What Album Has The Greatest Influence on AOTY's Music Taste

I asked many users on the platform the question "Which album has had the greatest influence on your current taste in music?", which could be supported by how it helped them grow and learn as listeners. All the responses I received are documented in the list below.

Thank you so much to all the people that answered; I feel super privileged to have gotten so many responses. I had a ton of fun making this list and the wide variety of responses I received was simply fascinating. If I didn't ask you but you want to be included in the list, just drop your record in the comments and, if you want, how it helped shape you as a listener. I'll be more than happy to include it and, next time I do one of these, I'll make sure to ask you for your opinion.

I'll respond to all your comments up here, as there are a fair few and I don't wanna spam the comments section. In short, it was a pleasure asking all of you. Your contributions have been the backbone of this list, which I'm super, super grateful for. Thanks so much for all the support, I really appreciate it and I can't wait to make another one of these sometime soon (I'll be more than glad to ask all of you again).

Frank Ocean - Blonde
"'Blonde' has the greatest influence on my music taste because it was the first album that truly spoke to me, the first album that I fell in love with, the first album where the music impacted me on a resounding emotional level. It taught me what to look for in an incredible record and, in my mind, acts as the archetype for one, which is why I'd say it has the greatest influence on my taste." - @biglasagnayeet
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
"My Chemical Romance’s 'The Black Parade' helped me discover my love for music. It made me see music as the art it is instead of just background noise." - @BGL13

@halbery's pick

"My Chemical Romance's 'The Black Parade' (paired with 'Trench'). Those 2 albums were a huge part of my life in terms of discovering music, and if it wasn't for those albums, I more than likely would not even be here on the site." - @TehSniper_143 (1/2)
Tyler, the Creator - IGOR
"It would probably be Tyler's 'IGOR' (it marked my beginning of music reviewing and critical interpretation in music)" - @nathanaskenazi

@bl0nded's pick

"'Igor' 100%" - @hiphopcritiques
Radiohead - In Rainbows
"Radiohead - 'In Rainbows' was absolutely pivotal in me trying any kind of music that wasn't just mainstream rock or hard rock. When a friend introduced me to Spotify, I had to try and find all the best rock music I could and many sites led me to 'In Rainbows', which convinced me to give other genres a proper try, like Indie, Electronic and Pop" - @Jamobo

"My biggest inspiration would probably end up being 'In Rainbows' by Radiohead. It's just one of those albums that I will never forget, and it helped me realize what my favorite kind of music is." - @SnowyFighter
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
"My pick is 'To Pimp a Butterfly', I used to just listen to indie rock, Eminem and Slipknot so being exposed to something actually complex made me really think about the stuff I listened to." - @oespancautero

"I would have to say 'To Pimp a Butterfly' has to be my pick. I was about 14-15 years old when I first listened to that record and that album changed how I viewed music. It made me first of all appreciate jazz music as a whole and whenever I listen to pure jazz or hear jazz fusion on other songs, I get really excited. Also, the way that Kendrick sequences that album making every track so important to tie into the overall theme, was pure poetry and really gave me insight of how important sequencing is in records. This made me love conceptual albums in all genres and gain overall appreciation for artists messaging in their music." - @adeea0332
Lorde - Pure Heroine
"'Pure Heroine' by Lorde. Not only was it a big soundtrack to my teenage years and a big turning point for the sound of pop music as a whole in the 2010s. It was the first album that I would regularly listen to all the way through. Before this album came out, I was a very singles-based listener. I only ever just listened to the radio or whatever else my friends listened to. This album was the start of me learning to appreciate albums as an art form. From there, I would start listening to albums as a whole more and seek out music outside of just what was on the radio." - @thegeecyproject

"I'd say 'Pure Heroine' by Lorde (paired with 'Yeezus') because before these albums came out when I was 12 I used to exclusively listen to singles and not pay attention to the less known songs on the album. They undoubtedly taught me a lot about the idea of cohesion within an album's theme when it comes to sonorities, lyrics and production. They also made me understand more about the ability for an artist to create their own unique style." - @80starzdust (1/3)
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
"My pick is 'Selected Ambient Works 85-92' because it encouraged me to discover other genres of music." - @Fhhgvnjscvbbg

