When I originally thought up the idea to make this list of influential albums, I knew immediately what my #1 was going to be. The hard part was picking the other 19 albums that would follow. Right off the bat I knew that Beck
” would land at the top of my list. Very few albums have come even close to equalling the impact that “Odelay” has had on me.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve obsessed over this album. I remember I couldn’t get enough of it the first time I listened to it. I was probably 7 or 8, and not only was I fascinated by the music, but I remember the album art being extremely interesting to me, especially the egg with the rosary on the back. I also remember going through a very large “Odelay” phase back in high school, roughly grades 10 through 11. How obsessed was I? Let’s just say I had “Yo tengo chicle en cerebro” written in the margins of plenty of my notes.
There are so many quirks and little samples scattered throughout the album, it’s hard not to get hooked. From the “magical wizard of rhythm” on “Hotwax
” all the way to “Two turntables and a microphone,” “Odelay” doesn’t just stand as the peak of Beck’s career, but it sets the bar for all music, begging for it to be as catchy, quirky and unique.
Like I said, very few albums come even close to matching the impact of “Odelay.” Very few albums have stuck with me this long, keep me interested on every listen, and inspire me to do almost anything like “Odelay” does. When you’re down, the album can make you smile and feel better about yourself. When you’re up, the album will just make you want to dance. When you put it in simple terms like that, then any album that can make you do that has the recipe for success.
Although there is another Beck album on the list, “Sea Change
,” even it fails to reach the level of impact that “Odelay” has had on me. I didn’t discover “Sea Change” until later, after I had already gone through probably 4 or 5 “Odelay phases.” I always debate which Beck album is his best, and it always comes down to “Odelay” and “Sea Change.” While “Sea Change” has that mature, grown-up sense of stability to it, I believe that “Odelay” is his greatest because of the exact opposite reason. It begs you to be a child. “Odelay,” with its’ nonsensical lyrics and unorthodox style simplifies things. I’m going with “Odelay,” and that’s why it’s my number 1 most influential album in my life.
I’d love to know the most influential album in YOUR life.
Here is a complete recap of the entire list:
1. Beck - Odelay 
2. Gorillaz - Gorillaz 
3. Daft Punk - Homework 
4. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 
5. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs 
6. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum 
7. Panda Bear - Person Pitch 
8. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon 
9. Beck - Sea Change 
10. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak 
11. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary 
12. Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith 
13. Weezer - Maladroit 
14. The National - Boxer 
15. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois 
16. Oasis - What's the Story Morning Glory? 
17. Coldplay - Parachutes 
18. Billy Talent - Billy Talent 
19. Ween - The Mollusk 
20. The Strokes - Room On Fire