Music hits: Albums of my youth, Part 1

music hits, girl rocking out with headphones on

One of my brothers recently tagged me in a game on Facebook. The rules of the game involved music hits. Every day, for 10 days, I was to post a pic of vinyl era album cover. I was to choose albums that helped shape my tastes in music or albums I loved in my youth. The only restriction was that I could offer no explanation as to why I had chosen any specific album cover.

Ever since then, my heart has been yearning to EXPLAIN my choices. Lucky for me, I’m a freelance writer for the Hot Mess Press; so, I can do here what I couldn’t do there! I love music. You know that old song, “I got the music in me?” That’s me. In fact, it was nearly impossible (maybe completely impossible) for me to keep still if I heard that song when I was young. No, wait. Scratch that. I still can’t keep still if I hear that song. What music hits (or albums) helped shape your youth? Play along! I’ll go first. The following list includes my top 10 choices (complete WITH explanations! lol) of albums that were integral components of my budding musical tastes as a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh:

A wide array of music hits

First up, we have “Tea for the Tillerman” by Cat Stevens

music hits, Tea for the Tillerman album cover

When I was growing up, one of my favorite people on the planet was one of my big brothers. (I had five, and they were all awesome.) He played guitar and he sang beautifully. He loved kids and also animals. I used to hang out and listen to music with him for hours. This was one of his favorite albums. If you’re familiar with it, then you likely remember one of the biggest music hits that came out of this particular record: Wild World. You might say that song was part of my coming of age. I could sense  underlying messages flowing through the lyrics. I wasn’t quite old enough to grasp their full meanings; yet, they resonated deep within my soul. Sadly, the brother I shared “Tea for the Tillerman” with died at age 24. I was in eighth grade. On the rare occasion that I hear a Cat Stevens song, I smile and cherish my brother’s memory.

Next up, Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac Rumors album

I really don’t think you could have been a child of the 1970s without Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” album having a significant impact on you. This album is special to me because it was the first album my parents ever bought for me. It was either a Christmas or birthday gift; that part I can’t recall. What I DO remember, however, was the shocked look on my father’s face when I turned up the volume and he heard Lindsey Buckingham singing, “Lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff.” He shouted, “What the h*ll kind of garbage are you listening to, and where did that come from?!” I laughed and said, “YOU bought it for me, Dad!”

No music hits are complete without Boston

Boston spaceship on album cover

Did I mention how I idolized my brothers when I was growing up? (For the record, I have a beautiful, talented, wonderful sister, too. But, as I’ve been told, she was rather irritated with me for much of my youth because I ruined her chance of being the only girl in the family!) Anyway, the reason this Boston, “Don’t Look Back” album helped shape my youth is that, it was one of the bands the brother closest to my age and I both loved. Having something in common with your baseball-superstar-teenage-heartthrob big brother means you have made it in the world! (At least, that’s what it means from the perspective of 13-year-old girl.) The coolest part is that I now have a son who loves this album as much as I do! (Yes, I still blast the volume and sing along when it comes on in our van!)

Journey is known for their music hits

music hits, journey, infinity album

I didn’t put my chosen album covers in any particular order. If I had to list them from one to 10 for significance, this one would be close to the top. Oh! The hours upon hours I spent in my friend’s basement listening to the music hits from “Infinity” by Journey! We girls loved to sing and would put on “concerts” as we harmonized to our favorite Journey songs! (We were pretty good, if I do say so, myself!) I can’t hear a Journey song without thinking of my teenage years and the friends by my side as we danced and sang our way through life. What goes around, comes around, I guess, because my kids are all big Journey fans, too!

My teenage crush: The Bee Gees

Bee Gees Greatest Hits record

Notice I said Journey’s album would have been “close to the top” if I had listed my choices in order of their significance. I didn’t say “at” the top because there’s no room there for anyone but the Brothers Gibb! I was pretty much the biggest Bee Gees fan on the planet. I found a kindred spirit when I grew up and met this other Hot Mess Press author! In fact, at her 40th birthday party, the cake was plastered with the faces of Barry, Robing and Maurice! When I say I was a Bee Gees fan, I mean DIE. HARD. I went all the way back to their first ever public appearance song: Lollipop, and knew every word to every song since then.

I got the thrill of my life when I saw them in concert at the Civic Arena. And, my heart stopped and didn’t start beating again for a week when I looked through binoculars and mouthed the words, “I love you!” to my darling Maurice Gibb as he strummed his bass guitar. Then, smiling with those gorgeous pearly whites of his, he looked INTO my eyes — or binocular lenses, or whatever. I don’t know if that really happened the way I thought it did, but a young girl can dream, can’t she?  This Bee Gees Greatest Hits album wasn’t “part” of who I was in my youth, it WAS who I was.

More music hits to come!

Today’s post is Part 1 of 2 in my Top 10 album covers with music hits that shaped my youth game. Stay tuned for the final five, and start thinking up your own list, so you can share your albums in the comments or post it on a blog and link back to us here at Hot Mess Press!

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