in the background whilst doing whatever it was that they did (I wasn’t invited). One of her friends left a copy of Metallica‘s The Black Album but no one laid claim to it. It’s as though someone left it deliberately, never wanting to have it in their possession again. So, I did what any rebellious young teenager would do: I took it and played it, wanting to see if I was going to be interested in “metal”. At this point, the only real albums I owned were Green Day’s Dookie, No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, and, shame upon shame, ICP’s The Great Milenko.

The Black Album completely changed me. Suddenly, it felt like I found a genre that was meant for me, that spoke to who I was as a person. Prior to having this album, I never really took to metal, even though I liked the occasional “harder” song. But now it all made sense and I went down that path and have never looked back.

Porcupine Tree – In Absentia

In the summer of 2002, I was hanging out with a core group of friends and our big thing was going to concerts and blasting music at earth-shattering volumes, all while hooking up our computers and playing Diablo II via LAN. One of those guys was a huge prog rock fan and kept talking about a band by the name of Porcupine Tree. One day I was at a music store and I saw In Absentia for $9.99. That was back when CDs were anywhere from $13.99 to $17.99, so I saw it as a great deal and said to myself, “Fuck it. If I don’t like it, it was a cheap test.

I got into my car and popped the album into my Discman, which was connected to the stereo system via a cassette adapter. I dug the first track, “Blackest Eyes”, but it was “Trains”, the second track on the album, that hooked me. The vocal harmonies in the bridge starting at 2:55 in the below video absolutely blew my mind. I rewound and replayed that section over and over and over. Then I replayed that song over and over and over. I think I listened to it maybe 20 times before I allowed the album to progress to the third track. What followed is an album that I still return to with enormous fondness and joy, now mixed with wisps of nostalgia because it’s been a part of my life for so long.

While The Black Album introduced me to my love of metal, In Absentia allowed me to stray into new and exciting territories. It was because of this album that I felt comfortable testing the waters of anything that came across my path. After all, if I took a risk on this album and it ended up changing my life, who knew when that might happen again?



  • SpacemanSpliffz

    Tool – Aenima
    Minus the Bear – Highly Refined Pirates
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

    I first heard Dark Side of the moon in my Dad’s truck as a kid, and still have that same tape. Yeah, I said tape. As in cassette. That whole album blew my 7 year old brain open to the idea that there was more to music than the Beatles and movie soundtracks (Cocktail and Dirty Dancing anybody?)

    Tool’s Aenima made me love a band that I already loved even more. Everything was a step up from Undertow, and opened my teenage brain to the concept that music can be more than just music. 15 year old me once said whilst drunk “Tool isn’t music, Tool is like, an emotion, maaaaaaaan”

    And last but not least, MTB. At the time I heard this, I had no idea they existed. A buddy of mine came to band practice, and after watching our set the first thing he said was “do you guys listen to Minus the Bear? you sound a LOT like them”. Later that night he burned me a copy of Highly Refined Pirates and that was the end for me haha. Even though MTB is now sort of played out and all their shit kind of sounds the same, that album blew my friggin mind

    • Creepshow

      Dark Side of the Moon live, on the Pulse double disc is mind blowing. I don’t even own the original anymore, because it’s THAT good!

    • markajacoby

      Was at the Pontiac Silverdome on the Pulse tour when they broke out Dark Side from start to finish for the first time in 30+ years. I nearly lost my freaking mind!


    Metallica – the black album
    Pink Floyd – the wall,
    Tool – Lateralus

  • Darkness69

    The 69 Eyes – Paris Kills
    U2 – Achtung Baby
    Hurts – Happiness

    Soundtracks and scores would be a totally different category for me:

    Wojciech Kilar – Bram Stoker’s Dracula OST
    The Crow score & OST
    John Carpenter – In the Mouth of Madness OST

  • Creepshow

    I can’t narrow it down to 3.

