Music has always been part of my life as far back as I remember.  My Dad loved rock and my Mom liked light rock or 'bubble gum rock" so I had a heavy influence of different types of music.  But,  there were five albums, in particular, that paved the way for the metal head in me to come out, and change my life forever.

This is one of the first albums I heard when I was growing up that made me bang my head.  I was only a kid and riding the school bus and this dude would always bring his radio, or jam box as we called it back in the day, and he would be blasting Motley Crue all the time.   "Louder Than Hell" really stuck in in my mind although, this was the album known for "Home Sweet Home", and "Smokin' In The Boys Room'.  This album taught me to listen to my music loud from then on.


This is the album that really introduced me to heavy metal. Sure, the Crue were bad ass and all of that, but this is the album that took my head banging to a whole new level.   I remember hanging out and jumping our bikes on homemade ramps when one of my friends put a tape (yes, it was cassette tapes back then) in and hit play.  'Battery' came on and I think my bike never flew so high.


This album was one of the first I had heard of Van Halen and it's still one of my favorite albums to this day. I was really into the heavy and crunchy sounds that the album had, and the guitar solos were amazing.  In fact, this is when Eddie Van Halen became a "guitar hero" of mine.  To this day, any time I play air guitar, I still think I'm Eddie Van Halen ripping out 'Panama'.


This was the first album that exposed me to what I would later call 'the best band ever".  'Vulgar Display of Power' introduced me to a new level (pun intended)  of metal.  I was already listening to bands like Slayer, Metallica, Testament, and Anthrax, but one day I saw the video to "Mouth of War", and Pantera surpassed all of the rest to become my favorite band of all time.


The first time I heard "Pull Me Under" off of this album, I was hooked. I liked the way these guys rocked it when they had to, but was melodic and precise when they had to as well...and their offbeat timing was ridiculous. Now, I had a ton of different musical influences growing up, but the one thing that was always constant was that I liked my music heavy.  I didn't really consider Dream Theater heavy but if there was one band that opened my eyes up to different types of rock, it was them.

There are a bunch of other albums that influenced me in one way or another and changed my life, but those are my top five. What are some of the albums that changed your life?