“The album with the greatest influence on my current taste in music is likely ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’ by Aphex Twin. That album introduced me to techno music, which is what I would soon start creating as well. It got me more into ambient music as well, and helped me get into a lot of other electronic subgenres I had never known before. To this day, Aphex Twin remains my largest creative influence and I am very grateful for his works.” - @Tristan
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
"'Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd was basically my starting point for listening to good music and albums and made me appreciate music even more than I used to do. I don't listen to Pink Floyd that much anymore, but that album really was where it all began with the music taste that I have today." - @Nightwing734

"Pink Floyd - 'DARK SIDE OF THE MOON' made me interested in music the way I am today." - @YuriDING (1/3)
Bon Iver - 22, A Million
"It's really hard to pick one position from all the genres and styles that I've explored so far, but certainly one of those most influential albums on my current taste has to be Bon Iver's '22, A Million'. It strikes me every time with its insane consistency in flowing between different vocal and instrumental styles, every track is like a standalone, outstanding composition, but, at the same time, each of them fits to the rest incredibly well, drawing from other ones and affecting them, as well. I think this record, at least in some way, inspired me to dive deeper into more unknown territories of instrumental, electronic, and even folk music, the genres that are now my most listened." - @avernannes

"The album that changed the course of my life and my musical exploration is undoubtedly Bon Iver's '22, A Million'. I first listened to it when it was released during my sophomore year of high school when I was still in my classic rock phase and it was like seeing with whole new eyes. Also that Fionn Regan sample on the closing track led me to seek him out which turned me onto many similar indie folk artists like Sufjan and Nick Drake, and in my search for people who also liked this music I discovered a ton of online music communities that exposed me to whole new worlds of music that had been lying under my nose all these years and now, five years later, I can barely stand most classic rock anymore lol." - @OpiesFuneral
Daft Punk - Discovery
"Prior to being a full-time music nerd, I listened almost exclusively to NCS and Monstercat Gaming music along with some kpop and mainstream pop. But then a few remixes of Daft Punk and I liked them instantly. Around the same time I got into Daft Punk, I discovered Kavinsky and synthwave/vaporwave in general and I knew it was 80s influenced so I decided to search for more 80s 'dance music' like New Order. I did find them before Joy Division because of that. As Daft Punk collaborated with Julian Casablancas, I decided to check out The Strokes and this, in turn, brought me to rock. I listened to artists that The Strokes listed as influences, which was how I got into post-punk in general. Also, around the same time, The Strokes' 2020 singles were released and I found melon because of a melon positive review. Melon used RYM and that was how I discovered RYM. From then onwards, I used RYM until I was banned so I went here. There is another line of evolution for IDM and post-rock. Somebody mentioned Aphex Twin in a Monstercat comment section so I decided to listen to him. I found IDM very intriguing and I went to Pitchfork's IDM list and listened to those albums. Shortly later Youtube recommended a bunch of post-rock like Explosions in the Sky and I listened to post-rock through Spotify playlists (VERY VERY VERY BAD IDEA) and I actually listened to GY!BE's discog in shuffle because of that. The post-rock subreddit led me to 'Spiderland' and Sigur Ros, but I don't think I have explored further in post-rock. I'm still kinda a beginner in that. Youtube also recommended a bunch of shoegaze and that was how I got into entry shoegaze." - @Pickle

"I’d have to say 'Discovery' by Daft Punk. For a long time I refused to listen to anything that wasn’t rap or rock, and I think that record was the turning point where I realized there was so much I was missing out on. Plus my most recent personal craze has been dance and electronic, so it definitely had an impact there." - @Claytastic
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
@imafraidof's pick (1/10)

