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Number 18

Various Artists - The Age of Atlantic (Atlantic 2464 013)

This would've been 1971, the year decimalisation came in, which coincided with the appearance of an abundance of sampler albums with '99' printed somewhere on the gatefold sleeve. I was at school at the time with a couple of hundred Northern Soul freaks, a handful of Skinheads, the odd Suedehead, the leftovers of the Mods and the one Rocker. No one in school knew who Iron Butterfly were except a boy called Slaughter, who just happened to be feared by even the staff, let alone the pupils. This kinship guaranteed me safety and protection. We both loved Led Zeppelin, whose third album hadn't yet been made. The Age of Atlantic intrigued me. I was 14 and blessed with the moniker 'weirdo' (not in front of Slaughter I might add), and had a thing for placing my head between two speakers less than a foot apart, turning the Fidelity Stereo system up to 11 and blasting my eardrums to kingdom come. Dad was unimpressed as he perused the sports pages downstairs in the living room. This album introduced me to the Allman Brothers, Yes and Vanilla Fudge. This album also included Buffalo Springfield's gorgeous Broken Arrow, which kick-started a life long love of all things Neil Young.