I had some wall space in my office that I wanted to fill and thought of a cool (well…cool to me) little craft. If you know me you know that I’m a music guy – especially when it comes to tunes from the 80’s. So I thought it would be fun to identify the top albums that impacted me as a kid, then chase down the vinyl records and find a way to display them in this open wall space.
After about 3 weeks of sifting through records at several music stores and bidding on Ebay auctions I’d collected the five records that most impacted me as a kid. Let me clarify that I’m not claiming that these are the best albums ever….I’m just saying they are the ones that had a major impact on me personally. So – first the finished product, then the albums and then the craft to display them.
By the way, I’d love to hear what you would list as your top albums!
The Fished Product
The Top Five Albums
1) The Police – Synchroncity Album. Released in 1983 – I was 9 years old and I was in love with this band and with this album…and apparently I wasn’t the only one as it sold over 8 million copies in the U.S. This album is full of great songs: Synchronicity II, Every Breath You Take, King of Pain, Wrapped Around Your Finger & Tea in the Sahara were my favorites. This was really my first introduction into rock music & I was DEVASTATED when they broke up in 1986. So much so that in an overwhelming moment of anger & grief I ripped down the Synchronicity poster hanging in my room.
2) Stryper – Soldiers Under Command. Released in 1985. I wasn’t turned on to Stryper until about 1987 when their To Hell with the Devil album was released (which sold over 1 million copies and was the first christian metal album to hit platinum status). However, once I discovered them and started listening to their music & pretty quickly found myself wearing out my copy of Soldiers Under Command. This was my first real exposure to metal (albeit – glam / hair band metal) and Stryper was also the first “real” rock concert I attended. They played in Washington, DC in February of 1987 with Loudness & TNT opening for them. Favorite songs from this album are: Soldiers Under Command, Makes Me Wanna Sing, First Love and Battle Hymn of the Republic.
3) Def Leppard – Pyromania. Released in 1983. This album entered my musical consciousness around 1984-1985 and totally consumed me. It’s loaded with great songs – my favorites are: Photograph (still one of my all time favorite songs), Too Late for Love, Die Hard the Hunger, Foolin’, Rock of Ages & Billy’s Got a Gun. This album sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. Although I never got to see Def Leppard play live during their prime, Missy & I did go see them play a few years back at a venue in Dallas.
4) White Lion – Pride. Released in 1987. White Lion is, in my humble opinion, one of the most under-rated hair bands of the 80’s. They had a string of really great albums but for me the Pride record represents their finest work – it sold about 2 million copies in the U.S. I wore this tape out – rewinding and fast forwarding to get to my favorite tunes – Don’t Give Up, Lady of the Valley, Wait, Tell Me & When the Children Cry. If you are a product of the 80’s you’ve probably heard the songs Wait (which made it to #8 on the billboard 100) & When the Children Cry (which made it to #3 on the billboard 100).
5) Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time. This is number five on the list but number one in my heart. This is, far and away, my favorite band and my favorite album which contains my favorite song of all time. Released in 1986 it has sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. This record was my introduction into Iron Maiden and in instantly fell in love with their sound, their lyrical style and their album covers. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve listened to this album – pretty much every song is a winner. As I mentioned earlier – it contains my favorite song of all time – Wasted Years. Other fantastic songs are Caught Somewhere in Time (which crescendos into one of the best peak points of any song around the 4:45 mark), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (great song for your workout) and Alexander the Great. This album proved surprisingly difficult to obtain…I had to do a last second Ebay bid to secure my copy. And although I never got to see Iron Maiden in concert as a teenager I have gotten to see them twice in the last couple of years – and they still put on a great show!
While tooling around Home Depot looking for some way to display the albums I stumbled across a 6′ 6″ oak reducer. This is a piece of hardwood flooring that you would use when you want to transition from wood floor to carpet or tile. It’s the piece that transitions the wood flooring down to the ground so you don’t just stub your toe when you go from room to room. Because it’s a wood flooring piece it had a nice groove in it where you would connect it to the tongue of the piece next to it. That groove would be perfect to set the record in. So…I bought a piece. It was too wide for my taste so I used my table saw to rip about an inch off of it. I used my chop saw to trim a bit off each end to give it an angle. After some sanding to soften the edges I applied some stain (same stain they used on our wood floors) and then drilled some holes that would allow me to sink the screw and apply a plug to make it look a little nicer. Excluding a day to allow the stain to dry the project took not more than a couple of hours. Here are some pictures: