Great question @Travix! For me, it goes way waaaay back to when I was a teenager (in the 80's!). Up to that point, I had grown up listening to Disco, Soul, Funk, R&B, Top 40 on the radio. (E.g., Con Funk Shun, Rick James, Ohio Players, Tina Marie, Stacy Lattisaw, Cameo, S.O.S Band, etc.) That's all I knew because it's what all of my older, cooler siblings were playing in the house. Then one day I stumbled upon a some cassettes (anybody remember those?) that one of my brothers left sitting out. They were the B-52's first two albums - the self titled B-52s, and Wild Planet. Judging from the album art, this looked nothing like the kind of band I thought my brother would listen to. But then again, he was THE coolest of my brothers, so I HAD to listen to them! I put the B-52's for a spin on my Sony Walkman - heard that first track start (Planet Claire) with it's quirky sound and vocals - and it sounded so completely foreign and unlike anything I'd heard before. And don't get me started on what came over me when I heard their Private Idaho track for the first time. My mind had been blown WIDE OPEN and I was hooked - I needed to find more of where this music was coming from! From that point on, my tastes, interests, and views of music changed profoundly. The B-52's were my "gateway drug" into a whole new world of muscical genres - New Wave, Synth-pop, Post-punk, New Romantic and later ANYTHING that was "unconventional"sounding if it came with rhythm & melody, a beat...anything I could move to. I was infinitely more receptive to exploring and experimenting with different sounds from that point on. My ears have been blissfully curious and happy ever since!
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