Marya: A Life in Music
I’m going to preface this by saying that up until 1996 none of these albums were things I heard when they were new. For the first ten years of my life I pretty much only listened to The Beatles. Well, and Ace of Base — but Rodrigo already claimed their debut album. However, this list of albums does paint a pretty good portrait of the kind of music I listen to now, as well as what I was listening to when I was a teenager — a.k.a. when I actually started listening to contemporary music. Without any further ado, I give you one album from every year of my life.
1986 – The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
What can I even say about this album that hasn’t already been said? It is just the most glorious thing. I didn’t really know much about The Smiths (other than their song How Soon Is Now?, which was used in several movies in the 90s) until I was in college. Now I can’t get enough.
1987 – The Replacements – Pleased To Meet Me
I have to thank director Greg Mottola for introducing me to this band with his 2009 film Adventureland. They have so many great albums, but this one in particular is just so stellar.
1988 – Joy Division – Substance
The lead singer of Joy Division, Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, after which the band reformed as New Order. However, in 1988 Factory Records released a compilation of Joy Division singles. Thus we get this album, a sort of posthumous tribute to Curtis genius — or a way to make money off of it long after he was dead and buried. It all depends on your perspective.
1989 – Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
This. Album. Rules. Tom Petty is another artist I discovered long after his work was new, this time via Cameron Crowe. Free Fallin’ is featured prominently in his 1996 film Jerry Maguire, and that is where I first fell in love with this song. The album was one of the very first things I bought on CD. It is fabulous. There’s a part about halfway through the CD where they make animal noises and say something about how they had to make it fair for all the customers who only have it on cassette or vinyl and would have to flip the album over at that point. Genius.