A popular trend going around on Facebook right now is people listing the most influential albums that have stuck with them over the years.

When I first saw this, I thought that it would be impossible to choose since I, quite literally, live with music on a daily basis. But there are definitely a handful of albums that have shaped how I look at music.

So, without further ado, here are my top 5:


Classic Queen - Queen
I know, it may be cheating to start with a greatest hits album, but this may very well be the single most influential album in the development of my music appreciation. The album came out in 1992 and introduced the group to a whole new generation of fans. We've all heard "We Will Rock You" at sports games, but how many of us thought of it as a song, as opposed to just a stadium anthem to get the crowd excited?

"Classic Queen" is what started it all for me. After practically wearing out the CD, I had to go out and buy the band's whole catalog. Funny enough, though, I never really got into the "Flash Gordon" soundtrack.


Listen to the Band - The Monkees
Seriously. I loved this boxed set, released in 1991. The Monkees had always been looked at as a manufactured pop novelty without much to them. But if you dig a little deeper into their collection, there are really some pretty good songs in there. The Monkees are a lot more than just the TV show theme song and "I'm a Believer"


Tommy - Original Broadway Cast
Ok, I have to qualify this one a little bit - yes, The Who's 1969 masterpiece, "Tommy" is, without question, one of the greatest albums ever recorded. But my introduction to The Who was through the 1993 Broadway musical. Much like with "Classic Queen" earlier on this list, after being introduced to The Who's work through this album, I had to hear more. I got their boxed set "Thirty Years of Maximum R&B" in 1994, and embarked on my Who education.


Whatever and Ever Amen - Ben Folds Five
You probably know Ben Folds these days as "the smart judge" on NBC's "The Sing-Off". He's never been a huge star, but it's pretty likely that you've heard his work. His band, Ben Folds Five (all three of them) had a single hit off of this album, 1997's "Brick". But his handiwork can be seen everywhere from popular family movie soundtracks (he wrote the original songs for 2006's "Over The Hedge"), to projects with stars ranging from Sara Bareilles to author Nick Hornby, and even Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.

I think Ben Folds is a musical genius, and this album introduced me to his fantastic work.


Hopes and Fears - Keane
This is another one that I have to give a little bit of explanation to - this isn't necessarily my favorite album by British rock band Keane, but, going along with the theme so far, this is the album that got me into the band. I actually found the CD in the glove box of a station vehicle for a radio station that I worked for in Pennsylvania about 10 years ago. The radio didn't work but the CD player did. So I put it in. I'd never heard anything like it before - "pop music" that was thoughtful, catchy, lush, and expertly performed. Keane hasn't really broken through in the US (you've most likely heard their Billboard Hot 100 hit "Somewhere Only We Know"), but they've had a lot of success back home in England. In my opinion, Keane is the best band you've never heard of.


So there you go. Not necessarily my favorite albums of all time, but the albums that have most influenced the shaping of my musical taste. And believe me, it was hard to keep the list to just 5. I could go on and on, but I had to keep this to a readable length!

So what are some of your most influential albums? Comment below and let us know!