Friday Discussion: The First CD I Bought

by Zack Zarrillo - May 17, 2013


The odds are that the first CD you bought is not indicative of the music that you listen to today. Or maybe it is, who knows. Regardless, we thought it would be fun, amusing, and interesting to do a new PropertyOfZack Friday Discussion on The First CD I Bought. Check out our Discussion below and feel free to reblog with your first CD purchase!

Michelle Branch - The Spirit Room
blink-182 may be my one true musical love, but Michelle Branch was my first.

It’s pretty well known that I mostly stick to pop-punk and emo music, but I wasn’t shown Sum 41 and blink-182 until I was 11 or 12. Before then, I listened to a hodgepodge of music. I remember hearing this song called “Everywhere” on the radio, and I was all about it. It made the 9-year-old in me feel sadness I had never felt — the precursor to my emo dreams. I liked “Everywhere” so much I demanded more, so I was taken to a brick and mortar store and bought The Spirit Room. To this day, I would still say that “Everywhere” and “All You Wanted” were two of the best pop sounds from that era.

Sidenote: I also heavily enjoyed Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” at this time. And of course, Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi.”- Zack Zarrillo

ESPN Stadium Anthems
I’m not apologizing for this one, gang. Ten-year-old me was the ballboy for my dad’s soccer team, and ten-year-old me got down with Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready For This” during halftime. I remember feeling bummed out because the CD left “Welcome to the Jungle” off its tracklist. I mean, who does that? The 8:22 extended edition of Sister Sledge’s sappy “We Are Family” makes the cut, The freakin’ Baha Men make the cut, but Guns ‘n’ Roses is where ESPN drew the line? Come on.

It’s no stretch to say Stadium Anthems is collecting dust on my CD shelf — my allergies are kicking in just looking at it. Sure, it’s got some nostalgic value, but I don’t feel like returning to Kool & The Gang or Gary Glitter unless my ass is parked on some bleachers. But N.E.R.D’s “Rock Star” still slays. - Erik van Rheenen

blink-182 - Enema Of The State 
The first CD I remember buying was Blink 182’s Enema of the State, but the purpose behind purchasing it was a rather childish one at best. Yes, I was very much hooked on the band’s infectious pop punk sound, but it also had a lot cursing on it and to buy an album with a ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker on it felt so daring at 11 years old. The album was still a great jumpstart into my love of pop punk music, but it was that initial bit of risk that made it stick with me. 

Today, I’m reminded frequently of how great this album is every time my local rock radio station chooses to only play “What’s My Age Again?” or “All the Small Things.” What about “Dumpweed?” What about how “Aliens Exist” transitions so perfectly into “Going Away to College?” I’ll stop myself now before I start producing diagrams on the album’s fantastic sequencing. - Jason Stives

Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory
Similar to so many of the great stories of my youth, my urge to buy Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This to Memory began on a night where I stayed up way past my bedtime. I was watching MTV late at night (Q: How long ago was this? A: MTV was still playing music videos) and some sort of new music spotlight show came on. I couldn’t tell you any of the other bands or artists that were highlighted, but I remember seeing the video for “Everything is Alright,” and I was immediately hooked.

This was back in a time where my only source of music was the radio and my parents’ CD collection, and so the next time I was at the mall I jetted to FYE (again, that’s how long ago this was), found the “punk rock” section, and secured a copy of the album. I was so excited that I listened to every 30-second track preview before I paid for it because I literally couldn’t wait any longer. I haven’t like any of Motion City’s work quite as much, but they’ve still become one of my all-time favorite bands, and one of the bands I hold near and dear to my heart who helped shape my taste in music today. - Donald Wagenblast 

Backstreet Boys - Backstreet’s Back
You can tell a lot about a person from his or her music taste, and perhaps one of the most revealing questions you can ask is: Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC? 