@wyrihu's pick (1/2)
David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
"'Ziggy Stardust' because it got me into classic rock when my parents played it in the car when I was 4." - @louisomahoney

"'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars' is my pick. It helped spawn my love of David Bowie, classic rock, and music as a whole." - @ThomasGuy
Porter Robinson - Worlds
"'Worlds' by Porter Robinson shaped my music taste heavily. I think that was the first time I really started caring about emotional melodies, and it was my first introduction to ambient music, along with fantastic EDM that pioneered the EDM sound I was into when I first listened to the album." - @Riskr
諏訪根自子 [Nejiko Suwa] - 諏訪根自子の芸術 (Suwa Nejiko no Geijutsu): Early Recordings 1933-1935
"I think that in the end '諏訪根自子の芸術 (Suwa Nejiko no Geijutsu): Early Recordings 1933-1935' was the most important, simply because it was the first time I really listened to a classical piece of music, which made me start to appreciate such music more and opened my eyes to many different styles of music, such as avant-garde for example. It was kind of the beginning of my current taste. It made me love the real and natural sound of instruments, it made me look at music in a different way, but you know, there was a process involved, one of discovering many other albums that changed me even more. Without this one I guess I wouldn’t get to know any of them though." - @Flamingooooo
Lil Baby - My Turn
"I'd have to say 'My Turn' by Lil Baby, if I hadn't listened to that, I probably wouldn't have gotten into hip-hop/trap at all and stuck to some generic pop, probably wouldn't have discovered this site too!!" - @Cry
Flume - Skin
"I'm between Flume's 'Skin' and Mac DeMarco's 'Salad Days'. See, I was REALLY into EDM when I was younger (I even wanted to be DJ). David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Avicii. The farthest I could reach was some of Daft Punk's most commercial works. Until Flume came across. He was still part of the EDM scene, but he has a more indie or alternative approach to it. I started to love that "deconstructed" sound he had." - @elextranodpl (1/2)
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
"One day, on my Spotify new music radar, 'Chamber of Reflection' came across. I fell in LOVE with it and started to get into that new wave of slacker-relaxed indie vibe. I was eager for more, so I started digging deeper and realized this music was deeply connected with all the music from the 60's/70's/80's/90's. That's when I started going back into my musical roots. The music I used to listen to with my dad and heard all the time on the radio. That's when Spinetta and Cerati came across. These guys had a lot of talent and a different approach on music. After that it was downhill. I started reading about music, listening to the classics and the not so classics. Found AOTY and Weyes Blood, My Bloody Valentine, Lou Reed, Aphex Twin, Gorillaz, etc. Now my music taste has widened and started flowing between every genre I can. I even started researching and cataloguing the musical history of my country for others to find, which is very rich and I didn't even know back then. 'Salad Days' changed my life in many aspects and my music taste is one of them. - @elextranodpl (2/2)
Turnover - Peripheral Vision
"I think the largest influence on my taste has come from 'Peripheral Vision' by Turnover. Oftentimes when people hear it, I think people just take it as some reverb-soaked boring indie rock record, but honestly it resonated with me so much over time that I've grown to be really infatuated with warm, fuzzy indie rock records and folk. Stuff that makes me feel at home and comfortable, and over time I've leaned towards that type of music more, or at least viewing music through a lens of comfort and such." - @Beeyyaahh
Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane
"My album has to be 'Songs About Jane' by Maroon 5. It was my first introduction to commercial pop music, and that would eventually lead me down the road of K-Pop and alternative pop rock. If not for this album, BTS and Twenty One Pilots would not be my favorite artists." - @realrealweasel
Modern Baseball - You're Gonna Miss it All
"The album I would pick is 'You’re Gonna Miss It All' by Modern Baseball. I first found the album in 2014 when I was 11 and I grew up with it. The album never left my life and now, 7 years later, the album still has lyrics I relate to. It’s also the reason I’m so into midwest emo and pop-punk now." - @currentjoyys
Eminem - Kamikaze
"I absolutely hate the fact that I have to say this, but probably 'Kamikaze' by Eminem. Eminem was the first artist who really stopped me in my tracks and made me think "Wow, music is really good." It was through him that I started becoming more than just a casual music listener, got into hip-hop quite a bit, and then ended up exploring a bunch of other genres. In retrospect, the album really isn't that good but my dumbass 13 year-old brain loved it for some reason back in 2018 and it was my favorite Eminem album for a while." - @Chode
The Brave Little Abacus - Just Got Back From the Discomfort—We're Alright
"Probably 'Got Back From the Discomfort—We're Alright' by The Brave Little Abacus. It's just a sound that totally shouldn't work that totally does. Adam sounds like a whiny toddler but it's still the most beautiful thing!" - @ConcreteCastles
Gorillaz - Demon Days
"Probably Gorillaz. They were really the first band I liked that I didn't grow up with, and they got me into many of the styles that they do, and the artists that they feature." - @21stcenturyschi
Tame Impala - Currents
