From Lauryn Hill to The Beatles, which album changed your life? | #NAD
Happy National Album Day!
Celebrating 70 years of the album format, today marks the very first National Album Day here in the UK.
Putting singles, playlists, EPs and mixtapes to the back of our minds for 24 hours, we thought we'd revisit our Record That Changed My Life series.
If you're unfamiliar with the series, it's something we put together where a different artist or musical figurehead discusses the album that changed their life.
Talking to Lecrae, David Rodigan, Matt Cardle, Jason Derulo and many more, here's a recap of the albums that changed their lives.
The Wailers - Catch a Fire
Released in 1973, Catch A Fire was the first album The Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer) released on Island Records. Featured on Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list, it's often regarded as one of reggae's finest albums and was the global introduction of Bob Marley and his game-changing music.
Michael Jackson - Bad
Michael Jackson's Bad is a genre-defining album. It's an album that sparked nine singles (out of 11 songs), five of which hit the number one spot on Billboard. The follow-up to Thriller, the biggest selling solo album of all-time, Bad is the third and final collaboration with Quincy Jones, an incredible body of work that went on to sell over 35 million copies.
Nick J.D. Hodgson
The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album)
Released in 1968, the self-titled album by The Beatles (famously known as the White Album) is the ninth studio release from the biggest band in the world. Featuring fan favourites such as "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (which was written by George Harrison), the White Album is a double album with a plain white cover that is said to have been intended as a direct contrast to the vividly colourful cover art of their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP.
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Released in 1998, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the former Fugees singer/rapper's only solo studio album. Winner of five Grammy Awards, it's sold over 19 million copies worldwide. Featuring the hits "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Everything Is Everything" and "Ex-Factor" (which turned out to be about her former bandmate Wyclef Jean), The Miseducation of... is poetic, spiritual, loving, educational, and a celebration of blackness. It's arguably one of the most important Hip Hop albums ever created.
Otis Redding - Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul
Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul is essentially an Otis Redding covers album, bar three songs. Adding his own spin to Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come", The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "My Girl" by The Temptations, it went on to be ranked 74 on the Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. It also featured a song written by Redding called "Respect" that a lady by the name of Aretha Franklin went on to record and transform into an international women's anthem.
Nirvana - Nevermind
The quintessential grunge album, Nirvana's Nevermind is one of one. Never duplicated - although many have tried - it's the perfect representation of Kurt Cobain's genius. Featuring arguably the heaviest dance floor classic to have ever been made ("Smells Like Teen Spirit"), it contains hit after hit after hit, of which none were designed to be. "Come As You Are" is a celebration of self-expression and individuality, while "Stay Away" is apparently one of Dr. Dre's favourite songs - who knew? Nevermind was also the first Nirvana offering to feature a little known drummer by the name of Dave Grohl.
Justice - Justice (Cross)
The self-titled album by Justice, which is also known as Cross, was released in 2007 to both commercial fanfare and love from underground fans. A project full of micro-samples, it's often regarded an opera-disco album, a sub-genre that was brought to the masses via the release of Cross. It achieved gold status in the UK, thanks in part to the singles "D.A.N.C.E." and "Waters of Nazareth".
Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Oasis made noise when they released their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994, but the noise they made the following year when they released (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was deafening beyond comprehension. With more of a focus on ballad-esque songwriting and huge choruses, the Gallagher brothers and refined the rawness of their debut by adding in string arrangements and a more varied selection of instrumentation. Sure, it features "Wonderwall", "Don't Look Back in Anger" and "Cast No Shadow", but it closes out with one of the most beautiful songs ever written, "Champagne Supernova".
Michael Jackson - Thriller
What is there to say about Michael Jackson's Thriller that hasn't been said already? It's the blueprint for musical perfection. Produced by Quincy Jones, the 9-track album might as well be a project full of singles because they all bang. "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Thriller", "P.Y.T.", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "The Girl is Mine", they're all on Thriller. And let's not forget "Human Nature", written by Steve Porcaro of Toto fame, what an incredible song. Over 75 million copies later, it's the biggest selling album of all-time.
Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire
The second studio album by Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire debuted at number one on Billboard when it was released in 1996. A Grammy winner for the song "Tire Me", it's a sociopolitical siege built-in a bed of heavy metal and Hip Hop that drew inspiration from Ronald Reagan's slander of the Soviet Union in the eighties. Featuring the tracks "People of the Sun" and "Bulls on Parade", it's a tough talking and very real project that isn't necessarily supposed to be enjoyed, it's supposed to wake you up and flag some of the world's issues that aren't seen on the news.
Today is National Album Day and music lovers from all over the UK will unite to celebrate the nation’s love of the iconic album. At 3.33pm everyone in the country is being asked to stop what they’re doing, sit back, relax and play an album of choice in full, from start to finish.
Visit www.nationalalbumday.co.uk for more information.