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  • Paula Sangeleer

Music Is Magic: Albums That Saved My Soul

I could talk about albums for days, but that wouldn't make for a very short story! Consider this one of many to come on music and musicians that have changed my life.

Let's talk about my top-three albums that I consider essential listening.

1. Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin:

The first album I bought with my very own money was Led Zeppelin IV. I had read this book that I got from the library, it was called "Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga," by Stephen Davis, a music journalist, and I became immersed...OK, obsessed with the legend and lore of Zeppelin.

I saved up to buy this particular album from Variety Records in Wheaton Plaza. I think it was about $8, maybe $6.99? That was the price of vinyl in the mid 80's. I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses the album art--I would read every single flippin' word on that album cover, over and over, and I just thought it was the greatest thing.

That was also back in the day when, as a fan, you would listen to the whole album. Let me tell you, once you become a rock DJ, "Stairway To Heaven" gets horrible, very fast. And by horrible, I just mean that it doesn't mean what it meant when you first heard it, after you play it 5,000 times.

But here's the cool part of being a rock DJ: if you've got a lunchtime request show, and you're able to bust out "Misty Mountain Hop" or "The Battle of Evermore," playing anything other than the hits feels so good. It's just beautiful. And I thank Steve Monz for that freedom to play the deep cuts on air. I'll tell you about that guy, some other time.

2. Passion and Warfare, Steve Vai

Now, the second album that I want to mention is Passion and Warfare by Steve Vai. This is my ultimate favorite album of all time, and I love it all, tip to tail. "For The Love of God" is probably my favorite song on the album, if you made me pick just one, but the whole album is excellent.

It takes me back to a place of hope and possibility inside myself as a young person. It takes me to to that place that feels so good. I return to it quite often, especially if I have something to do that requires focus or bravery, like a meeting or an interview, or stage work of any kind.

It just really helps me rise above any bullshit, and it achieves success for the task at hand.

Passion and Warfare does that for me every time, and Steve Vai did a 25th anniversary tour a few years back. It was simply magical to see it live. He did the whole album, which was just amazing, and it actually moved me to tears, which is a rare thing. The best part is that after the show, I was able to tell him that. I'll tell you more about my friend, Mr. Vai, another time.

3. The Rock Album, Whitesnake

Finally, hats off to David Coverdale for 2020's The Rock Album! This thing is remixed remastered, and the production is so thick and robust. It's just beautifully done. And it came out, I guess, early in the summer of 2020, and it was just so sweet to hear "Love Ain't No Stranger" - remember that one? Plus all the rest of the hits, and there's a gem on there called "Always the Same." I think it's track 15, and it was previously unreleased. I fell in love with this song, so much so, that I played it over ,and over and over again. Like, I probably have kind of some kind of mental situation with it and I'm OK with that.

I can't explain it, I just love the album. It's just good rock from Whitesnake, it's fun, and it pulled me through the COVID-19 summer. That's what music can do for you - it can take you to a different place in your life.

I actually got to meet Dave, years ago, when I spent a summer following Whitesnake around on tour. He was as sweet as you could possibly imagine. And, oh my gosh, his speaking voice is no less than delicious to hear! And recommend that you follow him on Twitter, because he's also funny as shit. Thank you, Mr. Coverdale, for that.

Alright, so, here's some advice you didn't ask for. If there's anything amiss in your life, anything wrong, if you feel off, something's not right: get that album out. You have one, don't you? Get that favorite album out and see if it doesn't change your state of mind, take you back to a place where you can feel that good feeling again.

Music is magic in that way and it will save your soul.

Please tell me: what is your album? I'm very curious to know!

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