Life is a building...


Diamond Member
It's very popular in the states. I've seen it performed by the LA Phil a number of times, both at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and it was sold out or near capacity every time.

it is also a staple in the drum corps and competitive marching band world as well


Silver Member
so, musician freinds of mine from way back in the day were discussing this in a group text, and I thought it would be a great thing to ask here;

what are the 3 or 4 foundational albums - I call them The Pillar Albums - that influenced not onyl your musical life, but your overall life as well? Albums by groups who possibly put you into a certain social group, or lifestyle, as well s motivated you to play.

For me it is:
1. Styx - Crystal Ball
2. Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast
3. Rush - Signals
4. Minor Threat - Out of Step EP

if you take one of those albums away, I am NOT the person I have become today.

Crystal Ball came out at a time where I was weening my self awway from "kiddie music" adn I started heariing the textures, melodies, harmonies, phrasing etc speak to me on a higher level. The song This Old Man made me think of my grandfather and how he was so old and wise.... Claire De Lune into Crystal Ball used to make me cry as I thought of the ballerina's story...this was the album that got me to start taking practicing my instruments more seriously

the Run To The Hills video came out on MTV, and I saw that, and it sealed the deal for me wanting to pursue a life of playing live on stage, and being in a band...I became a devout metal head because of that whole album. It got me intoo my social group/genre

Signals was a tie to being a loner and nerd, and of course, the musicianship of Rush. I had other albums by them, but Signals as a whole spoke to me deeper as a developing nerd teenager

the Minor Threat thing got me into being Straight Edge, and the speed, intensity, and passion about things you believe in on thqt EP were just mind blowing

I credit a lot of my whole life to how those albums shaped my belief system, along with family, school etc...

so what are your "Pillar Albums"?
Sorry drum buddy I don't like any of those groups. I don't listen to or play explicit music. It goes against my spirit.
Last edited:


Platinum Member
It's easy to just type in four bands that blew my circuits but they might not be the ones that changed my DNA so to speak. I can name the tunes that changed me..struck by lightening as it were which were few but life changing. Wasn't really an Alice Cooper fan but eighteen hit me hard. The red album by Grand Funk hit me hard. Wasn't really a Santana fan but Abraxas just moved me. Look through any window by The Hollies awoken something in me forever. Flight of the rat by Deep Purple was life changing to me. The one album that just indescribably altered my thoughts in the biggest way was Captain Beyonds debut album. I walked home from a friend's that night on a dark storm threatening sky oblivious to everything in life but what I'd just heard.


Diamond Member
Sorry drum buddy I don't like any of those groups. I don't listen to or play explicit music. It goes against my spirit.

hmmm....I would NOT consider Styx explicit, and definitely not Rush. Rush is probably one of the most cerebral bands out there

but I would not argue that Maiden and Minor Threat have explicit lyrics, but I honestly learned more about religion, world history and some cultures by way of Iron Maiden

and Minor Threat set me on my path to clean living by introducing me to the Straight Edge movement in 1981. It is because of them that I never got into drugs, drinking, smoking, promiscuous sex, and negative activities as a teen, and I am still Straight Edge today (hence my screen name)


Silver Member
I would say there are a few albums that were game changers for me. Enlightening my ears and heightening my expectations in music. Not in the sense of Holy Grail, but so cool…. What‘s next and what else is out there.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Innervisions - Stevie Wonder
The Yes Album - Yes
Frampton Come Alive - Peter Frampton

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Alice Cooper Killer. Nothing else comes close, but others were crucial.

Cooper was my first concert. I was 8 years old. Thank God, Mom & Dad that we were able to convince the parents to take us to a concert instead of leaving us home. I got a head injury the last time they did that. Having older siblings and hippy-ish parents gave me an early entry into their music.

From there: Zep I & II,
Deep Purple, Machinehead,
Black Oak Arkansas, Raunch and Roll
Denny Carmassi's drumming in Montrose has outlasted all the others in keeping my interest.

