In 1995 I was living in a cold water flat in London, England and every morning I commuted to work at the Sir John Falstaff pub in the heart of the “Square Mile” using the London Underground (The Tube), getting on and off at Monument Station. One morning (or maybe evening – I don’t remember) I purchased this edition of Mojo magazine.
What initially captured my attention was it’s feature article “The 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made“.
At the time I wasn’t really into “classic rock”, but more the popular UK bands of the time; Blur, Oasis, Verve, Spiritualized, et al.
The magazine cost £2.35 which, at the time, was pretty dear seeing that I was living more or less at the subsistence level at the time, making barely enough to pay for rent, my weekly Tube pass, a lunchtime samosa, cigarettes and a few pints after work. I figured however that this would be a good investment for my morning and evening commutes as opposed to simply sitting there and passing time like a schmuck.
What I couldn’t have known then is that this magazine would change the way I look at and appreciate music, or that I would still have and refer to it over the course of the next two (going on three) decades.
In fact, I now consider it as my musical Bible.
I have since gone on to listen to and collect nearly all the albums contained within this article, many of which have become Desert Island favorites of mine. In essence, it taught me to listen to and appreciate music for it’s relevance and ability to inspire and innovate, as opposed to simply being merely current and popular. At the time of this writing, I own approximately 90% of the albums contained within, and have heard all but maybe one or two.
My Bible is now worn, dog-eared and the binding is held together by multiple scotch tape patch jobs, but it occupies a place of honor on a shelf along with all the albums in my record collection. Even my step-daughter has used it to scope out potential albums to collect for her own record collection.
And for the record, it still smells like the Underground.