Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? Of course you do! It's like the first person you kissed or the first one who broke your heart -- it's a monumental, life-changing moment in your life that's unforgettable. Well, that is, of course, unless the first record you forked over your cash for is one that you'd just as soon forget. Read about the first records we purchased, then feel free to share the story about the first record you bought.
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Various Artists - Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996) (CD)
"My own money" plays a key role in this. The first album I purchased with my own money was the soundtrack to Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. I wasn't allowed to watch Beavis and Butt-Head on TV, so purchasing the album was a side-step way of rebelling. With "Love Rollercoaster" by Red Hot Chili Peppers blasting sexual animated imagery all over MTV at the time, and my eleven-year-old eye balls soaking up every second of it, I had found what I was looking for without even seeing the movie. I don't medically suffer from ADD, but it's been argued that I have it running through every vein. This album shows that I can't pay attention to shit, I don't like congruency, I'm open to anything, and it taught me one thing with one very important life-changing line: "Pimp'n Ain't Ez." -- Britt Chester
Deee-Lite - World Clique (1990) CD
Of course, eleven-year-old me bought it for "Groove Is in the Heart," but the rest of the record stuck, and continues to resonate with me twenty years later. It is probably in my top ten favorite albums of all time. I generally like songs first by beat, then by lyrics, then comes everything else -- but this record is all about beats. The message is pretty sweet, too -- before I dove into rave culture as a teen in the mid-'90s and all that PLUR business, there was Deee-Lite's idea of the "world clique," a dance planet where music was the universal language. Basically, I just love to fucking dance, and I can all the way through this record. From "ESP" to "What Is Love?" Deee-Lite's best record is a lot bigger than "Groove Is in the Heart" ever let on.-- Bree Davies
Kiss - Love Gun (1977) (vinyl)
In the months, weeks and days leading up to my seventh birthday, I had a bit of a ritual. As I wandered the North Valley Mall, where my parents owned a clothing store, I always ended up at the record store on the other end of the shopping center, where I spent countless afternoons marveling at this album. As much as I'd like to have you think I was a precocious kid with musical tastes well beyond my age, the truth is, I had no earthly idea who the hell Kiss was -- and clearly, neither did my folks, who unwittingly bankrolled my purchase. Had they heard songs like "Plaster Caster" and "Shock Me," I'm pretty sure they would've given me the gas face. As it was, I was mesmerized by the cover art. And while that's what drew me in, once I heard the music and later bought the trading cards with Gene Simmons spewing blood and breathing fire -- well, let's just say I was a card-carrying member of the Kiss Army. -- Dave Herrera
Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (1994) (CD)
The first album I bought with my own money was Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die. I was in the third or fourth grade, and I remember hearing Biggie's voice so much throughout that summer that when the album dropped, I just had to have it. Who was this husky Brooklyn boy with the street-styled flow? I listened to that album back-to-back-to-back. Ignoring my parents' protests and qualms over the violence in the lyrics, I related to Biggie at epic levels, and I still do. To this day, Christopher Wallace is one of my most important teachers. -- Ru Johnson
Triumph - Allied Forces (1981) (cassette)
If memory serves, the first album I purchased was Triumph's Allied Forces, due mostly to its single, "Magic Power," which I'd often call and request on KAZY when I got home from school. Either because they stopped taking my requests or because I wanted to sing along about the magic power I knew I had inside me on my own time and not the radio's, I eventually bought the cassette. At the time, it was one of those inspirational songs that made me want to become whatever I was supposed to be; I was excited to grow up and show everyone that I could do anything I put my mind to because I had the power. Now I'm not so certain that's really what the song was about. -- Thorin Klosowski
Rancid - ...And Out Come the Wolves (cassette)
The first recorded music I bought with my own money was the cassette version of Rancid's ...And Out Come the Wolves in the fall of 1995. I was thirteen, and prior to owning this cassette, my playlist consisted of songs taped off the radio, typically on Sunday night's all-local/punk/alternative show. I bought the Rancid album after seeing the memorable "Buzzworthy" promo on MTV for "Ruby Soho." -- Nick Lucchesi
Nirvana - In Utero (1993) (CD)
The first album I remember buying with my own money was In Utero. Nevermind had opened the floodgates for me a couple of years earlier, but when it arrived in the fall of '91, I was too young to carry my own money, so I listened to it on a tape kindly dubbed for me by a cooler, older neighbor. By the time In Utero hit stores in '93, I'd aged two significant years into puberty, and thus my first meaningful record purchase. The deliberate inaccessibility of "Scentless Apprentice" and "Rape Me" didn't scare me away, and I reveled in the new-wavey punk of "Very Ape" and the guitar heroics on "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle." In Utero, like Nevermind before it, turned me on to dozens of other alt/indie rock bands -- Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Pixies, the Replacements -- groups that, like Nirvana, remain among my very favorites. -- Matt Miner
Collective Soul - Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid (1994) (cassette)
I'm not necessarily proud that the first thing I rushed out to buy after hearing the single "Shine" on my local alterna-rock station was an album that would come to represent the advent of "bubblegum grunge" -- a term of which neither part is particularly flattering -- but give me a break: I was like twelve years old. And while it's true that my tastes have remained pretty poppy, I also think it's worth mentioning that among my next few album purchases were Sonic Youth's Goo and Strictly Commercial, Frank Zappa's greatest-hits compilation. Then again, Green Day's Dookie was in there, too, so there's that. -- Jef Otte
Sugar Hill Gang - "Rapper's Delight" (1979) (12-inch)
While the Stray Cats' Built for Speed and Men at Work's Business as Usual were two of the first albums in my collection that I bought with my own money, I still consider the twelve-inch vinyl single of Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" as the first "actual" record I bought, either with my allowance or birthday money a few years earlier at Peaches Records & Tapes. I played the hell out of that record, and that "chicken tastes like wood" line will forever be ingrained in my head, even though I've never actually had any chicken that comes anywhere near to tasting like wood. -- Jon Solomon
A-Ha - Scoundrel Days (1986) (cassette)
The first album that was purchased for me, personally, was Norwegian band A-Ha's Scoundrel Days; I had a fixation with the song "Cry Wolf" on the album. I was in a "modern dance" class, and that was one of the tunes to which we had a routine; I blame my inclination to practice more than I really needed to. I was about five or six years old. -- Amber Taufen
Savage Garden - Savage Garden (1997) (CD)
I bought Savage Garden's glorious and eponymous album at a Blockbuster way too late in life for that fact to be at all acceptable. It was either that or Chumbawamba's Tubthumping, I remember, and I'm glad I made the right choice. I would later go on to start a Savage Garden fan club at my conservative private school, put on neighborhood tribute shows and write the studly duo a heartfelt letter. They returned it, from Australia, with a signed photo, which made me the coolest person I, or any of my friends, knew for about two entire days. -- Kelsey Whipple
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