Sherwin Sampang

Sherwin’s Top 10 Albums

guest-post-iconThis is a guest post from Sherwin.

I’m done with my audit and still assigned to this client for another week. I’m so damn bored. So I decided to kill time and list down my 10 favorite albums of all time. Here it goes:


1. Nevermind – Nirvana
NirvanaNo album had such an overpowering impact on me – I was 13 year old kid who was not interested at music at all when all of a sudden I turned to rock. A few months later, I bought a guitar and started playing. The song “Come as you are” was the first song I learned to play. I also played the song “Lithuim” at an office Christmas party in 2001 – I think I did a good job in impersonating Kurt Cobain. Cobain is a gifted song writer. The 12 songs, which are catchy, melodic and powerful, are stuck in my head like peanut butter in the brain. This album changed my life and millions of other lives.

2. Dirt – Alice In Chains
DirtDirt is AIC’s masterpiece. It is the ultimate drug album of the 90’s. Songs like “Junkhead”, “Sickman”, “Godsmack”, “Angry Chair”, “Hate to Feel” and the title track “Dirt” are about Layne Staley’s drug addiction. Staley died due to drug overdose in 2002. Staley’s vocal gives the album its dark and gloomy feel while Jerry Cantrell’s grinding riffs will make you feel like dirt. This album also includes the hits “Rooster”, “Down in a Hole” and “Would”. I always sing along to all 13 tracks of this album every time it’s playing and yes, including the 43 second song “Iron Gland”.

3. Ten – Pearl Jam
Ten - Pearl JamTen is Pearl Jam’s debut album. The album’s name is based on the jersey number of NBA player Mookie Blaylock, which was also Pearl Jam’s name before Mookie told the band to stop using his name. It’s really hard for me to pick what PJ album to include in my top 10 because I love all 8 studio albums. If it wasn’t for Nevermind and Dirt, this would’ve been number 1. Ten is Pearl Jam’s most commercially successful album selling 15 million copies worldwide and producing the songs “Jeremy”, “Alive” and “Even Flow”.

Listening to this album tears me up sometimes, it’s such an emotional album. Eddie Vedder’s voice is bigger than the Pacific Ocean. You can feel his anger and pain through the songs. Mike McCready’s guitar solos are amazing especially when he plays them live. He plays the solos differently each time. I saw Pearl Jam in 1995 and 2006. I remember skipping school in 1995 to go to Manila (from Tarlac) to watch them. They put on a great show. The 2 shows I’ve seen are probably in the top 10 moments of my life.

4. Superunknown – Soundgarden
SoundgardenSoundgarden has the heaviest sound among the Seattle bands. This album sounds lighter than the previous albums – “Louder Than Love” and “Badmotorfinger”. Although I prefer the old heavy Soundgarden sound, this album is their finest work. It sounds like the old Soundgarden with a touch of the Beatles. One of my favorite songs, “Fell on Black Days”, is in this album. Most of the songs here have alternate tunings (on guitar/bass) so they are pretty hard to play. Singing along with Chris Cornell can cut a nerve in your neck. Listen to Superunknown and you’ll find out what I mean.

5. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog
Temple of the DogTemple of the Dog is collaboration between Soundgarden members Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron and Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Mike McCready. The album is a tribute to Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone, roommate of Chris Cornell and former bandmate of Gossard and Ament. Eddie Vedder appeared in the song “Hunger Strike”. The duet between Cornell and Vedder is classic. The album also featured Mike McCready’s first guitar solo on the song “Reach Down”. I didn’t know the album existed until I discovered Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Finding it was like finding a gem.

6. Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Are You ExperiencedJimi Hendrix is the greatest guitarist ever. No doubt about it. He is number 1 in Rolling Stones Magazine’s greatest guitarist of all time list. I bought a white fender Stratocaster because of him (but I can’t play like him). My uncle introduced me to Hendrix when he found out that I was playing guitar. “Are You Experienced?” was Jimi’s first album and featured his excellent and superb guitar playing skills. This album has 3 versions, I have the US CD version which I think is the best. From “Purple Haze” to “Red House”, every song is worth it.

7. Siamese Dreams – The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese DreamMy mother bought me this record in 1994 as a birthday gift. The Pumpkins pushed further from Nineties alt-rock to a grander, orchestrated sound with multiple guitar parts, strings and a Mellotron. Loved the guitar parts. It’s the main reason I bought a Digitech Whammy pedal (the guitar effect that was used on most of the guitar solos on this record).

8. Achtung Baby – U2
Achtung BabyI have U2’s 2 Greatest Hits album and owned only 1 studio album & this one. I got this record the same time I got Nirvana’s Nevermind. I don’t really know why I like this album. After listening to it for a number of times, it just grew in me. This disc is packed with hits “Even Better than the Real Thing”, “One”, “The Fly” and “Mysterious Ways”.

9. Back in Black – AC/DC
Back in BlackAC/DC’s first album with singer Brian Johnson after Bon Scott died. It’s strange that they sound the same. Back in Black features a great rhythm section from Malcolm Young and killer lead guitars from Angus Young. Most AC/DC albums have only 1 or 2 hits in them, this album generated AC/DC’s most popular songs “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Back in Black”, “Shoot to Thrill”, “Hells Bells” and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Polution”. A little trivia: The title track “Back in Black” is the first song Kurt Cobain learned to play on guitar.

10. Metallica – Metallica
MetallicaAlso known as the “Black” album, this opened the doors to other Metallica albums and heavy metal music. I’m not too much of a heavy metal guy, the only metal bands I like are Metallica, Pantera and Megadeth. Listening to the black album makes me bang my head naturally.

11. Purple – Stone Temple Pilots
12. Automatic for the People – REM
13. The Downward Spiral – Nine Inch Nails
14. Vs. – Pearl Jam
15. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – The Sex Pistols

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