Quiet Slang: 5 Vinyl Albums That Changed My Life

Quiet Slang: 5 Vinyl Albums That Changed My Life

In honor of Record Store Day 2018, TIDAL enlisted some musicians to share with us the records that changed their lives. Beach Slang’s James Alex (a.k.a. Quiet Slang) breaks down his picks.

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The Who, Tommy

Pete Townshend is the whole reason I play rock & roll. And this is the record that turned me on to the idea. Power, humor, vulnerability, honesty and snottiness — look, if someone asked me, ‘What does rock & roll sound like?’ I’d tell them, straight away, ‘The Who.’

The Magnetic Fields, The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees 

My friend Chuck gave me this record right when I was looking for it. I mean, I didn’t know I was. But, man, this thing dripped over me like a soft hammer. And cracked my whole heart open. It’s, like, delicate, weirdo, alien pop. And demolishes me every time.

The Pixies, Surfer Rosa

This record is relentless. And unapologetic. And feels like it spins in a hundred different directions all at once. Thirty minutes of strange power. I don’t know, I think about how someone can write like this, how wild it must be to be attached to that kind of genius. Charles Thompson, you are a whole other thing, man. Thanks for that.

The Replacements, Pleased To Meet Me

In responding to an interviewer about the song ‘The Ledge,’ Westerberg said, ‘We feel for that. We’re not suicidal, but we know what it’s like to be alone and to be desperate.’ See? That’s meaning it. That answer answers exactly why rock & roll is so damn important, why the Replacements are my forever favorite band. Look, I could talk for a real long time about how important this band is, about how important their records are, but, that’s not worth much. Just go listen.

Superdrag, Regretfully Yours

I came across this record digging through stacks at Play It Again. The cover art stopped me. The hype sticker sold me. It said something like, ‘If Carl Wilson sang for the Replacements.’ I knew I had to jump, you know? I got home, put it on and melted. Fuzzy, power pop perfection. This thing should have been the biggest record around. I suppose, in some really necessary way, it was.

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