Earlier this week, I joked with my friends that I was no longer going to listen to “sad girl music” -- basically, I meant that I need to stop whiling away the eight hours I spend sitting in front of this keyboard listening to music that puts me way deeper in my feelings than one should be at work. So I set out to find something that was going to make me feel happy and light and free, something that would make a work week go by faster. And I went way back in my musical interests to some of the first albums that I loved in my childhood, the ones that sculpted my tastes and made me fall in love with music before I could even do long division.
I landed on one early favorite in particular: “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks. It was the first CD that my dad ever bought for me when I was seven years old, and I spun it in my Discman so many times I worried that I would literally wear the CD out and have to buy a new one. The songs on that album bring back memories of riding in my dad’s truck as we went to feed the cows together on our little family farm. We’d sing along together and Dad knew every word, despite the fact that he loved to deliberately mess up the lyrics and make up new ones just to annoy me.
It got me thinking about the formative albums of my youth -- Shania Twain’s “Come On Over,” the inimitable soundtrack to the “Josie and the Pussycats” movie, Taking Back Sunday’s “Tell All Your Friends,” Brand New’s “Your Favorite Weapon,” Fall Out Boy’s “From Under The Cork Tree,” not to mention all the AC/DC and Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash that my dad made me listen to in the truck (we listened to “On The Road Again” every morning for years as he drove me to my grandma’s house before heading into LCRA for his early morning shift).
I wanted to know -- what were these albums for other people? My early love for classic country, pop-rock and loud electric guitar were the basis of the music I still love today, and I was sure other people could relate. So I posed the question on Twitter.