"It's 100% 'Currents' by Tame Impala. I will always say that I would like to forget what 'Let It Happen' sounds like just to cry with delight listening to it again for the first time. It really ripped me away from my music comfort zone. I started listening to a lot more non-mainstream music, and it stayed like this ever since." - @Valeyard
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
"Album I’m gonna go with has to be Mastodon’s 'Crack the Skye'. 'Crack the Skye' means a lot to me, and although doesn’t define my music taste as a whole, which is of course diverse as can be since I always try to keep an open mind, it helped me appreciate metal a lot more, specifically Prog, and although it isn’t my favourite music genre, it has always been one of my top genres. Mastodon have always been my band, they’re not the greatest band ever but their music to me personally is amongst the greatest there is out there. Their 'Crack the Skye' showcases an abundance of talent, musicianship that’s extremely tight, consistent and gives the listener an all round, overwhelmingly good and transcending experience. When I first heard it years back, I was obsessed. From that day until present, it is one of the first albums, of any genre, I’ll name if someone asks a question like “what’s your top five albums?” (It’s in there), “what do you love about said album?” (Everything), “are there any flaws?” (Raises eyebrows*. What do you think?), “an album which would come straight to mind, any genre.” ('CRACK THE SKYE'). It makes me happy, it’s transcendent, magical, inspiring, a pinnacle of my music taste, and while I love many genres and albums, and bands, of course, it’ll always remain atop the list. If you’re into Mastodon you know just how wonderful and mesmerising this album is, especially when you first hear it. But every listen is magical. As a listener, it means a lot to me, and clearly has impacted my life." - @slickleg
Swans - To Be Kind
"It's not an all-time favorite for me, but 'To Be Kind' by Swans has to be the single thing that made me have more of an attention span when it came to music (which is a thing I've always had tbh) and I think I've started going towards music that's slower, more meditative and I've had more of an affinity for longer songs (I've always liked these things, but not to the extent I do now). Listening to TBK gave me some patience." - @KoopaToad18
Pink Floyd - The Wall
"For me, that would be Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'. It's probably my favorite album of all time, it really helped me to notice the smaller details since the riff from 'Another Brick In The Wall' can be heard on many of the tracks. It also really helped me in a time of existential dread I was feeling in my life. It made me also realize that music can really affect people as a person depending on their mood. It made me appreciate the whole medium of music as a whole." - @ThatRockPlayer
System of a Down - Toxicity
"Probably 'Toxicity' by System of a Down. That album made me a lot more pen to heavier styles of music that are some of my favorites today" - @CLJesse
Swans - The Seer
"'The Seer' made me fall in love with music that constantly builds and requires patience from the listener. At the end the reward is worth it." - @365WHATAPPLE
Radiohead - OK Computer
"I suppose the album that had the greatest influence on my current taste was definitely 'OK Computer'. Before I listened to that album I was only really a fan of hip-hop and at the time I was only branching out into other kinds of hip-hop whether that be alternative, abstract or experimental. Some of my best mates from college got me to listen to the record and since that first listen I began to explore much more beyond it and I haven't looked back since. So yeah, 'OK Computer' has definitely had the biggest impact on my current taste since it encouraged me to expand my taste which I'm really grateful for." - @MickyT
Muse - Origin of Symmetry
"A couple of records come to mind, but my first important record in my life was 'Origin of Symmetry' by Muse. At the time it opened my eyes to a lot of more noisy, experimental and lush soundscapes I had never heard before, and songs like 'Megalomania', 'New Born' and 'Citizen Erased' helped create what I call 'peak music' now. Made a huge impact on me and still does to some extent." - @PipePanic
David Bowie - Low
"My pick will be David Bowie's 'Low'. It was one of the first albums that I grew an emotional/personal connection to. It also opened my eyes on how to look at music not just as something you like, but as a true art form. Which is why I love it dearly." - @MrMercury7
Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want
"While it's hard to pin-point one singular album responsible for my taste, an undoubtedly important one would be 'You Won't Get What You Want'. Not only being one of my all time favorites, its instantly crushing atmosphere and sound created a thirst for loud, dark, and aggressive music that has carried on since my first time listening to it. It had opened up a door of music I couldn't resonate with before. Genres like noise, noise rock, metal, dark ambient, industrial, and no wave somehow clicked on a level I had never before touched before listening to YWGWYW." - @Dabzilla
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
"My choice is 'The Marshall Mathers LP' by Eminem, because it got me interested in the entire hip-hop genre, which has remained my favorite genre. Of course, I branched out after I was tired of listening to all the same stuff all the time." - @GeMann
Billy Joel - The Stranger