This is the question that haunts most 90s kids. I’ve never been one to pick sides (why have one when you can have both?) but I can’t deny that Backstreet Boys was my first love. The first CD I ever got was their sophomore album, Backstreet’s Back, a purchase made upon receiving a CD player for my 5th birthday. I loved that album. I played it until I literally couldn’t play it anymore, and then insisted on getting another copy. I haven’t listened to it in years, so I broke it out while doing this write-up and I still know every word. Backstreet Boys may not mean to me now what they did back then, but they will always hold a special place in my heart. - Becky Kovach

Ace Of Base - The Sign
I am proud to say that the first CD I ever purchased was “The Sign” by Ace of Base. Why am I proud of this, exactly? ‘Cause it’s the fuckin’ truth, that’s why. Here’s a short list of albums that were released within a few months of “The Sign” and would give me tons of musical street cred for having purchased them as an 11 year old: Cheshire Cat; Dookie; Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain; The Downward Spiral. Did I purchase any of these? All of them (eventually), but I was in the fifth grade, goddammit. I wouldn’t have liked any of those albums at that time. I was just getting over New Kids on the Block being “over” and listening to Michael Jackson records. Don’t let anyone fool you: if they claim the first CD they ever bought was something other than corny Top 40 pop, they’re a fucking liar.

Do I still like “The Sign” today? Of course I do. I still like the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles too. It doesn’t matter how poorly this stuff ages; if I liked it as a kid, then I continue to like it today (if only sentimentally). That being said, I guarantee that if you throw in this album at a party with a bunch of 28-32-year-olds there, you’ve got yourself a sing-a-long dance party for the ages. Some things never get old. - Marc Gary Gray

Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
I don’t know why I wanted to own a piece of music. All I remember is that I was seven or eight years old, and I really wanted to buy a cassette tape. I didn’t have any idea what album I should buy; I couldn’t have named a song I wanted to be able to hear over and over, probably couldn’t have named any popular song at all. I just know that I needed to own a tape. So I asked a friend in school what I should buy; naturally, his answer was Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. 

“The one with the rain on the cover, not the one with the face.” That would have been their previous release, 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit, which was clearly inferior in his opinion. He was right on that, not that I would have known — I don’t think I’d ever even heard a Bon Jovi song. I wrote the name down on a piece of paper, and carried that paper around for two weeks. Was I saving allowance money? Or just trying to figure out how to ask my parents to buy me a cassette instead of, say, another Transformer? Whatever the reason, all I know is I ended up with that tape eventually.

And oh, what a tape it was! Energetic, dramatic, wildly maximalist, Slippery When Wet was the perfect sort of album to fuel an overactive childhood imagination. I would conjure visions of dusty Western towns as “Wanted Dead Or Alive” played through my headphones. I would write bizarrely literal video treatments of “You Give Love A Bad Name” in my head. I would get stoked when I saw the movie Spaceballs and recognized the chorus of “Raise Your Hands” blasting from Lonestar’s Winnebago. I couldn’t have chosen a better album to start with. I suddenly loved music, and I wanted more!

Of course, that was just the start. The next few years saw my tape collection grow, from the ridiculous (a cassingle of Saigon Kick’s simpering “Love Is On The Way”) to the sublime (Live’s Mental Jewelry; the Shamen’s En-Tact; Information Society’s Peace & Love, Inc.) to the ridiculously sublime (EMF’s Schubert Dip, “Unbelievable” aside, is a lost classic, and I will fight you over that). And then there were CDs. So many CDs. Now, I’m that guy with 500 GB of hard drive space dedicated to his MP3 collection, who spends four nights a week at shows and the hours in between discussing and dissecting all things music.

So thank you, Bon Jovi, for making the kind of music that a seven year old thinks is awesome. I owe it all to you.

(Oh, who am I kidding. Slippery When Wet is still a goddamn great album. There, I said it! Are you happy now?) - Jesse Richman

Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
I’ve owned more CDs in my life that I could ever care to keep track of, but none came before Clumsy, the second full-length release from seminal Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace. I remember my best friend’s older brother jamming along to the lead track, “Superman’s Dead,” one summer, and upon first listen I was hooked. It must have been weeks before this record ever left my boom box. To me, every single song was pure alternative bliss, and frontman Raine Maida’s delivery was unlike anything I had ever heard before. Truth be told, the album doesn’t quite resonate with me the same way today, nor have I taken the time to spin it in years, but it won’t ever lose its place in my heart. Everyone has to start somewhere, and for me, it was Clumsy. - Brandon Allin

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    Curious what the first tape I ever bought was? Read on…
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    My first was a Hanson Middle of Nowhere cassette when I was about 10… good times good times. To say I was (actually…...
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    So I wrote about Backstreet Boys this week. COME AT ME BROS.
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