I found it curious to read your lists of top fives and see how many of you mentioned that the albums you chose were linked to important times or events in your life.
My number two pick for JoBeth Booksellers immediately brings to mind the four years I spent attending college in Texas.
I remember seeing the cassette (look it up kids. It used to be a word. And get off my damn lawn) for the first time in Tina Fey’s room.
I remember exactly how the tape case was cracked in the corner.
I remember hearing the first song while we sat on the dock on the lake one spring day enjoying the sun, water and friends.
I remember playing that tape over and over again while writing papers or driving home to Pittsburgh.
I remember Tina Fey’s friend Christy had a super old car that would at various unknown intervals chew up and then spit out a cassette tape so hard that the maimed mangled mess would land in the back seat where it would take its last gasping breath. This cassette wasn’t allowed in Christy’s car.
Fast forward to present day. Bloop-bloop-bloop.
Burghers, I cannot sing. At all. Like it’s a joke in my family how awful I sound. Screw waterboarding, can someone get me PittGirl to sing to these infidels? So it is a rare occasion that you’ll find me singing out loud. I’m a lip syncher. I’m selfless like that.
However, in my SUV, tearing down the Parkway, alone, there are certain songs that well, I don’t give a damn. The windows come down, I pull the hair band out of my hair and let the wind shake my curls out, I crank up the volume until I can actually feel my eardrums vibrating, and I sing out loud and strong and I do it with a smile on my face knowing how ridiculous I look and knowing that every dog in the tri-county area is reaching for a pointy object with which to puncture their own ear drums.
I’m that way with Martina McBride’s “Happy Girl”.
With Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.
And I’m that way with every single stinking damn song on my number two pick, an album I discovered almost ten years after it was released:
2. Erasure, The Innocents.
Erasure is an English pop duo and I hope some of you have heard of them?
So listen, no, I mean really, listen. If I could take you and chain you down and force you to listen to any one album on my top five list, this would be the one.
Listen to Chains of Love.
Listen to Yahoo, my personal favorite. Yahoo! Ahhhh. Higher higher higher. Yahoo! Ahhhhh.
They just don’t write lyrics like that anymore. Heh.
Listen to Imagination.
And then you’ll know what to listen for when you’re driving down the Parkway wondering if PittGirl is on the road there with you. You’ll see that chick in the SUV with her hair a tangled Medusa-like mess screaming at the top of her lungs all “Come to me, cover me, hold me/together we’ll break these chains of love” and then you’ll take both of your hands off of your steering wheel to cover your ears and you’ll know.
And boy, she wasn’t kidding about her singing voice.