1. Twisted Sister/Stay Hungry: Impossible to resist for a 12-year-old looking for something to rebel against. Started me on the dangerous path of heavy metal, and it's been downhill ever since. Or uphill, maybe. Something.
2. Metallica/Master of Puppets: All mourn the death of Scuzzy Cliff Burton, who was always a homebody. Band hasn't been the same since.
3. Led Zeppelin IV: Not my favorite Zep album (Physical Graffiti usually takes that honor), but the one that got me started. It actually took me quite a while to get Zeppelin--I think I bought and ditched this album a couple of times before it took. I dunno what was so objectionable to begin with--maybe that it wasn't all heavy all the time. Important for that reason.
4. Jane's Addiction/Nothing's Shocking: My desert-island album. Heavy, ethereal, transcendent, and deliciously sleazy--sometimes all at once. Blew my mind and still does.
5. Slayer/South of Heaven: I couldn't get into Reign in Blood at first. It scared the shit out of me. South of Heaven was much more accessible. Reign is my favorite Slayer now, but South of Heaven got me in the door.
6. Ministry/A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste: Still defines industrial music for me. Wonderfully sick--seething but precise.
7. Neil Young/Harvest Moon: I was actually 21 when this came out, but I was immature, so I'll count it. Proto-grunger blows metalhead's mind with acoustic album. Still one of my favorite albums, but not one I listen to often. Kinda makes me verklempt, yanno.
8. Rick James/Street Songs: I dunno what a nine-year-old white kid was doing singing along to lyrics like "Playing tag with winos/The only way to have some fun," but holy crap, did I love this album. So sleazy, and I just knew Rick really WAS a super freak, way more so than any of the kinky girls he sang about. Total bad-ass.
9. Ozzy Osbourne/Speak of the Devil: This live album of all Black Sabbath tunes made me go back and seek out the whole catalog of the band that became one of my top five of all time. It also introduced me to "the old film Maurice."
10. Crispin Glover/The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let it Be: Sometimes I wonder how I got so weird. I blame this album.
Damn, I didn't even get to the Misfits. Add the whole catalog of the One True Misfits (the Danzig era). My first album of theirs was Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood. It sounded like it was recorded in hell. I remember my friend Wes told me when I first played it for him, "Man, I hope you don't start getting into this"--which, of course, I took as a challenge. (He soon joined me.)