When I was 16, I was staring at a wall of CD’s at a local grocery superstore. I had recently starting collecting CD’s as I finally had my own CD player (it was my SEGA CD hooked up to my POS stereo) and I was in the mood for some new music. Not just new music, but something with explicit lyrics. Seriously. I wanted some music with some curses in it. Two CD covers were duking it out. The first was Beck’s Mellow Gold, and the other was from this band I’d never heard of called Nine Inch Nails. Their album, in this yellow-ish cardboard box was called The Downward Spiral. The fact that the jewel case was contained within another unit of packaging won me over.
With no expectations other than to hear some fucks and shits, I placed the CD in the tray as soon as I got home. Mr. Self Destruct, the first track from the album, not even close to a favourite, makes this list because it opened my eyes to an area of music I never knew existed. Music that was far darker and more nihilistic than I had ever heard before. And I liked it. Mr. Self Destruct had prepared me for the times to come where I would need what I would later call ‘angry music’ and also created the possibility for me to enjoy the self destructive angst of grunge music (albeit far more catchy sounding and less noisy).