Greg Prato for Classic Rock Magazine, asked our very own Eddie Trunk which eleven records changed his life? Here is his list:

Raspberries – Raspberries (1972):

“I’m a young kid at this point – eight or nine years old – and all I ever really knew about music was pop music that I saw on TV. The Partridge Family, cartoon music. One day, I got into the backseat of my parents’ car, and the AM radio was on. The DJ introduced a song by a band called the Raspberries, Go All the Way. The song opens with these really heavy, distorted, power chords, and then jumps into this other riff, that is just this big, grinding, heavy riff. Then it drops into this really beautiful melody. I got goosebumps. It was instantly a whole different world.”

KISS – Destroyer (1976):

“I was walking home from school, and my friend said to me, “I’m going to go into this record store and buy a record by this band called KISS. Their new album is called Rock and Roll Over.” I said, “Maybe I will check out KISS.” He said, “You should buy the one that came out before it,” which was Destroyer. I went home that day, put the record on my turntable, heard the opening of Detroit Rock City, stared at the album cover, and I was done. It was instant KISS mania for me for most of my life.”

Aerosmith – Live! Bootleg (1978):

“The great thing about live records at the time was if you didn’t have any other records by the band, you could get a good cross section of their material all on one album. I remember getting Live! Bootleg, putting the poster up on my wall, and to this day, I think it is an unbelievably underrated live record. And it is actually a true live record. It just reeks of the ‘70s – it really puts you into the space of when the songs were recorded.”

Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell (1980):

Heaven and Hell was my first Sabbath record. I got it in a way that I got a lot of records – by winning it at the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. There would be these stands, and you would put a quarter on a number, and if the wheel landed on the number, you got to pick any record. I picked a lot of bands based on what the cover looked like, and for Black Sabbath, I saw the cover of angels smoking cigarettes, and was like, “That will piss off my mom…I’m going to take that!” I heard Neon Knights and I heard Ronnie James Dio, and said, “This is unbelievable.”

UFO – The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent (1981):

“I had a friend who was really into Cheap Trick. He was driving at the time and I was not, and he had gotten us tickets to see Cheap Trick, and the other band on the bill was UFO. They were touring on The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent. I got that record, and immediately fell in love with the band. I was just like, ‘This is amazing music. This is heavy, but it’s melodic. It’s exactly what I love.’ And then I saw them – it was a snow storm – they came out and were so loud and so great.

UFO – Strangers in the Night (1979):

Strangers in the Night definitely has to be in there, as well. I got into UFO because of The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent, but Strangers, to this day, to me, is the greatest live album of all time. And also, probably my favorite album of all time. Strangers to me is just as good as it gets in terms of performance, songs, energy – it’s the ultimate melodic hard rock. I have introduced so many people to that record in the last 15-20 years.”

Van Halen – Van Halen (1978):

“I remember getting that in a record club, where you paid ten cents and got ten albums. I checked that off the list, and I’ll never forget dropping the needle and hearing Runnin’ with the Devil, and being like, ‘OK, this is a complete game changer.’ To this day, the album still holds up remarkably well. So definitely, Van Halen I.

Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983):

“That album came out at a time that I was just starting to work in radio. I started doing a metal show, and Jonny Z [Jon Zazula], I was a customer of his at his record store in the flea market. One day, he came up to my radio station, and said, ‘I’ve got this band, and I can’t get anybody to play it. Can you play it on the air?’ He pulled out of the bag Kill ‘Em All. Just to get him out of there, I played a song from it, and he scribbled on the cover of the album, ‘Eddie, you were the first. Thank you, Johnny Z.’

He said, ‘If I can ever get this band to take off, I’m going to hire you to work for my record company.’ A couple of years later, Metallica blows up, and he calls me and says, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is I’m starting my record company and I’m going to hire you. The bad news is Metallica is leaving me.’ [Laughs] Kill ‘Em All was not only a game changer in terms of not only introducing a new genre of metal, but it was a personal game changer for me, because it indirectly got me into the music business.”

Ace Frehley – Frehley’s Comet (1987):

“Another one that is extremely important to me is the Ace Frehley solo album, Frehley’s Comet. It was the first artist I ever signed to a record deal and was the first album I ever worked on as a record company rep – being in the studio with the guys, helping working in an A&R capacity, and really championing the record. Jonny Z was not a KISS fan. But when I first started working for Megaforce, I said to him, ‘I think it’s great we’re putting out all this heavy music. But it would be really cool if we could get a band that could cross over and get some radio play, as well.’

There was a risk in that, because there were so many stories about Ace being a degenerate and a drunk that no one wanted to take a chance on him. He was considered damaged goods. But Jonny said, ‘Track him down and see what you can do.’ We tracked him down, had lunch with him, Jonny ended up signing him, and I ended up working on four albums with him. To this day, Ace and I are close friends.”

