Hi, my name is Zach and I play bass guitar in Cerce and work at GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
This one was an easy choice — I had the album title tattooed onto my wrist for chrissakes. Rumours was one of the first CDs I remember my Mom owning. As I grew older and became interested in audio engineering, I realized why this record is considered to be Fleetwood Mac’s magnum opus and I obsessed over its intricacies.
The cocaine-fueled perfectionism and meticulous production makes this album something everyone should actively listen to at least once in their life. In my honest opinion, it is a truly perfect record – despite the fact that the masterpiece B-side “Silver Springs” wasn’t included on the final tracklisting (band and record label, what were you thinking??)
Rumours is one of the best selling albums of all time for a reason. It is archived in the Library of Congress for a reason. Even if you hate Fleetwood Mac, you have to agree that Rumours is an objectively great album start-to-finish. Stevie Nicks recorded the vocal track for “Dreams” in one take. Live. If you aren’t impressed by that, I’ll just have to assume you will never be impressed by anything.
Neil Young – Harvest
I got grounded at the end of the seventh grade because I didn’t care much about school and my grades were suffering. Fortunately, I had recently inherited a turntable from my grandfather. With some classic rock vinyl (including the album Harvest) on loan from my uncle, I spun records to pass the time during my solitary confinement.
As a depressed twelve-year-old punk kid who wore all-black everyday, Harvest was a real eye-opener. Despite being mostly a folk record, it became my gateway into the world of indie rock and alternative music. I don’t necessarily think it is Neil Young’s best album start-to-finish, but it dramatically expanded my horizons and gave me insight into complex songwriting that was deeper than Green Day or classic rock radio. “Out on the Weekend” might be my favorite song of all time and “Words” is just as undeniably heavy as it is soft.
The Clash – The Clash (U.S. Version)
Tim Altieri (guitarist of Cerce) and I became friends because we were the only kids in our sixth grade class who liked The Ramones. Tim knew about a wider variety of music than I did and turned me on to many bands I would have never known about otherwise, such as The Clash.
The Clash was my first exposure to politically charged, socially conscious music and proved to me that punk rock could mean something more than “circle-A anarchy” wristbands from Hot Topic. Joe Strummer’s songwriting was on another level when compared to his contemporaries and his lyrics influenced me in a way no other artist had managed to.
Although the 1979 U.S. Version I’m referencing here is a weird compilation record, the track sequencing is so concise that I had always assumed it was recorded as an intentional album. Although I believe London Calling is their true masterpiece, The Clash (U.S. Version) played a crucial role in my musical and social development on a very personal level.
Runner-ups I feel like I need to mention:
- Magnolia Electric Co. – Sojourner: Three and a half albums worth of material and not a single bad song on the entire record. There are songs on this record that give me the chills and others that have made me cry. R.I.P. Jason Molina.
- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree: Dark, raw, devastating record. This completely changed the way I approach making and arranging music. The accompanying documentary (One More Time with Feeling) was absolutely gut-wrenching and a must-watch for any Nick Cave fan.
- Kate Bush – The Whole Story: This is a greatest hits record so kind of a cop-out but I don’t care. It is too difficult for me to choose ONE Kate Bush record as my favorite. An outrageously revolutionary musician, composer, and producer.
Photo by Nick DiNatale – www.nickdinatale.com