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Audio Club

Obscure Musical Milestones, In No Order

First album ever purchased: Abba’s Greatest Hits

First album ever quiescently listened to purely because a girl I liked enjoyed it, which was torture, because I found the music so terrible, and the artist’s name so mockable, but you undergo these things when you like a girl and hope that maybe something will happen, but needless to say nothing ever did: Peabo Bryson (title forgotten)

First album bought with at least dim understanding that though I enjoyed it, I knew somehow that it was really total garbage: Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Flaunt It!

First album listened to obsessively that has no rational explanation in the context of my personal tastes: Soundtrack, Jesus Christ Superstar

Second album listened to obsessively that has no rational explanation in the context of my personal tastes: Switched On Bach

First song ever sobbingly and drunkenly requested of a radio DJ to be played at 2:30 am in the wake of a horrible breakup, and which was indeed played, after which I called the DJ back to even more sobbingly and drunkenly thank him for playing, a memory which causes me searing psychological agony: Phish, “Fast Enough For You”

First album ever bought by an unknown band, a decision which was viciously mocked by my friend Nick because he thought the band members had idiotic names, which they did, but I turned out to be prescient, because they went on to be horrifically popular, and hey, it’s a pretty good album, so I got to eventually viciously mock Nick right back for years, and pretty much just lorded it over him for being so short-sighted: Guns ‘N Roses, Appetite for Destruction

First album listened to which actually, literally, made me feel like at that moment my life was changing in some undefinable way: Who’s Next

First album purchased in a frenzy of sudden need because of one single song playing over the store’s stereo even though I had never heard of the band because I grew up in fucking Idaho where popular culture is anything but: New Order, Substance (For the record, the song was “Ceremony,” which interestingly, many years later, in another record store, was again playing over the stereo, only this time it was a cover version by Galaxie 500, and I was again consumed with need, and immediately bought their 4-CD box set on the spot, basically because I am hopeless.)

First album bought for only one song on the baseless assumption that the rest of the album would be as great as the hit single, but of course was terrible and now this band is a punchline: T’pau

First album to ever provoke a friendship-threatening argument spanning many weeks, ultimately culminating in an uneasy truce where I realized, simply and sadly, that I now felt that the friend in question was somehow diminished by failing to appreciate it: XTC, Skylarking

First album ever purchased, and subsequently enjoyed until one day, out of the blue, I was struck with the sudden surety of the notion that it actally fucking sucked, bad, and was in fact, unhealthy to listen to, and was summarily violently destroyed: Billy Squier, Emotions in Motion

First song to start playing in the unstoppable jukebox in my mind after writing that: “Everybody Wants You.”

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