"The biggest influence on my current music preferences would probably be 'The Stranger' by Billy Joel. Joel was one of the very first "western" musical artists my family and I were introduced to, and 'The Stranger''s a record that showcases the artist at his creative peak, incredibly accessible to anyone who gives it a shot and wrought with tuneful melodic compositions that helped lay the bricks for my overarching music taste. And when combined with an influx of more bombastic recommendations from my mate, my appreciation for music has only deepened since." - @blobfishdsluggy (1/3)
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
@blobfishdsluggy's pick (2/3)
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
@blobfishdsluggy's pick (3/3)
Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
"My answer is probably Death Grips, 'No Love Deep Web', really expanded my taste in music a few years ago and transformed my habits from just listening to the songs I liked/singles to full albums." - @Drone3000
The Weeknd - House of Balloons
"There are many different records I could pick but the biggest influence has to be 'House of Balloons' by The Weeknd." - @Saucelord777
"The album that’s had the greatest influence on me was actually 'GINGER' by BROCKHAMPTON. I just credit it for being the album that got me REALLY into music as before I’d heard it I only casually listened to music." - @eastbaldboy
Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
"I’d have to say the album that influenced my current taste the most was listening to 'Run The Jewels 2' by Run The Jewels in 2017. Obviously it’s a fucking amazing record, and while it’s not the most left field record of all time, it was the first record I listened to that sounded different from everything else I’ve heard before it and got me interested into listening to music that was alternative to the mainstream, and it was the record that got me to start listening to a new album almost daily." - @BaddieBaphomet
Seatbelts - Cowboy Bebop
"If I had to choose one album that has had the most impact on me currently, I'd have to pick 'Cowboy Bebop' by Seatbelts. This album basically was my first major exposer to the genre of jazz, specifically my first encounter with the really hectic and explosive kind. Before I had watched the show, and heard this OST with it, I didn't really listen to much from the genre. I didn't hate it, but I wasn't exactly impressed by what I would later understand to be cool jazz. But when I finally heard how abrasive, hectic, and fun this OST was, I realized that there was a whole other world of jazz that I hadn't explored yet. And fast forward to now, I've heard more jazz than I ever thought I would, and it's easily become one of my favorite genres. Hell, I even play the tenor saxophone now, and I plan to make jazz music that is just as hectic and crazy as the compositions on this record. Thank you 'Cowboy Bebop', and especially thank you Seatbelts!" - @MrA
Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps
"If I'm speaking for my current taste in music, I'd say 'Stranger In The Alps' by Phoebe Bridgers. It's just completely overhauled how I think about songwriting." - @porpoise
Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid
"As someone who has always had a passion for writing, poetry, and story-telling, Aesop Rock's 'The Impossible Kid' resonated with me more than any other album had at the time. I would spend time re-writing the lyrics and breaking down the metaphors and all that nerdy shit and trying to write my own stories with the same attention to detail. That entire album sort of made me think of rap and songwriting in general as a form of poetry. I always tell my English Teachers that I think that some songwriters should be studied just as much as playwrights and authors." - @AndreVital (1/2)
KA - Honor Killed the Samurai
@AndreVital's pick (2/2)
Have a Nice Life - Deathconsciousness
"It's very difficult for me to choose but I find 'Deathconsciousness' by Have a Nice Life. The gloomy, dreadful and existential atmosphere had a big impact in my taste as I resonated quite heavily with it, I think it's a real gem in the sphere of music that has helped shaped my taste pretty well." - @EnigmaticSnob
Kanye West - Yeezus
"I'd say 'Yeezus' (paired with 'Pure Heroine') because before these albums came out when I was 12 I used to exclusively listen to singles and not pay attention to the less known songs on the album. They undoubtedly taught me a lot about the idea of cohesion within an album's theme when it comes to sonorities, lyrics and production. They also made me understand more about the ability for an artist to create their own unique style." - @80starzdust (2/3)
Marina & the Diamonds - Electra Heart
"Even if it grew up to be my second least favourite MARINA album, 'Electra Heart' played a huge role in teaching me about that [thematic cohesion within an album's sound, lyrics and production and distinct artistic style] too." - @80starzdust (3/3)
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
"'Giant Steps' by John Coltrane broke the boundaries of my musical exploration and I'm a huge jazz fan today." - @eliiscool5
Ground-Zero - Consume Red
@Inglume’s pick (1/3)
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@ThomasGuy @Mozart added them both. Thank you for contibuting, I appreciate it
KIDS SEE GHOSTS by Kids See Ghosts. A great mixture of hip hop and rock, which is now my two favorite genre. Introduced me to theneedledrop as a reviewer, also introduced me to Kid Cudi, also make me brave to check out all of those amazing rock music. Pretty much my first step into a wider type of music.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is my pick.

