Top 10 Albums That Impacted me In High School ( Plus 10 More)

A week ago I saw a few of my friends’ post the top 10 albums that influenced them while in high school. The rules of post are simple. 10 albums without repeating artist with little thought. I put a lot of thought in to making my list.

Here are the 10 albums that have impacted me while I was in high school, as well as 10 honorable mentions.

1.      Circa Survive – Juturna (2005)

When this album came out, I was already a fan of lead singer Anthony Green because of his time in Saosin. After I saw the video for the song “Act Appalled” I had to hear more from the band. The next day after school, I took the bus to the mall and bought the album. I made sure I had my Walkman on me so I could listen on the way home. It was the only album I listened to for a week. By the end of May, all of my notebooks had lyrics from the album written on them.

Favorite Tracks: “In Fear and Faith” “Oh, Hello”

2.      Green Day – American Idiot (2004)

American Idiot was the first album I bought while in high school. It came out a few weeks after I started my freshman year. I became quick friends with the other girls who were fans of the band. I don’t listen to the album as much as I do now but whenever I hear a song I am immediately reminded of turning fourteen.

Favorite Tracks: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Jesus of Suburbia”

3.      Sex Pistols – Never mind the Bullocks Here are the Sex Pistols ( 1977)

I had heard the song “Anarchy in the UK” at least 100 times before I listened to the Sex Pistols entire album. I would heard it all the time on the radio and liked the song a lot. It was not until I was home on Saturday when I saw the documentary “The Filth and the Fury” that I finally listened to the entire album start to finish. It has became a staple in my playlist.

Favorite Tracks: “Holiday in the Sun” “Pretty Vacant”

4.      The Clash – London Calling (1979)

I would hear songs by the Clash on the radio all the time. I had loved the band for a long time before I started high school but one day when I was a sophomore I gained a new appreciation for the band. I was listening to the bass line in “London Calling” and fell in love with every bassline bassist Paul Simonon wrote. This album may be the most iconic on my list not only for the songs but for the album cover.

Favorite Tracks: “The Guns of Brixton” “London Calling”

5.      Brand New – The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me (2006)

My favorite music show while I was in high school was Steven’s Untitled Rock Show (2004-2008) which was a show that played alternative bands on Fuse. One day I was on Fuse’s website and there was short video of Steven at his desk talking about an amazing album he just listened to. The album was The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me. I had no idea Brand New had a new album out and had to go out and listen for myself. He was right; it was amazing. I fell in love with it.

Favorite Tracks: “Sowing Season” “Degausser”

6.      Folly – Insanity Later (2004)

Folly was one of the many New Jersey bands I discovered while listening to WSOU. Their style was so different compared to a lot of the other bands I listened to. The lyrics to their songs are amazingly clever. I loved Folly so much and I loved the fact not many of my friends knew who they were. That was the beginning of my support for local artist.

Favorite Tracks: “Please Don’t Shoot the Piano Player, He’s Doing the Best He Can” “Serenity Now”

7.      Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)

I have loved Nirvana since as far back as I could remember. In 2007, MTV released a DVD of their unplugged performance. It was the first time I actually saw the entire performance. I had heard a lot of the songs from the album before then but after watching it the album took knew meaning for me.

Favorite Tracks: “Lake of Fire” “The Man Who Sold the World”

8.      Thursday – Full Collapse (2001)

The first time I saw Thursday perform was at Warped Tour. After I saw them, I had to go back and relisten to every album they had out. I would sit in my room with my headphones in listening at the highest volume screaming the songs at the top of my lungs. For a solid three years I would listen to Full Collapse every Thursday.

Favorite Tracks: “Understanding in a Car Crash” “Cross Out the Eyes”

9.      Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986)

The Beastie Boys are one of those bands I have always loved. I would watch their videos on MTV all the time like most people. Their greatest hits album came out while I was a sophomore. After listening to it, I decided to listen to Licensed to Ill again. I gained a new appreciation for the album and the band. I loved Beastie Boys so much I used “No Sleep till Brooklyn” as my background music when I was on the air at WSOU. It was also the last song I ever played on the air.

Favorite Tracks: “No Sleep till Brooklyn” “Slow and Low”

10.  Bad Brains – Bad Brains (1982)

In high school my love of punk and hardcore grew to a whole new level. I would research bands and the bands that influenced the bands I loved. That is how I discovered Bad Brains. I was watching the Henry Rollins Show and he talked about how he first saw Bad Brains before they were “Banned in DC.” All the New York Hardcore bands I loved also praised the live performance of Bad Brains. After hearing for months about how great they were I finally listened to them and fell in love. There was a two month span that I only listened to this album

Favorite Tracks: “Attitude” “Banned in DC”


Honorable Mentions (because I needed to list more)

11. Taking Back Sunday – Where you Want to Be (2004)

12. My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)

13. Flyleaf – Flyleaf (2005)

14. Alkaline Trio – Crimson (2005)

15. Stone Temple Pilots – Core (1992)

16. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

17. Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors (2000)

18. Paramore – All We Know Is Falling (2005)

19. Descendents – Milo Goes to College (1982)

20. Death Cab for Cutie – Plans (2005)

What are the albums that impacted you in high school? 

- Brit