Photos by Dougal Gorman
To celebrate Record Store Day, the Monster Children staff were asked to bring in a special record for show and tell.
Imagine our surprise when they not only complied, but also provided meaningful insights into their record of choice, and the significance it has had in their life. Except ‘account manager’ Ben Murgatroyd. He stopped reading the email after the words ‘Show and Tell’ and brought in a bag of marbles, a shell, and a jar with a dead lizard in it. Check out our favourite records, below.
Suede, Suede (1993)
I’ve been listening to this album since I was 16. I still remember seeing the video for ‘The Drowners’ on Rage and thinking, ‘Holy shit. This changes everything.’ The record store in my hometown (Echuca) had all the Metallica, AC/DC and Eagles boxsets you could ever want but fuck-all else, so I had to order it in. Six weeks later (seriously), I got the album home, sat cross-legged in my school uniform and dropped the needle. At the risk of sounding overdramatic, this record changed my life. I guess any favourite record does that. From start to finish, Suede by Suede is the closest thing to a perfect record. Runner up albums: Cass McCombs A, Morrissey Vauxhall and I, Rowland S. Howard Teenage Snuff Film.
Midnight Oil, Red Sails in the Sunset (1984)
This is one of my favourite albums, courtesy of my big bro Patrick (promise I’ll keep it safe). It’s the perfect combo of art, politics, banger hits and the voice of a movement. The record came out during widespread fear of nuclear war during the 1980s. Midnight Oil’s political lyrics were a beacon for the hopeful across the world as nuclear disarmament was a hot topic. The record’s cover artist, Tsunehisa Kimura, has since passed away, but his vision of a bombed Sydney Harbour remains both interesting and alarming. How did the Opera House survive? Thank goodness. May this standout record forever remind us to question politics, politicians and their motives in a constructive, peaceful way.
Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, Night Moves (1976)
I didn’t really fulfill the brief with this one… we were asked to bring in our favourite record, meaning I should know this album like the back of my hand. But I don’t. I only know one song on this record, but I like it very, very much. The fact that the album is named after the song, made my choice feel warranted. The cover is a little awkward, and the back is even worse (six men staring directly at the camera with really strange facials, including one guy who looks like Captain James Cook in a cravat), but it’s nostalgic and reminds me of when I was younger and everything was warm and fuzzy. I tend to play this song in summer when I’m driving somewhere far away from my problems.
N.W.A, Straight Outta Compton (1988)
I was only seven years old when this record came out in 1988, so to say I was all over it then, growing up in a middle class Australian suburban home, would be a straight out lie. But years later, in the mid-90s when someone was writing Tupac Shakur lyrics across the boys’ locker room and spitting opinion on an east vs. west coast hip hop rivalry peppered with sex, drugs, violence and police brutality, I followed them down a wormhole that lead back to these guys. Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A was an education in gangsta rap and a documentary-like view into a side of life very foreign to me; it felt like a taste of real rebellion… with a cause. Outlaws and underdogs breaking rules and putting their home on the map. While some songs have aged terribly from a social and inclusive perspective, others still echo the world we live in today.
Neil Young, Comes a Time (1978)
I discovered Neil Young as a teenager in the late 1980s. My friends and I had been consuming a steady diet of mostly Australian, angst-ridden rock and post-punk for some time —Laughing Clowns, The Go-Betweens, Died Pretty, Lime Spiders, Nick Cave, The Triffids —but when my brother came home from university on the north coast with long hair and a taped copy of Comes a Time, my eyes opened to the world of folk music and its many and varied forms. I ordered the record soon after, quickly followed by Harvest and After the Goldrush. I recorded them all onto the one cassette and listened to them on my Walkman on repeat for the entire summer. I distinctly remember listening to that tape alone on a long bus trip at the time, and being overwhelmed with how content I felt; it gave me a complete escape. I still listen to those albums regularly now.
Otis Redding, In Person At The Whisky A Go Go (1968)
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Otis Redding and similar mid-century soul/blues artists, like Sam Cooke, with my fiancé, Jerico. We’re getting married in a few weeks and this is the kind of vibe we want to roll with for the live music to open the reception. A not so fun fact that I learned recently is Otis died in a plane crash just days after he recorded the classic ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’. I haven’t been collecting records long, but when I buy one I tend to lean towards unique live performances rather than regular studio albums, so when I saw this the other week I grabbed it.
Barry White, The Man (1978)
The record store attendant who laughed when I brought The Man to the counter for purchase obviously had no idea what this album has to offer… but they’re probably at home right now listening to Suede or something, so I’m not bothered. This record might not be lighting any fires with its cover design, but the candles in my apartment practically light themselves when ‘Your Sweetness is my Weakness’ starts purring through the speakers. It’s classic Baz, but without the sugary sweet hits that you’d worry your neighbours’ might overhear (‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Baby’). Someone once said that ‘If chocolate fudge cake could sing, it would sound like Barry White,’ so when winter rolls around, make sure you grab a copy of The Man, pour yourself a glass of wine and sample a slice of musical fudge. You deserve it.
Jimi Hendrix, The Cry Of Love (1971)
The Cry Of Love was one of my first intros to Jimi Hendrix and, looking back, it was the gateway into my appreciation of psychedelic rock. ‘Ezy Ryder’ got me. I actually first heard this on CD. It’s Jimi’s first posthumous release, making it that little bit more special. I’ve got fond memories of Mum flogging this album on our home theatre system, along with Pink Floyd and heaps of other weird shit (go Mum), but it wasn’t until my early 20s that I purchased it for myself on vinyl. I don’t have a huge record collection but if I did, this would still sit at the top of my stack.
The Doors, L.A. Woman (1971)
My favourite Doors record is their sixth album, L.A. Woman. My dad used to play it on surf trips up the coast when we were kids. From about eight years old, I knew all of the lyrics to all of the songs, and when I got a record player, it was the first record I inherited (stole) from the old fart’s collection. L.A. Woman was the last album to feature Mr Mojo Risin, who was found dead in Paris three months after its release. Did you know Mr Mojo Risin is an anagram for Jim Morrison? Why am I talking about L.A. Woman when clearly I’m holding a copy of Strange Days, The Doors quirky second effort? I’m moving house and my record collection was the first thing I packed up because it’s more valuable to me than my first born child. I forgot to bring in a record for this, but Campbell had Strange Days in his collection. Listen to ‘People Are Strange’ and ‘Moonlight Drive’.
The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow (1984)
If I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life it would have to be The Smiths, and this album is part of the reason why. This LP really kick-started my obsession with the band and my appreciation of their music. I have played this album on repeat since the day I bought it. They are fucking great.