    AC/DC – Powerage
    Rage Against the Machine – self titled
    Alice in Chains – Dirt
    Faith No More – The Real Thing
    Tool – Undertow
    Korn – self titled
    Beck – Mellow Gold

    Man…90’s music ruled

    • Vincent Kane

      90’s music is amazing! In my lifetime the greatest year in music will always be 1994. Some of the albums from great artist and some great debuts that year also, Nirvana, Jeff buckley, Green day, Pearl Jam, STP, Alice in chains, Live, Beastie boys, The Offspring, Korn etc I could write forever about 1994 music and movies haha.

  • J Jett

    Blondie – Parallel Lines
    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I Love Rock n’ Roll
    Pino Donaggio – CARRIE soundtrack

    • Creepshow

      Sure, pick your own album why don’t ya. LOL : P

      • J Jett

        LOL!! i just realized i did that! 🙂

  • Frank Lloyd Jr

    Kiss – Rock And Roll Over. First album I ever bought.
    Megadeth – Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good.
    King Diamond – Abigail.

  • Matt

    1. Dio – The Last In Line (May he forever rest in peace. I miss him very much.)
    Ronnie James Dio wrote some of the greatest fantasy style lyrics of all time. He could paint such a vivid and wonderful picture with those words and his booming vocals. It had a great effect on my life.
    2. King Diamond – Them
    King Diamond is the ultimate metal story teller. With his horror-style lyrics and that amazing falsetto voice, it just blew my mind. It really bolstered my love for horror movies and the macabre.
    Accept – Metal Heart
    This was just such a great album. Great musicians, with Udo’s distinctive vocals, listening to this album helped me through some tough times.

    Those albums had three of the greatest metal vocalists of all time, and I’ve never looked back. I’m still living in the eighties today, music was so much better back then!


    Rage against the machine: Bombtrack
    Marilyn Manson: Antichrist Superstar
    Cradle of Filth: Dusk and her Embrace

    Of course, there are other albums that have marked my life, but these three are the main.

    PS: Thank you all for your comments because I discovered a lot of new artists 🙂

  • Sailor Galaviz

    1. David Bowie – “The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars”
    2. Misfits – “Walk Among Us”
    3. My Chemical Romance – “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge”

    Horror Albums:
    1. Goblin – “Zombie/ Dawn of the Dead”
    2. John Carpenter – “The Fog”
    3. Angelo Badalamenti – “Twin Peaks”

  • Vincent Kane

    I’m not all into the this “changed my life” type stuff when it comes to entertainment so I’m just going to go with albums that have strong memories attached (not saying they are the best either).

    1) Prong-Cleansing (specifically snap your fingers, snap your neck) This officially got me hooked on metal/hard rock music. I was listening to Metallica but who wasn’t at the time. This song made me go deeper into the genre to expand my horizons haha.
    2) Live-Throwing Copper-simply had one of the best jr high experiences ever while sharing a headset on a Walkman. Anytime I hear Kowalczyk’s voice it takes me back to being 14.
    3) Blue October- Foiled, was going through a rough time in my life and I listened to the crap out of their music especially this album.

  • jsmoltz29

    Metallica Black Album
    Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
    Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Flood

  • rnem80

    Depeche Mode -Violator
    Nine Inch Nails -Pretty Hate Machine
    Tool -Undertow

  • The Suspiria OST by Goblin, Smash by the Offspring, and Master of Puppets by Metallica.

    • Deadcalm

      For me it was Ignition – literally life changing – but Smash was also amazing, obviously.

      • A woman in the shop the other day asked me the leading question: “Do you know what the best thing to happen in 1998 was?” She clearly was alluding to the birth of her first child and I was like “The Offspring released Americana?” and just wouldn’t let it go. I don’t care if your kid cures cancer, Americana came out in 1998.

  • Adaon Rel

    Weezer (1994)
    The Dandy Warhols – Come Down
    Air – Moon Safari

  • Deadcalm

    The Offspring – Ignition …when music became personal.
    Hieroglyphics – 3rd Eye Vision …when horizons broadened.
    Soilwork – A Predator’s Portrait …when Metal was revealed, in all it’s glory.

  • gabriel

    Great choices. The only other OST that comes close to Legend is Batman Begins.

  • gabriel

    Hellbilly Deluxe, Break the Cycle, and Shadows are Security.