Buckcherry – 15 (2005):

“I was a fan of Buckcherry when the first album came out. The first album did well, the second album flopped, and they were dropped. I became friends with their guitarist, Keith Nelson, and I got an email from Keith, saying he [and singer Josh Todd] was going to reform Buckcherry with a new line-up. They had no record deal, no management, no budget. But they were going to go in the studio and bang out a record.

I told Keith I would help him out however I could, so Keith literally started sending me mp3 files of the songs. He was like, ‘If you can, just play it. Put it on the radio, just to see if we can get anybody to bite.’ The next thing I know, the record gets released in Japan, then they get an indie deal in America, then that leads to a deal with Atlantic, and the next thing you know, I’m getting a gold and platinum record sent to my house.”

White Lion: Pride:

“White Lion came to me when they first formed and only had a Japanese import available called Fight To Survive. I was one of their first radio interviews and became quick friends with the band and loved the album. As a new A&R guy for Megaforce I wanted to sign the band. But I couldn’t get the company to go for it. They thought it wasn’t a fit for the heavier style of music the label was known for.

White Lion ended up signing to Atlantic, which was our distributor. But we remained friends and they never forgot my support. When Pride came out and went Gold I went to see them at the legendary club L’Amour. I was stunned when they called me on stage and presented me with my first gold album award in front of the sold out crowd. It was a great moment and I took great pride hanging it in my office at Megaforce!”

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  • Doug on

    Awesome list. To start the debates, the 11 that changed my life, in no particular order:

    KISS – Alive
    Aerosmith – Rocks
    Montrose – Montrose
    Scorpions – Tokyo Tapes
    Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite for Destruction
    Boston – Boston
    AC/DC – Powerage
    Judas Priest – Stained Class
    Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    And two that like the Raspberries, are a bit obscure but stuck with me for some reason:

    707 – Megaforce
    Airborne – Airborne (not today’s Airbourne out of Australia)

  • jeffrey heffernan on

    1.kiss alive
    2.kiss hotter than hell
    5.rock and roll over
    6.love gun
    7.kiss alive 2
    9.black sabbath-paranoid
    10.led zepplin-the song remains the same(soundtrack)
    11.ozzy-blizzard of ozz

  • Rattlehead on

    This is a great article. I hope others provide their “life changing” albums. Mine are, in no particular order:

    Aerosmith – Draw the Line (my first intro into hard rock)
    KISS – Destroyer (my first KISS album that turned me into huge KISS fan)
    Lead Weight – Neat Records Compilation (my first introduction to NWOBHM)
    Motorhead – No Sleep ’til Hammersmith (my first intro to “thrash type” music)
    Raven – Rock Until You Drop (My first NWOBHM band album. Their brand of “athletic rock” had the fast tempo I preferred)
    Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (Blended metal with progressive elements. Phantom of Opera, an epic song, was a game changer for me)
    Van Halen – First Album (The guitar playing was mind blowing, and it made we want to learn guitar)
    Ted Nugent – Double Live Gonzo (my first double album of heavy guitar driven rock. The live songs just made the songs sound that much heavier)
    Judas Priest – Unleashed in the East (my first Priest album, and my first, what I considered, real heavy metal album)
    Metallica – Kill em All (My first real thrash album. Unbelievable, to me, how fast the songs were)

    One great thing about music is the memories it can bring back. When I hear any of the albums on my list, they always take me back for the reasons they on my list to begin with.

    Long live rock and roll, and Horns Up, Motherf**kers! \m/

  • Doug R. on

    Geez, where do I begin?

    Aerosmith – Get Your Wings
    Kiss – Alive!
    Kiss – Destroyer
    Van Halen – Van Halen
    Deep Purple – Made In Japan
    Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
    Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
    AC/DC – Highway To Hell
    AC/DC – Back In Black
    Queen – A Night At The Opera
    Black Sabbath – Paranoid

    There are others, but I’d be here all day! Eddie, I agree with you 100% on Aerosmith’s Live! Bootleg album, – raw, real, rock ‘n’ roll! 🙂

    • Doug R. on

      Speaking of others, can’t believe I forgot to mention:

      Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever
      Billy Squier – Don’t Say No
      Pat Benatar – Crimes Of Passion
      The Cars – The Cars
      The Police – Outlandos d’ Amour
      Yes – Fragile

      Okay, I’m done, for now, I know I’m over 11, but if I don’t stop now I’ll go over 111! 😉

  • Mark Ellis on

    The Monster Mash (a single, first I ever bought)
    Meet the Beatles
    Rolling Stones Now (first US album)
    Johnny Winter Second Winter (if you haven’t heard his cover of Highway 61, do listen)
    Black Sabbath (first, with the witch on the cover, and every one since)
    Van Halen (1978)
    Ozzy Blizzard (from the ashes, Ozzy!)
    Priest British Steel (Metal God revealed)
    Slayer Hell Awaits (so this is how it’s going to be now)
    Disturbed (first album, played it to death)
    Ghost (first album seen them twice now)

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