Musical Progression

guns-n-rosesAs I stand in for Leeann on her birthday

, I’ve been thinking about how much musical tastes change over time. Musically, it is fair to say that we started pretty far apart, but over five years our musical preferences have both moved and expanded significantly.

Tracing the progression of my musical inclinations even farther, it seems that the expansion of my tastes was much different than others in my family. For instance, my grandparents listened to country music. When my father was born the Grand Ole Opry was a staple in his home and he listened to country music all of his life. As a result, I was exposed to country music by my father, but quickly declared my independence when I purchase the first album my parents considered noise.

The first albums I ever purchased, a little over a week past my thirteenth birthday, were Use Your Illusion I and II. From there the map of my musical “phases” was pretty easy to follow when you look at a chronological list of my favorite albums:

Guns and Roses, Appetite for Destruction
Dr. Dre, The Chronic
Nirvana, Nevermind
Pearl Jam, Ten
Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York
Nickel Creek, This Side
Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison
Metallica, S&M
Alice in Chains, Unplugged
Nickel Creek, Why Should the Fire Die

Currently the amount of music I listen to has made it more difficult to pick only a few favorite albums. Even the above list, in reality, started to overlap by the time I was listening to Nickel Creek. In fact, everything listed above (with the exception of Dr. Dre, though he still holds certain nostalgia) is currently on my Ipod, and I would be hard pressed to make a comprehensive list of favorite albums that didn’t include half those albums.

Today I might add to the list (though tomorrow the list might change):

Bjork, Debut
Crooked Still, Shaken by a Low Sound
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, Rattlin’ Bones
The Be Good Tanyas, Blue Horse
Willie Nelson, Red Headed Stranger
Neil Young, Greatest Hits
Patty Loveless, Mountain Soul
Gillian Welch, Hell Among the Yearlings
White Stripes, Elephant

My father would be happy to see that I’ve come around to country music.

What does your musical progression look like?


  1. I guess I’ll say my first love was oldies and the like (I loved the soundtrack from That Thing You Do!, still do), but mostly because that was what I was mostly exposed to growing up.

    I don’t really remember forming my own opinions and understandings about popular music until the first season of American Idol, which got me really into Stevie Wonder (and Kelly Clarkson). That was around six or seventh grade. But country music was the first thing that really grabbed me and kept me around. I like lots of different stuff now, but country has been my base genre from about ninth grade on.

  2. Well, a few years ago all I listened to was movie soundtracks- until I heard “Want To” by Sugarland, then I dove headfirst into country and haven’t looked back since.

    My parents like pop-country AKA stuff on the radio, so I was raised on Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Jo Dee Messina and the like. I kind of liked that stuff at the time, but now I’ve embraced different kinds of country music.

    Outside of country music, iTunes’ free singles of the week have introduced me to many amazing artists like Adele and Jazmine Sullivan- which branhced out to more good pop music and good R&B, so I tend to be all over the place.

    Here are a few favorite albums, kind of chronological, I guess:

    Enjoy The Ride, Sugarland
    Restless, Sara Evans
    Why Should The Fire Die?, Nickel Creek
    Fortuneteller’s Melody, SHeDAISY
    Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love, Trisha Yearwood
    Fearless, Jazmine Sullivan
    Coal, Kathy Mattea
    In Rainbows, Radiohead
    Call Me Crazy, Lee Ann Womack
    Dreamin’ My Dreams, Patty Loveless

    Sorry for such a long comment. xD

  3. My musical tastes have been oddly consistent over time, but William, I can tell we’re probably around the same age!

    Thanks to my parents and grandparents, I’m well versed in the oldies (20s-60s). I still love them and, to a certain extent, nothing will ever beat them. I was also introduced to musical theatre at a young age and have nearly every Broadway soundtrack. Dorky, I know, but I still love them. Same with a lot of classical music. I still love the symphony – gotta love Sousa marches and some Rachmaninov.

    Each decade I acquire new artists, but I still love the old ones. I started listening to country in junior high. I can’t say my tastes have changed, only what’s on the radio. Bluegrass is a relatively new love for me, but I have a feeling if I had been exposed to it at an earlier age, I would have loved it. I’ve always been drawn to anything with strong instrumentation.

  4. Hmmmmm… this is gonna be embarrassing. But when I was a little kid I started out with pop music (Debbie Gibson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Madonna) and then in the early 90s/my early teens, I really got into country. I haven’t turned my back on it since. However, in the late 90s I did start to reincorporate rock and pop music in my life and now I’m kind of all over the map (dance, R&B, country, etc.). I probably listen to less country now than ever mostly because so little of the mainstream stuff interests me.

  5. Well, I guess it’s time to admit that I’m as old as dirt, my first recollections are of songs by Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Bob Wills, Eddy Arnold, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Williams, Tex Ritter, Sons of the Pioneers, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Jimmy Wakeley and many others from the days when country music was still referred to as “hillbilly” and “country & western. I remember watching the Tennessee Ernie Ford and Cliffie Stone TV shows that originated in Los Angeles where I grew up. Seeing Rose Maddox and the Maddox Brothers at Knotts Berry Farm and loving the honky tonk style of that time period.

    Just as I was nearing my teens Rock n’ Roll burst on the scene and I was hooked on Billy Haley and his Comets, Little Richard and of course, Elvis.

