In this thread, you post the 5 albums that changed the way you listened to music, and a brief description as to how/why. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin Genre: Rock, Proto-metal This was the first album I ever owned, and it made me realize that I should pay more attention to classic rock. At this point in my life I was apathetic towards music in general (grade 9), didn't own a single CD, didn't have a single song downloaded. I wasn't really sure why at the time, but I now think it's because I couldn't stand the mainstream rap and garbage emo rock most of the people my age were listening to at this point. Luckily I had one friend to point me in the right direction. From the great opener "Good Times, Bad Times", to the ballad "Dazed and Confused", to the anthem "Communication Breakdown", this album has it all, and is a great example of Led Zeppelin in their prime. Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon Genre - Rock, Space/Psych Rock elements Ah yes, the quintessential Pink Floyd album. I consider them my favourite band still, after a few years of listening. And though other albums may have replaced this one as my favourite, it was my first exposure to Pink Floyd. I remember I heard Breathe once when I downloaded it off limewire. My immediate reaction was that this was a song by Neil Young, since the guitar riff is similar to another song. However it was indeed Pink Floyd, and I fell in love instantly. My dad dug an SACD copy of Dark Side of the Moon out of his collection and presented it to me. With over 40 million copies sold, and someone listening to this album at any given second of the day somewhere around the world, you know it must be good. This album is deep and speaks about fate, morality, life and death. The creepy opening piece "Speak To Me", begins as a heartbeat and slowly begins adding all of the sound samples included in the rest of the album. It culminates in the opening note of "Breathe', a beautiful song with slide guitar. The album flows from "On The Run", a repetitive piece about the blur of everyday life, to "Time", which is a deep piece about life and death. This is followed up by their hit single "Money". Followed up by "Great Gig In The Sky", "Us And Them" (which despite sounding quite cheery and mellow has very dark lyrics), and "Any Colour You Like", the album ends in "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse", which blend together. To date, this is still my favourite end to any album I've ever listened to. Everyone should listen to this album at least once in their life, regardless of how skeptical you are. At last count I had 8 different versions of this album in my collection Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame Genre: Fusion Bit of a background here: My father is a jazz musician in his free time, and he brought me up listening to jazz. When I was young I could never really comprehend jazz music, though I certainly didn't hate it. In my final year of high school I started asking my dad for recommendations, and I still remember the 4 albums he gave me the first time I did. They were Yes - Close To The Edge, Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick, Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, and this gem of an album. Each one of these has made it into my all time favourites, but this album stands out among them for getting me into Jazz/Rock Fusion (along with Bitches Brew). For those of you unaware, the Mahavishnu Orchestra (in its first and best form anyway) was headed by John McLaughlin, at this point in his life mainly a session guitarist for people such as Miles Davis. This album really launched his own career. I cannot describe it as anything more than amazing. His guitar playing made me realize that there was more to guitar than shredding; he's one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. All over the fretboard constantly, with blazing speed and perfect technique, and yet somehow it never really sounds like shredding. This album, along with Birds of Fire, represents the best of their work. It's instrumental fusion at its best and I'd recommend it to anyone. Radiohead - OK Computer Genre: Alternative Rock This was the album that introduced me to Radiohead, plain and simple. Of course I'd heard "Creep" before on the radio, but it isn't really indicative of their later work. Radiohead, for me, represents one of the best rock bands my generation has had to listen to. Though this is no longer my favourite Radiohead album, I'll always remember it for introducing me to the band and for broadening my musical tastes in general. I actually purchased it on whim rather than downloading it, since it was on sale at my local CD store. As soon as I heard the opening riffs of "Airbag" I knew this was going to be a good album. This is followed up by Paranoid Android, which is one of their best tracks from this period in my opinion. This album flows really well, through SHA and Exit Music into Let Down and Karma Police. Fitter, Happier sticks out of the album like a sore thumb, since it's simply spoken word in a "Hawking"ish voice. However after multiple listens I've learned to appreciate the message. From this point the album sort of peters out in my opinion, though the other tracks have their points of interest. Electioneering is a decent single, with a catchy guitar and politically charged lyrics, but it really doesn't fit in this album too well. Climbing Up The Walls, Lucky, and The Tourist still aren't going to be favourites of mine, but they all have their merits too. Yes - Close To The Edge Genre - Progressive Rock Having already relayed the story about my dad giving this CD to me earlier, I won't go into that again. However let me say that along with Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick, this is THE prog rock album of all time. I feel no hesitation in saying that Close To The Edge is one of the greatest progressive rock suites ever written. Every piece is a masterpiece with multiple parts that somehow come together in a common theme. The title track is easily my favourite, spanning 18 minutes. Rick Wakeman is AMAZING on keyboards throughout this entire album, really driving the songs, and Stevie Howe's guitar is nothing short of epic. I would recommend this album to anyone. This is the album that got me interested in progressive rock/metal in the first place, and it can do the same for you. A point of interest I just realized is that I actually own all five of these rather than just having downloaded them. And with the exception of DSotM I'd never listened to any of the tracks before getting the CDs. I guess the argument that an album is more meaningful to you if you buy it may ring true.