  • BelmontPublicLibrary

    Sarah MacLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, The Din Pedals – Candide, Tool – Undertow

  • thedragon803

    Black Sabbath – We Sold Our Soul for Rock n Roll – only cassette I’ve ever worn out
    Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss
    Wu Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers

  • David Carlisle

    Nevermore: Dreaming Neon Black-I lost my virginity while listening

    Overkill: From the Underground and Below-saved my sanity

    Machine Head: From the Ashes of Empires-showed me what was coming after sobriety

  • Fracassi

    Sepultura – Chaos A.D.
    Pearl Jam – Ten
    Alice In Chains – Jar Of Flies

  • markajacoby

    Iron Maiden – Killers (on cassette) – What turned me on to metal
    Peter Murphy – Deep – What turned me on to alternative
    KMFDM – Nihil – What turned me on to industrial

  • Glitchiee Glitch

    master of puppets “metallica”
    heaven nor hell “volbeat”
    nothing else has had such a profound impact as these two have

  • OctoberLIBRA

    Debbie Gibson-In your Eyes
    Madonna- True Blue –
    -director of Freddy vs Jason

    • Vincent Kane

      Debbie Gibson Yes all day, I always wanted to show her my electric youth…

  • Matt Graupman

    Pearl Jam – “Ten”
    Tool – “Aenima”
    Minus The Bear – “Menos El Oso”

  • ryeis1

    Mr. Bungle, Slayer-Reign in Blood, Pink Floyd-The Wall. I just realized how sick I truly am… “Why are you running away?”

  • DarkBree

    These three albums touched my heart:

    Born this Way
    Blue Neighborhood

  • witchypoo

    “The Nightfly” – Donald Fagen: Grew up with a mother who loves jazz, and this was my first time really loving it too.

    “Polyamorous” – Breaking Benjamin: The commercial for this was the first time I ever heard hard rock – I fell in love instantly, to my family’s dismay 🙂

    “Bleed American” – Jimmy Eat World: “Sweetness” hit me like a ton of damn bricks. I’ve always liked music, but I credit the feeling that song gave me to kickstarting an obsession.

  • horrormaker

    Motely Crue: Shout at the Devil: after seeing them warm up for Ozzy.
    Megadeth: So Far, So Good, So What:
    Metallica: Ride The Lightening: Saw them live back then and loved the sound.

  • johnhelvete

    Joy Division-Closer. At age 13, Joy Division was the band that got me interested in Killing Joke, Bauhaus, The Misfits etc.

    Metallica- Garage Days Revisted. In high school since I really liked The Misfits and Killing Joke I listened to this thanks to a friend. Got me started with thrash metal and eventually death metal.

    Entombed-The Left Hand Path. Was already a death metal fan but this in my mind is still the greatest death metal album of all time and got me interested in the Swedish bands (and Finnish as well).

  • Richter Belmont

    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    The Sisters of Mercy – Floodland
    Silent Hill Original Soundtrack

  • Eizzy IceBorne

    Michael Jackson – Bad . . . It was important for me, when I was a kid. I am still remembering me, sitting there as a little boy in the Olympic stadium and watching my very first concert.

    Grave Digger – Tunes Of War . . . In later years, when I discovered Rock, Metal and Punk, I was trying to find my way and what music I really enjoy. I remembered watching the video for “Rebellion” on TV. I stumbled upon the album by rummaging in a store and decided to by. And BAMM! – It grabbed me by the balls and made me a man! XD

    Nightwish – Century Child . . . I would say, Tunes Of War had the big impact on me, but as three album are asked, I should mention this one as it was another step for me. The combination of Opera and Metal. There are a lot of bands out there who are trying it, but Nightwish nailed it. 😉

    Honorable mentions: Reunion by Black Sabbath, as it made Sabbath one of my favourite bands, Famous Monsters by the Misfits, because it made me a fiend for life and Infest by Papa Roach, because it helped me through a very bad time.

  • Josh Evans

    Skinny Puppy – Too Dark Park
    My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
    Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

  • Ivan Puentes

    Black Sabbath S/T
    Bathory S/T
    The Cure- Pornography

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