    The Beatles arrived my senior year, I am a huge Motown fan.

    Over the years I’ve watched all the developments and new technologies that have changed face of music in all the “genres”.

    I’ve always followed the “charts” and have a huge collection, I’ve every different format of music from 78RPM to CD’s and now I use iTunes as well.

    The new country IMHO is akin to the soft rock of the 1970’s.

    I’ve often made note of an Alan Jackson quote from and award show several years back, when he said something to the effect of “Not every song should sound like Hank Williams, but once in a while it would be nice to hear some that do”

  6. Well when I was younger my dad would always play this classic rock station. So for along time that was literally the only music I listened to. Then when I was in grade 5 I think, my mom changed it to this pop station. So then I started getting into that. Finally I remember it was two summers back and I was at home and I was channel surfing when I came accross the canadian CMT. That’s how my country music listening started. Then the next year I decided that country music was my favorite type of music. It’s my favorite, but the only one I listen to, I actually have a very diverse taste of music and I’m willing to listen to just about anything.

  7. i started off with the late 1990s/early 2000s generation of Radio Disney kids.
    so my musical progression was somewhat like:
    Britney Spears
    Hilary Duff
    anything on Radio Disney
    then I discovered, not knowing they were country, a little country music group known as SHeDAISY. Then, from watching videos on Yahoo! music I found two female artists I loved: Sara Evans and Martina McBride. From Martina’s videos I went on to discover my favorite female singer of all time: Reba McEntire. I found out later that Reba was a country music singer and that the others were country music singers too. These ladies went against my whole sterotype of country music that I thought up. From that moment on I became a hardcore country music fan. (of course, I am more into the 1980s to modern day country rather than the classics, but sometimes I enjoy the classics.)

  8. *I do like most kinds of genres (mainly pop, rock, and country) but country has been my favorite since late 8th grade to the modern day.*

  9. I’m young (15) so lots of the classic country artists, I haven’t really heard all that much.

    When my parents were together, I mainly heard adult contemporary stuff.

    So of my favorites back then were “Pictures Of You” by The Last Goodnight and “Calling You” by Blue October.

    A few years later I was hooked on country.

    Mainly Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. My first albums were:

    Gloriana, “Gloriana”
    Kenny Chesney, “Greatest Hits ll”
    Taylor Swift, “Fearless: Platinum Edition”
    Zac Brown Band, “The Foundation”

    My favorite artists right now are Brad Paisley, ZBB, Eric Church and Jason Aldean.

    Some of my recently bought albums are:

    Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”
    Jerrod Niemann, “Free The Music”
    Luke Bryan, “Tailgates And Tanlines”
    Taylor Swift, “Speak Now”
    Justin Moore, “Outlaws Like Me”
    Terri Clark, “Classic”

    And my all-time favorite song is “Amarillo Sky” by Jason Aldean.


  10. When I was young, I was into 90’s pop.

    Then, I started getting into country around 12-13. “I Hope You Dance” was the first country song (and album), I fell in love with.

    From there, I discovered Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Brooks And Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans, SheDaisy, etc.

    Now, I don’t listen to Toby Keith or Leeann Womack, but other than that, my tastes have stayed consistent. I’m a little more into both newer and older country, now. I’m not into pop music at all anymore, except Adele, Christina, Mariah and Whitney. I like a lot of old classics, especially Christmas songs, for some reason.

    I’ve recently gotten really into rock, which is not a genre I grew up with, aside from what my Dad calls “old people rock” (Springsteen, Stewart, etc.)

    Appetite For Destruction is one of my favorite albums ever. Such a classic.

  11. ^ You’re welcome, Karly!

    Well, I pretty much listened to what my parents listened to. My mom was into Elton John, pop music, and pop/rock bands like Foreigner and .38 Special, and she was a Guns N’ Roses stan. My dad was into hard rock and heavy metal, and he made us sit through album after album of solo guitarists. Both of them shared a love for Black Sabbath, Rush, UFO, and Deep Purple, so those are the bands I think of when I think of my childhood.

    When I was ~8, I was in love with Hilary Duff, but that was more because my friend was in love with her.

    When I was 10, my dad played Unleashed in the East by Judas Priest and I was completely blown away. That album changed my life. It changed everything about me. I stole the CD from my dad (only time I’ve ever stolen from him) and spun it into the ground. At the same time, urban was really popular in my elementary school, so I loved urban-pop. And my sister was obsessed with ABBA, Iron Maiden, and Blackmore’s Night, so I was starting to get into them.

    When I was 12, I took a break from music until I discovered Carrie Underwood, who was performing Flat On The Floor and All-American Girl on some late night show. I adored the latter song in particular and listened to it on repeat. As times got tougher, I started distracting myself with Carrie’s catalog and soon I knew all of her songs. She also got me into country music in general (since I had a predominantly rock background). I wouldn’t say country is my favorite genre, but it’s a solid second place to rock.

    Anyway, after that, I kinda took off. My progression from there was Carrie Underwood -> Iron Maiden -> Bruce Dickinson (solo) -> Guns N’ Roses -> Jeff Buckley. Today, I’m actually on a major Bruce Springsteen binge. It’s looking more and more like he’s becoming my next favorite. D:

    Awesome to see all the GN’R love, btw. :)

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