I saw a lot of concerts from 8-11 years old: Edgar Winter, Humble Pie, Montrose, Mountain, Uriah Heep, Brownsville Station, Foghat, Allman Bros, Doobie Bros, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath(?), Johnny Winter, others that I cant rememeber anymore. The last time I was cool was when I was 11.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Tough question but here goes:

Meet The Beatles The Beatles
Running On Empty Jackson Browne
Moving Pictures Rush
Wheels of Fire Cream

Honorable Mention: Are You Experienced? Jimi Hendrix

The journey obviously began with the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Seeing Ringo play drums flipped on the proverbial light switch for me to become a drummer. I was in my grandparents home during a family reunion when they came on. All my relatives were mocking them looking like girls with their long hair. All I could see was my future. In short, no Ringo no drums.

Russ Kunkel has been a huge influence on me to this day. A consummate musician he has taught me to listen and play to the music.

Neil Peart has always floored me, from his ability to write lyrics and crafting his skills around each song. I don't know any other trio that sounds as big and full as Rush. Huge influence.

Ginger Baker was the first drummer I heard playing double bass drums. Compared to most other bands of that era he made me look at things differently.

Same with Mitch Mitchell. His drumming with Hendrix was so innovative and tasteful.

To this day most of the albums/CDs I still listen to are primarily because of the drummer on that particular project.


Junior Member
Great question!!!
After thinking about it for a bit here are my 4 in no particular order. These probably will change periodically.

RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Rush - Moving Pictures
Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine


Platinum Member
I my early drumming it was Cream, Mountain, Jethro Tull, Chick Corea, Yes, and ELP. In the 80s it was new wave. In the 90s I started playing in church, so that changed what I listened to. I still listen to lots of jazz and prog. Peace and goodwill.


Diamond Member
Great question!!!
After thinking about it for a bit here are my 4 in no particular order. These probably will change periodically.

RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Rush - Moving Pictures
Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine

I had been drumming for about 12 years whe Blood Sugar Sex Magic came oout, and man, that album redefined "money beat" for the rest of my life!!!


Silver Member
I can't guess if this is universal, but it's true for me. Most of the music that struck a chord with me came between my 16th year and my 20th year (1975 to 1979). It was a time when all my life experiences started turning me into "Me!" I married my first wife at age 21 (we're still together and she's still my "first wife!) and things sort of solidified around then. I guess I was becoming "grown up" though didn't know it. The music I listened to at the time seems to have been ingrained in "Me." Most 60's music and anything after the early 80's just didn't seem to stick. Maybe you know why!?!

Some of the albums include (Carolina Dreams is my all time favorite - hasn't been toppled yet. All others in no particular order):

The Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams
Charlie Daniels Band - Fire on the Mountain
Foreigner - Foreigner
Wild Cherry - Wild Cherry
Grand Funk Railroad - Born to Die
Jennifer Warnes - Shot Through The Heart
Little River Band - Sleeper Catcher
Uriah Heep - All prior to 1977
Styx - Grand Illusion
Heart - Dreamboat Annie
Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits (1976)
The Cars - The Cars
Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
Foghat - Fool for the City
Chick Corea - The Leprechaun
Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gold and Platinum
ZZ Top - Tres Hombres

I could go on. Strangely, I seem to cover all the popular genre "bases." I guess that's cool - or just me being Me!


New Member
Man, this is difficult but here are my four with, as you all know, a host of others which also had a significant impact on me as not only a musician but the 53 year old I am today...

1. Rush -2112
2. Marillion- Misplaced Childhood
3. Michael Hedges- Aerial Boundaries
4. Pat Metheny- Secret Story

Now, I think I'll go and put one of those four on! Never gets old


Platinum Member
Beatles - Revolver
Deep Purple - Machine Head
AC/DC - If You Want Blood
Devo - Freedom Of Choice


Senior Member
Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry
Jimmy Buffet - Living and Dying in 3/4 Time
Faith No More - Epic
Weezer - Blue Album


Senior Member
Lateralus - Tool. Mindblowing stuff for a 14 year old to try to comprehend in the time of 4/4 radio rock
Toxicity - System of a down Great 'hooky' drum parts. Super powerful but memorable stuff
( ) - Sigur ros . Taught me that a lot less can indeed be more
France the mute - Mars Volta. Taught me that a drummer can really make or break a band, and the groove is much more important than technical skill. (not saying JT isn't technically skilled, because he is)