It helped spawn my love of David Bowie, classic rock, and music as a whole.
@wyrihu added. Thanks so much for contributing
The Orb - The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld. I first listened to it when I was like 5 or 6 and it completely blew my mind. I like all types of music but this album introduced me to how amazing music can be. Also Lady Gaga - Born This Way.
@forgetaboutme @Andrei @Hillybilly55 really sorry for not telling you all earlier but I've added all your picks. Thanks so much for contributing; I'll definitely ask you all when I make my next community list soon
my pick is def fall of hobo johnson. it completely opened my eyes to how much more interesting music could be made by mixing and matching genres and made me really appreciate unique singing/rapping styles even if i don't like it as much as i did on first listen.
great list!
The velvet Underground and Nico by the velvet Underground and Nico. Kinda started me opening up to more experimental and alternative genres.
top tier list
Great list! Thanks for counting me in!
Not at me having so many picks xD
great list
Weird enough, it would be "The OF Tape Vol. 2" despite the fact that I didn't even listen to the album. However, it lead me to my first fantano review and without him, I don't think I would ever love music as much as I do now.
Cheers for including me, great list
Thanks for including me! :D
Awesome list. Thanks for including me :)
Fantastic list! I love the passion so many people put into their responses.
Thanks for including me :)
great list! thanks for the inclusion
Great list, thank you for including me!! :)
Amazing list! Great job!
Thanks for the inclusion :)
thanks for including me!
thanks for including me!! it's a really interesting list
Great list mate, thanks for the inclusion
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September 2021 Playlist