You already know what the four of us sound like as The Nickel Slots, but not as much about the music that brought us to this point. We want to take you backstage to get a look at those influences. And given a certain song of ours, it seemed appropriate for each of us to share seven of them.
So behold our Lucky Seven albums! These are the albums that shaped us, the ones we can’t imagine music without. And boy, it was hard narrowing our lists down to just seven each. We hope you enjoy them. Don’t read anything into the order, they’re not ranked.
Give us your own Lucky Seven albums with a comment at the bottom of this post!
Chris’ Lucky Seven
- Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits”
I remember listening to this album with my brother. We used to borrow it from my Dad. I loved the drum breakdown in “Traveling Band.”
- The Beatles, “The Beatles’ Second Album”
My parents grew up listening to The Beatles and this album was always playing in the house. My parents had an original copy of it and that is what I used to play on my record player. The snare drum on “You Can’t Do That” was awesome. I still try and get that pop with my snare.
- Johnny Cash, “At Folsom Prison”
As kid I never understood why he would be playing for a bunch of “bad people” and I thought they must have gotten the title wrong. The funny thing is that when I was playing this album for my daughter she said the same thing. “Folsom Prison Blues” has always been my favorite Johnny Cash song.
- The Clash, “The Clash”
I think I was about 17 years old when I saw the film “Rude Boy.” When The Clash performs “White Riot” in front of a sea of people, I was hooked. TOTAL ENERGY.
- The Sex Pistols, “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”
I never heard a song say “fuck” so many times. So much angst and energy. This album made me a punk rocker in 10th grade. To this day I still get a bit of a chill when I hear the opening riff to “Pretty Vacant.”
- The Misfits, “Legacy of Brutality”
First of all, the name of the album is badass. Secondly, “Hybrid Moments” was also on this album and has one of my favorite lyrical lines “If you’re gonna scream, scream with me.” I have always been a Misfits fan since I was a teenager.
- The Ramones, “Mania”
This was the first Ramones album I bought and it had all their big songs. If you ever want to play rock n’ roll, just learn this album. It has everything you need.
Steve’s Lucky Seven
- AC/DC, “Back in Black”
My brother Chris and I had the pleasure of hearing this record together for the first time when we were kids. It was 1980 and our friend David Perry played it for us. That was the day I knew I wanted to be in a band someday and I wanted to play loud!
- Van Halen, “Van Halen 1″
I found this cassette tape of Van Halen’s first album laying on the pavement one day when I was riding my bike to a friends house, I was in 6th grade. I picked it up, took it home and played on my ghetto blaster. I’ve never been the same since.
- The Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
I’ll thank my parents for turning me onto the Beatles! Since this is a top seven list, I can’t include all 12 of the official releases by the Beatles, but for the past 20 years, this is a record that I dig into every January. And every time I do I hear something new for the first time!
- The Rolling Stones, “12 x 5″
My dad owned this record and I remember him explaining to me that Keith Richards was influenced by Chuck Berry. When I got into playing guitar I totally understood what my dad was trying to explain to me when I was a kid. I still listen to this record at least once a year.
- Tom Petty, “Hard Promises”
I was 12 years old with this album came out, my cousin Michelle Harrison played it for me. It was the first time I realized who Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were and it opened a door for me to the first three Heartbreakers records and I have been a fan ever since.
- Whiskeytown, “Strangers Almanac”
My friend Bobby Jordan introduced me to Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams, for me this is what a “perfect” timeless start-to-finish album should sound like. I never get tired of the songs on this record!
- Buck Owens, “Live at Carnegie Hall”
My dad owned this record and the guitar playing by Don Rich just blew me away as well as the showmanship that oozed out of Buck Owens. I measure all live albums to this one, and every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m right there!
Paul’s Lucky Seven
- Jimmy Buffett, “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean”
I learned how to play guitar to Jimmy Buffett, and saw him in concert for ten years straight. This is pre-“Margaritaville” Jimmy, before he latched onto a marketable persona and took it to the point of caricature. Just great stories with a laid-back country and Latin vibe.
- Maynard Ferguson, “MF Horn Two”
MF is the man to high school trumpeters, and I used to try to play along with his high notes every day after school. Once when the jazz band was rehearsing the arrangement of “Shaft” from this album I passed out while holding the long double-high G, scaring the crap out of the poor teacher.
- AC/DC, “Back in Black”
The album that turned me away from top-40 radio and taught me rock and roll. Once I heard this I became part of the “Disco sucks!” crowd in junior high.
- “Weird Al” Yankovic, “‘Weird Al’ Yankovic”
Al’s first album, setting the tone for many to come with dead-on pokes at pop culture mixed into and between his brilliant parodies. Great original songs, too: I later covered “I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead” with The Blow Kings.
- The Beatles, “Abbey Road”
One of the first two Beatles albums I owned, and still my favorite. Great melodies, great harmonies, great bass lines, and their characteristic random silliness. I got to perform most of Side Two with Sacramento band I Scream on Sundae a few years ago and couldn’t stop smiling through the whole show.
- Primus, “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”
Les Claypool blew my mind. Who knew the bass guitar could be used this way? Oh, how I used to try to play his lines from “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” and “Tommy the Cat” on my six-string Ibanez, poorly.
- Jonathan Coulton, “Smoking Monkey”
The king of nerd-rock at his best. The humor takes center stage on this album, but as always JoCo also delivers tenderness and pain, and with amazing melodies. I wanna write songs like him someday.
Tony’s Lucky Seven
- Elvis Costello, “My Aim Is True”
Thanks to my brother Joe for buying this record for me back in 1981…it changed my life!
- The Clash, “London Calling”
Although the first Clash album is amazing and groundbreaking and their second album, “Give ‘em Enough Rope,” was a solid sophomore release, “London Calling” took it to a new level for me…and it was a double record!
- X, “Under the Big Black Sun”
I bought this album at The Works in Eureka the day it came out.
- Jason and the Scorchers, “Fervor”
Kenny introduced me to this album. It was my introduction into alt-country. There would be no Nickel Slots without this album in my life.
- The Avett Brothers, “The Avett Brothers Live, Vol. 3″
The most amazing, beautiful, and energy-filled live album ever!
- Warren Zevon, “Life’ll Kill Ya”
This album is some twisted and brilliant song writing. I so wish I could do that!
- The Knack, “Get the Knack”
This is my guilty pleasure and probably the album I’ve listened to the most in my life.
Thanks for reading. What do you think of our choices? What would your Lucky Seven albums be? Leave a comment below and let us know!
–Chris, Paul, Steve, and Tony