I know it’s only rock and roll, but I like it!
The first “grown ups” record I was ever given was the Beatles‘ “Help/I’m Down” single, which I listened to on my parent’s Braun record player (scroll to the bottom of the page). Among my parents’ records the Beatles “A Collection of Beatles Oldies …but Goldies!“, which I still consider one of the best collections ever made, and “Abbey Road” were to influence my early tastes more than the Rolling Stones‘ “Between the Buttons” and “Their Satanic Majesties’ Request” (an early copy with the 3D photograph!). When I started having enough money to buy my own records I first completed the family’s Beatles collection, before moving on to discover such bands as the Police, the Who, the Clash and many others.
Towards the end of the seventies music had become my main interest; I bought in the order of a few LP’s each week, I went to almost a gig each month and I started learning to play bass guitar. I feel lucky, because I consider the 1977 – 1983 period to be one of the richest in the history of rock music. Probably the fact that I was in my teens has something to do with the affection I feel for many of the records of the time.
Although through the years I expanded my tastes to include 60’s black music, reggae, jazz-rock and other genres, my favourite artists tend to either come from the sixties or the Punk/New Wave era. In addition to those I already mentioned these include Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Joe Jackson and most of Paul Weller‘s different incarnations. Among american artists Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits are the first that come to mind.
I have to say that few artists caught my attention in subsequent years. The Housemartins held great promise, which was only partly confirmed by the Beautiful South. Grunge was probably the last great movement to emerge, but I can’t say I’m overly fond of the music that came of it; “Temple of the Dog” is a great album, though. Blur and Oasis did a few nice things, but with them it’s hard to say where influence ends and shameless copying begins. It turns out that both my favourites among currently popular bands, U2 and R.E.M., were founded in the “golden age” I mentioned above.